Get Onboard with Getting Online
We continue to explore opportunities for outreach and education especially during the ongoing pandemic with reduced in-person interactions. In Part One of this series we introduced Instagram, TikTok and Facebook as rapidly growing platforms for engagement with the pet public and greater dog community. Here in Part 2 we will look at YouTube, podcasts and Zoom. It is crucial the dog community expands and adapts to new social media and technology as an invaluable resource for fostering community and reaching new audiences.
In just a short decade, YouTube has rapidly grown to over a billion users, according to Oblero “2.3 billion users are defined as viewers who log into the site at least once per month”. After Google, YouTube is the second most popular search engine and the second most popular social media platform. The most popular dog on the platform is “Maymo” a “a seriously funny lemon beagle dog made famous by his extremely cute and derpy activities. His videos have appeared on major television shows and websites. New videos every Thursday and every other Monday!” Maymo has over 4.3B views and 10.5M subscribers, with a similar popularity extending to Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
YouTube is free to join and easy to upload videos. For the dog fancy it is a great platform for education, including: evaluations or visual explanations of breed standards, kennel tours, videos, show handling or performance sport instructional videos, grooming how-tos/tutorials, videos demonstrating the breed’s purpose or historical clips and longer fun videos than Instagram Reels or TikTok can accommodate. Establish a YouTube channel with a clear content theme to attract subscribers and provide regular content updates (once or twice a week is great) and tag your videos with clear hashtags to reach a wider audience.
HINT: Engage with your audience in the comments and address common questions or misconceptions, ignore negative comments or “trolls”. Foster a sense of community and accessibility, take into consideration the type of content your audience would like to see and share videos across other social media sites like Facebook or link your YouTube channel in your Instagram profile.
Podcasts are extremely popular and fast growing with currently over 1.75M “shows” representing over 43M “episodes”. According to Podcastinsights.com “75% of the US population is familiar with the term ‘podcasting’.” Podcasts are popular not only at home, but are frequently in cars and “80% listen to all or most of each podcast episode and listen to an average of seven shows per week.” (Podcastinsights.com) Successful podcasts deliver content value or expertise and are on average each 20-45 minutes in length. To get starter download the Anchor app and visit www.podcastinsights.com/start-a-podcast
HINT: Podcasts are a fantastic opportunity to collaborate, whether your Podcast focuses on a specific breed, dog sport or topic (breeding, grooming, etc) reach out to others with experience to host a discussion panel or share expert knowledge.
Zoom has really taken off during the Covid-19 pandemic as an invaluable tool for educators and businesses, but can also be a great resource for the dog fancy and breeders. Zoom is at the simplest video calling an app both accessible by smart phone and computers, but it is also much more as a platform for video/audio conferences, chat and webinars. Zoom is both free (40 minute limit) to use or has a paid upgraded version and enables maximum number participants from 100 to 1,000 depending on account type. According to techrepublic.com the platform Zoom has 300 million daily meeting participants. Comparable alternatives to Zoom include Google Meet, Skype, Facetime and Microsoft Teams. So how can Zoom be an asset to the dog fancy? Zoom is a great, easy, social distancing way to host club meetings, interview with prospective pet parents and host webinars (like breed standard discussions, grooming panels, puppy evaluations, lessons).
HINTS: Schedule Zoom appointments with time to send invites, coordinate schedules and outline agendas. Try to limit background distraction noise and mute when you are not an active speaker. Set up speakers and panel discussions and enable waiting room for added privacy.