10 Ways Pet Boarding Facilities Can Use Facebook Live as a Marketing Tool
By Jen Phillips April
In the crowded pet boarding market, it’s essential to set yourself apart from your competition. One way you can do that is through a simple piece of video technology called Facebook Live.
In case you’re not familiar with it, Facebook Live is an easy–to–use feature that exists right within the Facebook app on your phone. With the touch of a button it allows you to “go live” and talk directly to your audience on Facebook. People can say “hi” to you and ask questions in real time. Plus, it lives on in your feed after you’re done so people can see it even if they missed it “live.”
It requires no tech skills and because video feels more personal than a Facebook post, it has the power to easily build that all important like / know / trust factor that your clients require.
While the following can pertain to any video, there are extra benefits to using Facebook Live. One of those benefits is you get a little extra boost from the Facebook algorithm (meaning more of your followers will see it.) Plus, with 100 million internet users watching live video every day, it’s clear the demand for live video is only going to increase.
Consider these statistics:
- Social media video achieves 1200% more shares than text and image COMBINED.
- Businesses who use video find a 41% increase in web traffic.
- Users watch Facebook Live videos 3x longer than non–live videos.
And if that isn’t enough to catch your attention, throw into the mix that the internet is expected to be primarily video driven by 2020.
Besides, as pet caretakers, you have the perfect subject matter. Yet, one of the most frequently asked questions I hear from small business owners like yourselves is “What would I talk about?”
Here are 10 topic ideas for your next (or first) Facebook Live at your facility:
1. Give a Tour of Your Facility. You probably give tours when potential clients first stop by, why not give one virtually? This way, all your Facebook followers can see your reception area, your play area, your kennels, etc.
Bonus points if you say hello and introduce yourself. Your future clients want to know who’s caring for their pets!
2. Introduce Staff Members. A smile, a wave and a short introduction can go a long way towards making people feel comfortable. Keep it simple with a staff member introduction of the week or you can have one or two primary staff members help you with ongoing Facebook Lives.
3. Offer a Q&A. What are the most frequently asked questions your human clients ask? Make a list and answer them on camera. Questions about pick up and drop off times, play times and feeding schedules all are good fodder for your Facebook Live.
4. Introduce the Pets. Cats and dogs rule the internet which means you have excellent resources. Why not hit your Facebook Live button and show us your charges? Do you have a social butterfly who’s the hit of the play area, or a lazy Sam who naps the day away under the desk? Introduce Them!
5. Share your “Behind the Scenes”. What’s it like on a typical day at your doggie day care? Take your audience through it. Share any special activities you do with the dogs, or your feeding or bedtime routine.
6. Highlight Your Accomplishments. If you go to a seminar or conference, go “Live” and tell them something you learned that would benefit your facility and the pets you care for.
7. Recommend Another Business That Serves Your Target Market. Do you always recommend a specific dog groomer when your clients ask? Then go live and recommend them on camera. You can drop the link to their website or Facebook page in the comments when you’re done. (Hint: Invite the business to do the same for you.)
8. Share The Top Toys. Which pet toys are the most popular? Around the holidays, the internet is teeming with “top dog toys” and “top cat toys” lists. You can go one better by showing us on camera which ones your brood likes the best.
9. Share Tips on Pet Care. You’re an animal care expert; share tips that people would find valuable. Anything from safe ways to clean your dog’s ears to tricks to pilling a cat are great fodder. If you do enough of these you’ll be seen as the area’s pet specialist within just a few months.
10. Introduce Happy Clients. You know those loyal clients you love? Ask them if they’re willing to say a few nice words about you on camera. You can do it “selfie style” by showing both of your faces in the screen, introducing yourself and your client and asking why he/she chose your facility.
As you can see, these are simple ideas that you can easily implement with your phone and the Facebook app. Sure, you might feel a little awkward or nervous during your first couple of “Lives”, but just call it practice and keep going. Most people are surprised by how much fun they have once they get past the first–time jitters.
How to Incorporate Facebook Live into Your Marketing Strategy
Choose a schedule you can commit to meeting. Whether you do a Facebook Live once a week or every day is up to you, but if you want quicker growth, I’d recommend doing them daily or at least every other day for 3–4 weeks. Then you can cut down to twice a week. If you have a waiting list already, then once a week will keep you top of mind.
Doing live video is the fastest and most cost–effective way to set yourself apart in a competitive market like pet boarding and doggie daycare. You’ll know it’s working when you start getting more messages and recognized in the grocery store. Keep going. Your business will thank you.