I was in the bay area today, on our weekend Thanksgiving Trip to visit my family. My husband and I like adventure, but didn't expect the events of today to transpire - and definitely- didn't expect to be posting a "LOST DOG" poster online!
We have 2 dogs: Chelsea, a 7 year old Great Dane Mix and Rocky, an 8 year old "Heinz 57 variety" (we were told at the shelter when we adopted him as a puppy that he was Shepherd and Rottweiler mix, but he's only 40 lbs, is very "cattle dog like", very similar to a breed called "Kelpie"
So, our Great Dane, has some arthritis issues and today, seemed to be in a lot more pain than usual. She was grunting and moaning and could not seem to get comfortable. So, we decided to take her to a nearby vet. We left Rocky in the back yard, at my Mom's house, while we all went to her appointment. We were gone approximately 2 hours and when we returned.... no Rocky.
So at 5:30pm, we had a large dog doped up on pain medication to worry about and now, trying to find our other dog (fur baby as I like to call them) in a neighborhood he doesn't know! SCARY!
It appeared that he somehow managed to get under the house and escape out of a grate he pushed through at the front of the house (probably chasing the cats my mom has had inhabiting under there).
We spoke to some people outside at a neighbor's house who said that Animal Control had been by a little earlier asking about a Shepherd dog, and if they knew the owner. They didn't because we were just visiting. They gave us a good clue that he had probably been picked up by them, but of course, the shelter doesn't open until Tuesday (3 whole days away) and like any good "mom", I couldn't just sit around and wait... "What if he didn't get picked up?" "What if he's out there lost?" So, I had to take measures of my own, just in case.
While my husband and sister drove the neighborhood, and my 9 year old nephew made home made posters, I took to the avenue I know best: social media. I first went on the Animal Control Website where you can search to see if your pet was brought in (actually, it's a link to PetHarbor.com). It was too early yet, for Rocky's picture to be there, so I submitted a lost dog alert and then took to Craig's List to post in the Lost and Found.
I did, almost instantly, get a call from a wonderful community member, named "Marilyn", who was just a volunteer who was passionate about animals, who had seen my posting on Pet Harbor. She thought she had spotted him, but it turned out to be a similar looking dog who's been there since November 5, 2013.
From there, I got an email, suggesting I post on the Facebook Page: Fido Alert: East Contra Costa County . I did as she suggested, and with-in minutes, she created the flier that you see above. That was wonderful in and of it's self. Within 31 minutes, it had been shared from her page, 30 times!! There are 4,000 plus "fans" on this Facebook page, and they proved very quickly how passionate they are about connecting fur babies back with their parents.
If that wasn't exciting and supportive enough, I got a text at 8:54pm from a leader of the Fido Alert Page, "Cat" (ironic huh?) who stated that it appeared that the shelter had posted Rocky on the Pet Harbor website, sometime within the last few minutes. I jumped on there and sure enough, there he was. My little jail bird. He is micro chipped (with unfortunately, the wrong contact information) so they were able to know some things about him before posting him online.
You can see his mug shot here:
I am so truly thankful for the support of complete strangers tonight. It has restored my faith in humanity knowing that they are so willing to help someone they have never met, and probably never will. As an animal lover myself, and one who will stop just about anywhere to try to rescue a "lost" dog, I am grateful for those who go beyond themselves to help others. Please, if you are an animal lover too, consider supporting your local shelters and rescue organizations like Fido Alert and Pet Harbor. They truly do make a difference in the lives of people and pets, both on and offline!
Because of Social Media, texting and the shelter website, I am able to sleep a little easier tonight...
We all know that Facebook likes to keep us on our toes by changing things up every once in awhile.
Well, this time, they made a change that you may or may not have noticed.
In the last two weeks, Facebook engagement has dropped for individuals anywhere by 6% to 45% depending on what individuals and brands post. Apparently, Facebook quietly announced on Sep 20th that it had changed its EdgeRank algorithm on Sep 18th, 2012. Even those of us who pay attention to things like this, missed it.
Why did they make this change?
Facebook advises that the changes were made to reward content-rich brands- meaning the more engaging content the content the more News Feed exposure.
According to Facebook: Some of the strongest factors that influence this are how engaging an individual post has been for other users who have seen it, and how engaged a user has historically been with other posts they’ve seen from that page. Feed also takes negative feedback into account, which is the number of people who have hidden a post or reported it as spam.
I personally noticed this change yesterday when I posted about my anniversary. In a matter of 12 hours, I had 168 "Likes" on my status and 55 comments. I was amazed at the "interaction" I was receiving from that post!
But what does this mean for us as business fan page admins?
This change means that Facebook wants us to "Pay to Play". In their words:
Finally, if a page has a piece of content that it feels will be very engaging e.g. A good offer, a great photo, an announcement, etc. then using paid media to “boost” that post to fans in newsfeed can be an effective tool to increase engagement with fans.
So much for "Organic" reach on Facebook!
What do we do now?
Changes like these means, now- more than ever, you need to create a social media marketing strategy. No more- posting now and then and hoping for people to see it. We have to stay ahead of the curve to stay in front of our customers!
Rebecca Johnson is a Freelance Digital Media Specialist, Social Media and marketing strategist. She uses her creativity, and marketing skills, along with her business ownership experience to assist small and medium sized businesses with their online marketing. Rebecca owns with her husband, Get Networking Now!, Rebecca Johnson Consulting and My Social Media Pro.
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