Forget where’s Waldo; where’s your shelter or rescue group?
If you’re like most people, you have Facebook and other social media connections all over — former colleagues, people you went to school with, connections you made online, friends who moved away, family in other states or even other countries.
Now, consider these questions:
- Does your shelter or rescue group ask your supporters, staff and volunteers to share your available pets, news, and fundraising pleas on social media?
- Do you share them on your own social channels?
- Do you network with national efforts like The Shelter Pet Project or The Million Cat Challenge to spread the word about your organization?
With all that in mind, one final question: Does your website clearly identify the city and state in which your organization is located?
“I manage the featured pets and social media for the Shelter Pet Project,” said communications consultant Christie Keith. “In the last seven years, I’ve visited thousands of shelter and rescue group websites. Very few of them tell you where they’re located anywhere but on their contact page — if they have one, which not all of them do. It can be incredibly frustrating and time-consuming to try to figure out where they’re located — not their address, but even something as basic as what state they’re in.”
Visit your website. Better yet, ask a friend to ask one of their friends in another community to visit it and tell you how long it took to figure out where you’re located. If the answer is anything other than, “It was right there at the top and I saw it immediately,” make changes to your site to put your location front and center.
“Pet adoption is driven by social media and online sharing,” Keith said. “People who live on the other side of the country very likely have friends and family near you, and you want them to share your posts and pets so those people will see it.
“But you can’t assume they’ll instinctively know where you’re located, even if, for instance, the name of your county or town is in your organization’s title. Do you have any idea how many counties in the U.S. have the same name? How many cities?”
So add your city and state to the main page of your website, and if possible, add it to the header or other prominent location on every other page. It’s a small change that will make a big difference for the animals.