Social media as a social justice cause

Boomer was a dog at the Nebraska Humane Society that Elizabeth used the power of social media to find a home.

Boomer was a dog at the Nebraska Humane Society that Elizabeth used the power of social media to find a home.

In listening to Elizabeth talking about social media for the Nebraska Humane Society, I learned a lot about social media and how social media can be used effectively in a business. As much as I thought I knew how people used social media, especially Facebook, I didn’t realize what work and planning went into making Facebook work for a specific business.

Elizabeth doesn’t just post on the Nebraska Humane Society Facebook page; she plans pretty much every detail of each post. As someone who is in charge of social media for an internship at a publication, I thought I was utilizing the page, and paying attention to each post. Elizabeth schedules posts, as she has an explicit plan for what time of day and when in the week she wants posts to go out, and that’s what I do at my internship. However, she pays attention to what time of day is best to reach her varied audience. For example, she said she commonly posts when moms are waiting in line to pick their kids up from school, as well as when people wake up and check Facebook in the morning.

Another thing that Elizabeth does that I didn’t consider to be a huge factor was examining and utilizing the Facebook algorithm. I never realized how necessary it was to pay attention to not only the analytics and statistics that Facebook provides, but also this algorithm. In paying attention to it, Elizabeth can see what needs to happen on their Facebook page in order to increase their likes, shares and comments.

Even though Facebook seems to be the shelter’s primary social media, they also have a great presence and method on Twitter. Elizabeth talked a lot about how she tweets the “sad puppy” around the same time every night, and, because her followers expect this, she caters to them. She sends out tweets asking who is excited for the puppy posts, and she gets people talking to her because of this. Twitter functions as a great conversation for the Nebraska Humane Society, and, even though Facebook can function this way too, the posts are often unique, and Twitter is used in different ways. Elizabeth also uses Twitter to retweet adoption stories from the shelter, in a series called #followupfriday. By retweeting photos and sentiments from happy customers, Elizabeth is building a positive presence on Twitter. From the sad stories to the successful ones, Elizabeth provides a great combination of content.

After the visit, I am looking at how corporations can not only use social media, but how they can do so in a positive and effective way. I really liked learning about what a person working full time in social media does, and what they focus on in making social media work for their specific organization.


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