This past week, I got to watch an amazing phenomenon that a few years ago would not have been possible. Our friends at All 4 Paws Animal Hospital had a young cat come into their hospital who had been hit by a car. Unfortunately, the owner did not have any money to pay for her care, so he surrendered Honey Bun to the hospital.
Something about Honey Bun, probably her sweet demeanor and fighting spirit, tugged at the heart strings of everyone at All 4 Paws, and they wanted to help her. Honey Bun had a ton of injuries, including a hip fracture, a femur fracture, and bilateral tarsal ligament injuries.
Dr. Dorsett contacted me over the weekend and asked if I would be willing to help, which I was. She told me they did not have the funds together yet, but they were putting the word out on Facebook about Honey Bun’s plight.
Wow! Honey Bun’s story resonated with so many people it was really unbelievable. It also demonstrated the power of social media. Within just a few days, all the money needed for Honey Bun’s surgery was raised. Furthermore, between August 16 and August 22, the story had 4328 views,and during that same time frame, 162 people were “talking” about Honey Bun on Facebook. Honey Bun has also had a minimum of 3 visitors a day since her story was posted. People come by specifically to see her and often to donate to her cause, telling the hospital what a great thing they are doing!
Thankfully Honey Bun’s surgery went well, and she is on the road to recovery. I think this a great example of social media at work. There are some great lessons here for all of us to learn.
- First, social media is a powerful and useful tool-how could you ever reach that number of people before social media existed? Other than TV or the newspaper reporting Honey Bun’s story, it would have been impossible.
- Second, if you are authentic and caring, people will sense it, and they will want to engage with you. There was nothing about gaining publicity in this story, but by being authentic, engaging and caring, that it exactly what this hospital did!
- Third, people want to be part of a great story. It constantly blows me away what people will do to help animals. Harness that power of a great story and use it to share what you are really all about.
- Finally, you and your hospital have great stories to share; stories about overcoming the odds, helping pets and families, and I am sure tons of others.
THESE STORIES are what people are searching for, and what they want to know about YOU and YOUR HOSPITAL.
What stories can you and your hospital share?