#WRawesome online: Kitchener-Waterloo Humane Society on Facebook

I feature an interesting website, blog, Twitter feed, Facebook page or other online destination related to Waterloo Region on CKWR with Randolph J. Johnston called #WRawesome Online, Mondays at about 12:30. I hope by doing so that I’ll help people find places online that help them to connect to their community–online and in the real world. By doing so, I hope to help people find online places that they might not find otherwise and make our community a better place to live.

You can also find links to each week’s selections on Midday with RJ’s Facebook page.

For folks looking for communications advice, you can get tips from each selection featured. I’ll highlight at least one example in my weekly post.

Kitchener-Waterloo Humane Society on Facebook

Every once in awhile, I ask on Twitter for examples of charities and nonprofits (aka social profits) that are good examples of using social media. I was surprised to have someone mention the Kitchener-Waterloo Humane Society‘s Facebook page. I checked it out with low expectations because I am familiar with many pages of local organizations and expected to see something similar.

I was surprised to see that the Humane Society’s page has 4,041 people who like it (as of today) and good numbers for interaction (173) and people on the page (78). These are numbers that just about any other Waterloo Region organization would love to have. People are definitely connecting with the society through its Facebook page and maintaining their connection.

So I asked Pierre Lemieux, the society’s community relations coordinator, for the secret to their success. Was it just because there are so many pet owners and animal lovers out there? Or was it a result of an effort on the society’s part? He told me that, “We’re lucky to have a very supportive community.”

“One way we get people engaged is with contests,” said Lemieux. “For our 2012 calendar, followers submitted their photos to me via e-mail. Emplyoyees narrowed the 120 submittions down to 30. Facebook followers then “liked” their favorite from the Calendar Contest album. The top 12 won photo shoots to be in our calendar. We didn’t promote it outside of Facebook at all.”

If you support the Kitchener-Waterloo Humane Society’s efforts to provide humane education, law enforcement, and sheltering of animals in this community, consider clicking “like” on its Facebook page and join a thriving online community of others who support it.

Lessons to be learned from this Facebook page

I think that the Kitchener-Waterloo Humane Society does benefit from a large pool of people who love animals or have a pet. But that is not enough for a successful Facebook page.

Here are some tips on what they’re doing right that is behind their success:

  • something is posted at least once a day
  • a variety of interesting information and images is posted — not just pets up for adoption
  • events and fundraising are posted but only as a part of the mix
  • the number of comments and likes on posts show that people like what is being posted
  • interactive ways to engage folks (such as the calendar photo contest) are used
  • you hear a human behind the conversational language used
  • Any Facebook page has room for improvement, here is what I would suggest for this page:
    • Respond to comments people make more frequently. I would look for opportunities to respond to an individual but a collective response to a group of comments would also be useful. Doing so would help to engage people in a conversation that helps to strengthen their bond with the society and its page. The increased activity would build upon their success in getting people to interact with the page and increase the chances it will appear in the newsfeeds of their “fans” Facebook friends.
    • Make education a part of the page’s content strategy. But do it in a fun interesting way such as asking questions or getting people to ask question to a specialist on staff. As with any page, there is not a single answer but I’m sure they can find a way that works for their audience.

    What makes a good Facebook page?

    Let me know what Facebook pages you think are successful and why. I’d especially love to hear about examples of nonprofits, charities or any connected to Waterloo Region.