Everyone loves wild cats, right? Or, at least, that’s what we thought when we developed our Facebook page years ago. But, for so long, our Facebook family just didn’t seem to be growing. We crept along, gaining fans here and there, until we slowly reached about 20,000 fans last October 2013.
Then, we made some changes. And though it’s only been five months, the results have been amazing! Today, we passed a milestone we never dreamed could happen – half a million Facebook fans!
What did we do? How did this happen? These are the questions we keep hearing.
The most important thing we did was assign a full-time volunteer as our Facebook page administrator. When you’re trying to physically care for 100+ wild cats and their needs each day, keeping up with a Facebook page was just impossible to do and always went to the bottom of the priority list. With the years of experience this volunteer has with us and in the industry, we knew having her handle our page as priority one was an important first step.
Sharing original content is another driver for Facebook success. We certainly have plenty of original photos and videos and, since we are not open for public visitation, sharing as many as we possibly can is key. We want everyone to see how the cats are progressing and flourishing since their rescue. Our Facebook page has been a wonderful way to do that. The animals are getting the peace and tranquility they so desperately need while our fans are able to enjoy them every day, no matter where in the world they happen to be.
Connecting with our fans at least four times a day, responding to comments and questions, has helped build strong relationships with our fans, too. We have so many fans who visit us by following our daily Facebook posts and their names have become well known to the staff here at the Sanctuary. Though these are relationships made through social media, they’re very important ones, none the less. Our wish list, fundraising and educational campaigns have been very successful, thanks to the growth of our loyal supporters.
At some point, Facebook must have taken note of all we were doing. Our newer fans have commented that they found us as a “Page Suggestion” from Facebook. Once we were in this program (which is totally free), our Facebook likes went through the roof!
The bottom line is, we’re celebrating this milestone because we know that our mission, our vision, and our hope to end the captive wildlife crisis is closer to becoming a reality. We’re able to reach so many more and, for that, we’re very grateful!