Social Media Matters -- especially when it come to Pet Parents!

One of my friends shared a Facebook page for Zira the Corgi.  First off check out her picture  https://www.facebook.com/zirathecorgi/.  She is adorable.  She also became a hot topic on social media because her new parents innocently took a picture of her riding in a Target cart. Opponents of pet friendly and service animal advocates jumped all over this because Target only allows service animals in their stores. The pet parents apologized but not before receiving a ton of angry responses which seems so unwarranted over an innocent post and mistake. 

My first reaction was what an opportunity for pet friendly businesses to invite Zira to visit them instead. And that happened. Zira’s mom and dad took her to lots of pet friendly businesses and posted stories and pics of her adventures on their Facebook and Instagram pages showing how much fun she was having. Petsmart (of course!) responded on social media to share her joy and welcome her—what great PR! 

How good does it feel when you post something about a business and the business reaches back out to let you know they saw it and appreciate it? What a positive perception it leaves for both the person posting and other readers, too. I know I was so impressed by a local hotel (The Hotel Zamora on St. Pete Beach, FL that is also pet friendly) when I read posts on their site and the General Manager had responded to each one. That's stellar customer focus and experience.

So this brings me to back to how powerful pet friendliness is and how important social media can be for your perception in the eyes of thousands to even millions of pet parents from Gen Z to Millennials to Gen X to Boomers. 

Over 85M households have furry children. Millennials make up 35% of all pet parents. 56% of American travelers are more likely to travel with their dog. They will find the businesses that are pet friendly and who make it fun, safe and easy to bring their furry children. And they will go back again to those businesses, with and without their fur babies, that make them and their four legged families feel welcomed.

Now add social media.  These are the same people who are spending almost uncountable numbers of hours on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and more.  They love sharing experiences with their furry loved ones and sharing those with family, friends and the world via social media. What better advertising could there be then for your business to be captured in a positive light by pet parents loving the experience and their furry babies have a blast?  What a great opportunity this also holds to keep an eye out for others that are NOT doing as good a job and reaching out to those pet parents to come on over to your place and you’ll roll out the red carpet for their furry babies. 

Go Zira!

Statistics from American Pet Products Association and Trip Advisor's 2017 Traveling with Pets Survey

Copyright © 2018 Karen Bartoszek

Karen Bartoszek