Using Your Dog and Social Media for a Cause
Our pup, Quincy Bean is spoiled beyond comparison. Our living room is littered with toys, her grain-free “holistic” food is acquired from a boutique, when we leave for a weekend she stays at a Pet Hotel. Not too shabby! I have, however, been aware of the vast need to aid animals that are much less fortunate than our own. As a result, I’ve attempted and succeeded at using various social media options to aid in charitable causes. This article will help you to know some steps for successfully employing social media to give back to the cause you feel strongly about.
Step 1: Identify Your Cause
Following multiple animal rescue groups and shelters on social media has been the best and worst decision of my life! Every day, through multiple mediums, I’m faced with cute photos of adoptable critters and bombarded with pleading posts for funds and supplies. In a perfect world, I’d support each group and adopt all the animals in need, but it’s simply not possible. For this reason, identifying your cause early on can aid you in not feeling overwhelmed! If there’s a particular rescue group or other organization you feel has the most need, or has a unique item you can help provide, that may be a good starting point. Another idea would be to work with a group that you’ve established a personal connection with for one reason or another — perhaps you’ve attended their events, visited their facility, or even adopted your companion from their facility.
Remember: Just because you identify your group, doesn’t mean this needs to be your “one and only,” organization. If you’d like, you can identify a new organization to support each month or every couple of months to help be equitable for those causes you would like to aid.
Step 2: Tell Your Friends
I know it may sound simplistic, but sharing your intentions with your followers helps to accomplish a few things. First, you may inspire others to follow suit! Secondly, it’s the same idea as telling folks you’re going to work out more…it forces you to follow through as others are now aware of your intentions. Lastly (and we’ll talk more about this in a second), many photo contests require the most “likes,” so informing followers at the onset helps them to know to be on the lookout for postings that they should be liking on your behalf.
Step 3: Find Opportunities
This is where the fun starts! Let’s say I invite you to open Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and begin scrolling. If you’re like me (which you may be since you’re reading this entry) you’re following various rescue groups and pet related organizations. Many pet related organizations (Doggyloot, DogTV,etc.) will frequently post contests. Additionally, individuals may host their own contests, which I’ve seen more often on Instagram. I try to only enter contests where the final prize is something I can donate to the shelter that I’ve identified.
Step 4: Have Fun!
As an added bonus, my participation in these contests has helped me tap into my love for photography! I’ve been forced to go outside my comfort realm based on the parameters put forth by the contests. The Bean has been photographed wearing hats (not her favorite activity, but she indulged me), on the top of a mountain, and surrounded by orange yarn to name a few. All the while, I’ve learned more about proper lighting, use of props, and how to engage a pup and make it enjoyable for her! This has helped me to identify my next mission, which is to establish a pet photography business to help local shelter animals to get adopted more quickly.
As of now, we’ve won over a thousand dollars worth of gift cards and goods that have been donated to our local shelter! The shelter has benefited from these donations and I’ve been able to provide more than what I would have been able to afford on my own accord. Now, start scrolling, taking shots, and uploading them! You too could be winning prizes that can be donated!