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Conversation Starters

A particularly engaging day on America’s Pet Debate Facebook Page

The votes are in: cats win America’s Pet Debate! For 8 weeks, America went online to vote cat or vote dog in the social and digital campaign we created for Purina. While the debate, like all debates, became heated at times – the real winners were pets, their owners and future owners, as they were the focus of the conversation we helped shape through a precise social media and digital strategy.

The Results?

  • 46% average Facebook Page engagement rate (Weekly People Talking About This/Total Number of Fans)
  • 11% average Facebook post engagement (Number of Users Taking Action on a Facebook Post/Number of Users Reached)
  • 288.9 million Facebook impressions
  • 148,000 Facebook fans
  • 3.7 million Twitter impressions
  • 1,000 Instagram likes
  • 170 Pinterest followers
  • 50.9 million banner/video impressions
  • 156,500 microsite visitors
  • $112,500.00 donated by Purina to Pet Partners’ veteran program.

How Did We Do It?

America’s Pet Debate Microsite

By designing the campaign with the user always in mind, we created a digital ecosystem that encouraged our users to not only share our message socially, but also move along towards our brand goals – which centered around awareness, consideration and experience of pet ownership.

This ecosystem included:

  • A microsite with mobile counterpart that featured voting, an interactive quiz, a page where users could add their sentiments about each candidate (and then easily share those socially), social downloads for personal “campaigning”, and a blog that featured tips and personal stories from weekly Pet Ambassadors – whose stories were submitted by fans through the site throughout the campaign
  • An intricate social media strategy that connected our messages through 5 social media channels: our blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest
  • A social editorial calendar that coordinated daily posts and advertising amongst all social networks and the blog, including:
    • SEO keyword strategy and brand objectives
    • Segmentation posting tactics for Facebook, so that we created posts specifically for our subsets of audience based on geographic and demographic targeting
  • Display, PPC, video, Facebook and Twitter paid advertising to quickly spread awareness and encourage ongoing engagement

Once the campaign launched, we performed weekly KPI check-ins to see where to optimize the campaign. With each check-in, we found something more to optimize to reach our goals. Even with user testing prior to launch, there is always something that can be tweaked post-launch to make the user experience even more seamless. By our constant optimization throughout the campaign, we outperformed our goal of 100,000 votes in 8 weeks!

Beyond that, our social strategy resulted in many more rich conversations and engagement than we expected. Not only were people liking and sharing our posts – they were leaving paragraph-long comments and participating passionately within the community we had built. We attribute this to having a community manager there to spark, gently guide and give appropriate feedback on conversations – never force them. This social approach puts our community in a space where they feel comfortable to contribute and heard when they do.

So, while cats took victory in the debate, the complete campaign had a victorious feel all around – from the meaningful result of funds donated to a great cause and the impactful conversations that bubbled up from our digital efforts.

Did you vote in America’s Pet Debate? What did you think of the campaign? We’d love to hear your feedback on Twitter.