Can you save 44 large dogs’ lives in 14 days through the power of social media? Austin Pets Alive! (APA!) did just that, and in this recording from the 2015 Best Friends National Conference, Faith Wright tells you how you can, too!
In Foster Faster: Growing Your Dog Foster Program, Wright says the trick is strategically using social media to get more fosters. How? Here are her tips:
- Have an “urgent animals in need” social page. Use it to feature those urgently in need of a foster for whatever reason. “Make sure someone is assigned to check all messages and respond to comments,” Wright said. “I’ve seen pages miserably fail because there was so much anger and hostility in the comments with people saying they wanted to help but no one replied.”
- Use Twitter and Instagram to post animals in need. The key is to “avoid using shocking words that will turn off readers.” You can also ask current fosters to share on their pages.
- Have a closed group for current fosters. “We have a closed group for APA! fosters so they can reach out to one another, ask each other questions and support each other. We’ll sometimes post animals there as well.”
- Create a “swap” program. “This has worked really well for us. If you’re someone at home reading about a dog and you don’t know enough about them, it can be scary.” So APA! created a program that allows prospective fosters with dogs, cats, kids to “swap” for an easier dog, such as one who they know is good with other animals and/or kids.
One important thing to remember as you do start saving more lives: Celebrate with your fosters and keep them engaged. “Share the good things that happened,” she said. “We are all super busy… take that celebration time to say look at what you guys did!”
Watch the full presentation to learn more about how to gain more fosters for big dogs and save more lives in your community!