Puppies boost social profile

Article image - Puppies boost social profile Dog owners respond enthusiastically to targeted social engagement campaign.

More than 1,000 people braved wet and dreary weather to enjoy a new City of Gosnells, Western Australia, event – all thanks to the power of social media.

Bark in the Park set tails wagging in May, celebrating the opening of the City’s new enclosed Harmony Fields Dog Park in Maddington with a number of dog-related activities, stalls, vet checks, Ranger information and more.

But it was the combination of the City’s new digital media presence and everyone’s best friend which really sniffed out the crowds.

A social media campaign led to the event’s success and, at the same time, the community’s passion for pooches provided the City’s new social media platforms the foothold needed to engage with the community.

Facebook and Instagram are only recent additions to the City’s marketing tools, along with a digital marketing officer to strategically manage the platforms.

Mayor, Glenn Dewhurst, said, “Social media users will know it can take time to build a network of followers, before an organisation like the City can use social media to engage constructively with the community.

“However, the paw-some content prompted by Bark in the Park reached nearly 7,800 people and helped to increase the City’s followers by 26 percent on Instagram alone, in a two-week period.

“Social media allowed us to target local dog owners, who were in turn able to share the event with their dog-loving friends, providing a much more focused approach.

“While it won’t replace the need for traditional local media in our community any time soon, social media has provided us with another avenue to engage with our residents and ratepayers.”

Mayor Dewhurst said the gains achieved by the Bark in the Park social media campaign provided the City with a core of followers with whom it can engage for future projects.

The City now plans plenty more animal-related content, recently starting a Responsible Pet Ownership communications campaign, to encourage residents to properly register and take care of their pets and livestock.