As the countdown to the holidays continues, social media is probably just another item on your todo list.
It’s another marketing chore to find time for in between walking dogs, feeding cats or selling rabbit food.
Who has time for it all?
Last week I shared some tips about how to prepare your pet business for the holiday season – so hopefully by now you have downloaded your free marketing cheat sheet, and you have your website landing pages in order, and you’re ready to start planning all the fun stuff for your social media activities!
If you haven’t read that article yet, then don’t worry – just click the link and read it right now (we’ll wait for you to come back!). How to Plan for a Successful Pet Biz Holiday Season | Free Marketing Cheat Sheet & Tips and Strategies
Okay – you’re back, great. Let’s talk about Holiday Social Media Activities for your Pet Business this Thanksgiving & Christmas. I have some great ‘ready to use’ resources and tips for you in-store!
What to share On Social Media This Holiday
Both Christmas and Thanksgiving are a wonderful time of the year with a mix of giving thanks, spending time with your family, enjoying great food and of course….. gifts & shopping. Unless you work in the pet business of course – we all know we work the hardest this time of year!
When you’re planning your social media campaign you want to make sure you don’t just focus on your promotions, but tap into what’s on your pet parents minds this time of year. Here are some suggestions for what you can share on Social Media this holiday season.
But before we go into the details – I have a special surprise for you! To help you kickstart your social media campaign this holiday, I’ve created 10 super cute and shareable images that you can use right away to promote your pet biz on Facebook and Twitter. Click Here to Download the Pet Biz Social Media Images
Great questions to ask on Social Media
These questions are great conversation starters for your social media channels – and as we all know, when people are commenting, sharing or post their own pictures as a response to one of your wall posts on Facebook we’re increasing what’s known as engagement. Increased Facebook engagement means Facebook will show more of your posts to your fans – and that’s exactly what you want.
Other social media works in a similar way – you want to encourage people to comment & share as much as possible, and of course your followers will only do that if the content you share speaks directly to them.
So let’s think about a couple of great conversation starters:
- What’s your pet thankful for? Ask your fans to share photos!
- Do you share some of the turkey with your pets?
- Let them fill in the blanks. Ask questions like “My dog loves Christmas morning because____”. “My cat’s best trick for stealing the turkey is ______”. “My family spoils my pet with _____ every Thanksgiving”.
- Ask to see photos of their pets wearing their holiday finest.
- Quiz – we all know that human food isn’t great for pets, but do you know which holiday foods are downright poisonous for your pets? (follow up post with the right answer).
- Ask your followers to ‘caption this’ for some of your pets enjoying your service, whether that’s a bath, walk or training session.
- Ask your fans to ‘like’ a post to vote for option A, or ‘share’ the post to vote for option B. Because vote counts are visible, fans are motivated to participate.
You probably know what questions your customers are likely to come up with as the holidays approaches – so get ahead of the game and schedule a couple of service reminders for your fans. Here are a couple of suggestions, but I’m sure you can think of more:
- Opening Hours – post a general reminder early on, and a separate post for each of the sales days around Black Friday.
- Reminders to book early – all pet service providers know that the holidays is your busiest season, but not all pet parents are aware of this. So remind them to book early to avoid disappointment!
- Last day to order for delivery before the holidays
Hard selling and traditional promotions are instant turn offs on Social media. Instead, try and be creative when you’re sharing information about your new products, promotions and discounts.
Dog Fashion Online is a pet business who made Thanksgiving into a classy, and thoughtful promotion – throughout the entire Thanksgiving week and all the way to Cyber Monday. They are thanking their loyal customers by offering free shipping and special deals and promotions. Click the link to read more and to see their beautiful graphics.
So what to do if you don’t have a graphic designer, or professional photographer onboard?
Use real photos of your actual clients’ pets to promote your products and services, but of course ask their permission first. Iphone photos are fine to use for this, and easy to manage when you have wiggling and excitable pups to manage.
Here are some examples, but I’m sure you can think of more!
‘Say hello to Otto – he is wagging his tail a little extra because his mum booked his holiday stay early and saved money for more pet treats’.
‘Polly’s mom got three pet toys for the price of two – and as you can see Polly can’t make up her mind which she likes better’.
‘Santa hat or reindeer antlers? We think he looks great in both, but please help Alfie decide on what to wear for this year’s holiday photo by leaving a comment’
“Dexter’s mom got him a chew toy to keep him occupied during Thanksgiving dinner”
Give away Valuable Pet Safety Information
Help your pet parents keep their furbabies safe this holiday and share some of these holiday safety tips. Just remember to link back to the original website and give them credit for the photos or images you share.
- We love this short article from Richmond Pet Lovers about how to prepare both your pets AND your friends and family ahead of the holidays to keep your pets safe. And of course the turkey hangover image is so much fun, and will be great for sharing on Social Media. Click the link to view the full size image.
- This shareable Thanksgiving graphic from Petfinder is really cute and contains lots of valuable safety advice ahead of the holidays. Click the link to view the full size image.
- This is an excellent article from PetMD about how to set up a pet safe Christmas tree!
- This is a great photo series from the Pet Health Network sharing six Thanksgiving foods you CAN share with your pets.
- Want the whole list of holiday foods that are dangerous to pets? Check Go Pet Friendly’s article 10 Holiday Foods That Are Dangerous For Your Pets
Give Away Delicious Pet Treat Recipes
Share some of these delicious pet treat recipes and get extra brownie points for baking and sharing some with your clients! Again, just remember to link back to the original website and give them credit for the photos or images you share.
- The Entirely Pets Blog has put together a Thanksgiving feast for our four legged friends (Catnip cookies and puppy meatloaf anyone?). Share these recipes with your pet biz clients and you might get an invite in the post!
- Here’s the perfect solution to ‘what to do with all those dark meat turkey leftovers that no one seems to want‘? Make cat treats of course!
- And of course the dogs want their share of the turkey too! Here’s a yummy Turkey Jerky recipe from Kol’s Notes.
- Want more recipes? Here are 15 Homemade Holiday Pet Treats: ‘Bone-afide’ Christmas Recipes for Fido & Fluffy from the Examiner.