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No Cats or Dogs

For a few months now, I’ve been discussing the idea that local businesses should never fall into the trap of trying to be funny or interesting through the use of irrelevant pictures and memes. “No cat or dog pictures” has become a mantra of sorts with the concept being that businesses should try to stand out, not fit into the mix on Facebook and other social media sites.

As some have argued, there are definitely exceptions to the rule. One such exception is when the interesting dog or cat picture is relevant to the business or local area. Here’s an example of an acceptable dog picture post on a business Facebook page:

Acceptable Car or Dog Picture

It’s local – this is the mascot for the school in this Honda dealership’s local area. It’s epic – how often do you see a dog that regal? It’s informative – many in the local area may not realize the fact in the description on the post. The results were that this relatively small Facebook page got decent traction on it with 20 likes and a share. It’s not fantastic, but it’s better to have local flair than to be random with funny pictures.

There’s another exception to the idea that local businesses should not post cat and dog pictures that was pointed out to me the other day: veterinarians and pet stores have every right to do it. In the spirit of being thorough, it had to be said.

Social media marketing is not about being popular. It’s not about getting likes. For local businesses, it’s about reaching people in the community with a business message. To do so, it’s important to play the “Facebook algorithm game” to earn the right for posts to be seen. This is one of the reasons that businesses resort to memes and funny pictures, but they don’t have to. They can find plenty of interesting content closer to home that is both relevant and important to their fans.

Stand out. Don’t fit in.

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