Social Media and the Pet Industry

Connecting with pet owners online is all about tapping into the emotion surrounding pet ownership. The unique retail market of the pet industry encompasses products that can help pet owners, solve pet owner problems, and (most importantly) help pets.

Owners are deeply invested in their pet’s health and wellbeing and engaged in their pets’ lives. One out of six pet owners has created a social media account specifically for their pet! The buying decisions around pet products are deeply emotional. Using social media to engage with owners and build a genuine connection will help your brand thrive.

Pet Owners are Online
Your audience is online. There has been a steady, inexorable move to online shopping that was accelerated by the global pandemic. The importance of your social media strategy can not be overstated. There are 4.2 billion active social media users (90.4% of Millennials, 77.5% of Generation X, and 48.2% of Baby Boomers), nearly double the number of people online just five years ago.

As staggering as those numbers are, the amount of time people spend online is even more relevant. Social media users spend an average of 2 hours and 25 minutes on social channels every day. You have nearly 2.5 hours a day with current and potential customers to build brand awareness, develop customer relationships, and make direct sales through your social channels.

The Pet Market
The pet market is big business. Worth 232B in 2021 and expected to grow to 350B by 2027, your brand has room to grow. Social media provides a unique opportunity for smaller brands to compete against the larger brands by levelling the playing field. You can’t out-spend PetCo, but you can create an authentic bond with pet owners leading to long-term customer loyalty.

Social Media and Sales
Social media is not just growing passively; it is becoming a real economic force. 87% of consumers say social media helps them make a buying decision. Social media is now the first place customers will go when making a buying decision.

Social commerce had a global market value of 89 billion in June 2020. You can sell directly to your customers where they are already spending their time. Social sales are the next evolution in the convenience of online shopping. Customers can now buy a product right from the post where they learned about it.

Your future customers are also paying very close attention to what other consumers are saying about your brand and products; it’s critical that you’re paying attention as well. Positive or negative, reviews can be crucial to your product’s success.

• 57% of engaged and socially connected consumers write reviews every week
• Among them, 65% would share a positive experience with a brand, and 78% expect a reply from companies”

Leverage the Power of Pets!
People scroll through their feed, hoping to find entertaining animal content. Leverage the power of pets through fantastic photos and heartwarming videos to highlight your products, demonstrate your commitment to animal health, and stand out in the crowded digital marketplace.

Social Media and Influencer Campaigns
Influencers are the current buzzword of social media marketing. Influencer marketing has a unique role in the pet market, where buying decisions are based on emotion and owners seek brands they can trust.

Brands using influencers can build and maintain organic social conversations, grow their content library, and expand their reach by tapping into the influencer’s audience.

Influencer campaigns have been proven effective, earning nearly $6.50 for every $1.00 spent. (4) One review showed that ad creative from influencers promoted on a brand’s profiles had a 75% higher conversion rate and 50% higher return on ad spend.

An emerging (and strong!) category of influencers is celebrity pets. 30% of pet parents follow celebrity pets on social media. There are now talent management firms that specialize in pet influencers. Big brands, including Bodyshop, Dyson, and Ralph Lauren, collaborate with pet influencers to promote their products.

Part of the power of pet influencers is their wholesome approach. These pet personas don’t usually include political agendas, strong opinions, or contentious messages. Pet influencer content can bring people together through entertainment.

People are attracted to pet content because it doesn’t make them feel badly about themselves. People don’t compare themselves with the pet influencers; they can simply enjoy the content. Pet content often resonates with their state of mind and makes them feel good.

The majority of pet influencers (43%) are categorized as “micro-influencers” or influencers with less than 20,000 followers. Many pet parents *dream* of their pet becoming an influencer. Pet owners are obsessed with their own pets (of course!) and love to see other people appreciate them.

Tap into UGC
The best part of connecting with pet owners is that you’ll never run out of content! Pet parents LOVE to share pics, videos, and anecdotes about their beloved furry family members. (10) Share your audience’s user-generated content; not only does this help your brand generate fresh content, it shows owners that they’re valued and that you’re invested in their pet, too.

Become a Trusted Resource
The best way to build an engaged audience is to bring them value. Sharing expert information helps to build trust in your brand and position your social feed as a valuable resource. Host events with pet experts to increase engagement and grow your audience. Continually link it to reliable content. Not only will links to verified material increase trust in your brand, but those companies are also likely to respond and link back, growing your audience and increasing your search engine rating.

Always provide solutions to pet owner problems. Any time you can help an owner (and their pet!), you build brand equity and loyalty.

Not sure where to start? Talk to the team at StreetDog. They can do a comprehensive social audit and help your brand build a digital presence.

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