15 reasons to stop worrying about social media engagement for your pet business

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Do you find yourself worrying about how much engagement you have on your social media accounts?

This is a topic I find comes up repeatedly on social media, in Facebook group conversations, and in the coaching calls I run in my membership.

Pet professionals who are doing a fantastic job of caring for animals and supporting their clients, making brilliant products that make a difference.

Yet they become tied up in knots with social media, trying to keep up with the ever-changing demands of platforms run by billionaires.

Social media is an incredible free tool to get your work seen, but it can also cause a lot of stress and frustration.

One thing I wish wasn’t a cause of this is engagement.

In this blog and podcast episode, I’m talking about why I would LOVE for you to let go of any concerns you have around this, so it doesn’t hold you back, and so you can show up as the brilliant pet pro that you are.

Listen in on the player link and you can read the key points covered in a blog post.

What is Social Media Engagement?

Social media engagement refers to the interactions, reactions, comments, shares and overall involvement your community has with what you post on social media.

Engagement involves a two-way conversation between you as a business or brand and your audience.

Engagement metrics include reactions to photos or videos, comments, shares on posts or articles, clicks on buttons you may use, questions and follower growth.

High engagement means your content resonates with your followers, and the algorithm rewards this by showing your content to more people.

Tracking social media engagement helps you to create content that best connects with pet owners and engaging content ensures stand out in a crowded market.

But… worrying about engagement will hold you back

The key thing is that you are showing up and can be seen.

And if stressing about engagement stops you from doing this, people who need your support won’t know you’re there.

As William Watson Purkey wrote, “Dance like nobody’s watching; love like you’ve never been hurt. Sing like nobody’s listening; live like it’s heaven on earth.”

Apply this approach to your social media content creation.

Post like nobody’s watching and looking at your engagement.

Share what makes your pet business special and stuff worrying about who likes it.

Put your passion and personality into informing and helping pet owners without feeling self-conscious.

The right people will discover you through your content over time.

By showing up, you demonstrate why pet owners should choose to work with you when they need your service.

15 reasons to stop worrying about engagement

Normal people don’t even know what social media engagement is. 

You might fret about likes or comments but someone who is looking to buy from or work with you wont care.

They just want to know you can help them.

Would a lack of engagement stop you from buying?

If you found something you REALLY needed, think of your buying habits.

Would a lack of comments or interaction mean you’d step away from buying something or working with someone?

Even social media experts struggle to get engagement!

Some people TEACH social media who don’t get any interactions on their posts and who turn off the like count.

If they’re not worrying about it why are you?

And you are not a social media expert

Remember you haven’t studied for four years at Uni or taken courses and training to be a social media manager, you’re a pet professional.

Can you imagine if you said to a social media expert, ‘Go and groom that cat,’ or ‘Go and train that highly reactive dog?’

They wouldn’t have a clue what to do, so take the pressure off yourself to be brilliant at what you do AND social media.

Worrying about a lack of engagement means you’re not getting seen

If fretting about likes or comments is stopping you from posting on social media, it means the people you want to serve can’t see you.

This is going to hold you back, and if you are recommended and a potential client goes to check you out and there’s nothing there, you’re not able to reassure them that you’re the right person for them as they can’t get a feel of what you’re like.

People can discover you on social media and then come OFF to learn more

Let’s say you don’t like social media but you love writing on your blog or publishing on your YouTube channel or podcast.

Share your topics and what people can expect from your posts on social media, then take them off to learn more about you.

It takes 10-15 touch points before people buy

The stats vary on this topic, but in 2024, the consensus is it takes between 10 and 15 touchpoints or experiences with your business before someone will buy from you.

This could be a mix of social media, viewing your website, seeing you out and about, meeting you at an event, or having a recommendation.

Social media presents an easy and free way to tot up these touchpoints, and the key thing is people keep seeing you. Not the engagement.

The more informative, positive, and meaningful touchpoints you create, the better chance people following you will choose you when they’re ready to take the next step.

Pet parents need to know the available choices

Years ago when I adopted my first dog Daisy in 2009, social media was in its infancy and when I needed a trainer, I went to the Yellow Pages.

The trainer I hired I now know was aversive and I only had one session because I didn’t want to use the methods he suggested.

I didn’t know about positive training, and I thought his way was the only way. There will be other people like me who will feel the same.

That’s why you must be able to be seen, so pet owners know the different available options.

Showing up means you dilute the aversive messages that are out there

I regularly see posts complaining about ‘balanced’ and aversive trainers being ‘everywhere’ and they are! 

They might invest in a pricy PR or marketing company to do the work for them, and they’re reaching owners who have no clue about their methods and need you to educate them about what they mean.

By showing up, regardless of engagement, you’re putting your positive methods out there, and doing your bit to dilute the messages around methods you don’t agree with.

Social media is like quicksand

The demands of platforms are forever changing so a post that may have had loads of engagement six months ago may get very little now.

This is another reason to let yourself off the hook if you’re not getting the interaction you’d like. 

We’re all at the mercy of the same algorithm.

People are lurking and not engaging

So create content for the lurkers. How often has someone booked in or bought from you who you have never seen before?

Then when you chat, they tell you they’ve been following you for AGES but simply haven’t engaged. They still want your thing!

Engaging posts don’t pay the bills

I posted about how to position a scatter cushion on the bed in my holiday cottage, Sunnyside Cottage in Robin Hood’s Bay, and had 37 comments on it at the time of writing this post.

Another post about availability had two comments on it but led to six bookings in a weekend meaning the cottage was nearly full for summer by the beginning of March.

This post about the scatter cushions had 37 comments at the time of writing.

This post about availability had TWO comments but led to six bookings and the cottage is now fully booked apart from two weeks in August for summer.

You’re winning just by showing up

More than half of small businesses in the UK don’t use social media to promote themselves, according to a study by digital platform Adzooma.

More than a quarter don’t post on Facebook, four in ten don’t make the most of using Instagram, and only two in ten post on LinkedIn.

Nearly half of the 500 businesses interviewed said they believed they could make more sales if they had marketed themselves better online.

Read the research here: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/uk-businesses-social-media-poll-b1852747.html

Post what you want to say and you might surprise yourself

One of my membership clients Doreen from A2B dog training in Cumbria wanted to post about how as a pet professional, she struggles too.

She was worried about the impression it might create, and we talked it through on a call. 

Doreen went away and wrote a post about Whispa, a Romanian rescue she was supporting. It was so relatable, and lots of pet owners and professionals joined in the conversation and shared her post.

A Facebook post about Whispa the Romanian Rescue
Doreen’s post about Whispa the Romanian Rescue

Sometimes, it’s just having a little confidence boost

If you’ve got something in mind that you want to say, chances are you won’t be alone in thinking how you do.

By being brave and putting your post out, no matter how imperfect it is, other people will relate to you, which helps build connection.

Who is a supportive person you can turn to for a confidence boost, who will say, ‘Yes you can?’

Further reading on this topic:

Creating meaningful content with Aileen Stevenson
How to feel more comfortable and confident promoting your pet business
If you’re not visible who misses out?
Stuff the social media rules and do things your way with Colette Adwin
Putting your passion and personality into your marketing with Alex McCann
Why I trained as an accredited coach and what that means for your pet business 

Final thoughts on social media engagement

Sometimes, it’s not about what you have to say, it’s having the confidence to say it. So think about who you can turn to to give you that nudge.

To say, ‘It’s ok, what’s the worst that can happen?’ Or to help unscramble what you want to share so you can articulate yourself.

It could be a business buddy, a friend, a community, or someone totally outside of your business.

If you’re looking for a space like this to bounce your ideas off and get encouragement, my Pets Get Visible membership can help.

Join for just £15 for your first month by clicking here for a 50% discount.

You can read more and see if it’s right for you in this post: Is my Pets Get Visible membership right for you?

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