I’ve been a fan of Brookfield Zoo my entire life. When I was younger, my family and I would go multiple times a year. But as I’ve grown older and entered the “real world,” my trips have decreased to about once every 18 months.
In a completely serendipitous moment, I discovered the Twitter account for Brookfield Zoo. At the time, they were tweeting from the point of view of one of their snow leopards, and describing his journey around his habitat. Every so often they would toss in an animal fact or attach a picture. I was hooked instantly.
This prompted me to seek out how else the zoo uses social media. Besides their Twitter, Brookfield Zoo has a Facebook page and YouTube channel. Here’s a rundown of what they’re doing well, and a few things that they could improve.
Over 3,600 people follow Brookfield Zoo
You’re Doing It Right
Market Your Product: Brookfield Zoo has the advantage of having a universally loved product: animals. Everyone loves animals. All the zoo has to do is put up a picture of a tiny monkey and people go nuts.
They take it a step further by posting videos on their YouTube channel. They post a two-minute video about once a week, which is the right balance of content without turning into an overload. Seeing as all of their videos have at least one thousand views (and some even into the thirty-five thousands), you know that they’ve hit their target audience. Many of the comments left say something like, “I gotta go to the zoo now!”
A frequent star on Brookfield Zoo's YouTube channel.
Interact with Your Fans: Brookfield Zoo does a great job of replying to questions left on any of their posted content. When fans ask questions, they are fairly timely about responding – that is, if one of their almost 100,000 fans doesn’t answer it first.
Announce Updates and Coupons: When the zoo had a coupon last month, it was advertised on their website, Twitter, and Facebook. So regardless of what media you use to connect to the zoo, you found out about their discount. The zoo also posts animal and/or special event updates on their Facebook page and retweets them.
You Could Do It Better
Sustain Your Content: While I absolutely love that the zoo’s Twitter account posts pictures, I hate that they remove them from their TwitPic stream after a few weeks. For users like me that scroll through old tweets, it’s a bummer that I can’t see the older pictures of animals. There are also a few videos on their Facebook page that should be cross-posted to their YouTube channel.
Vary Your Content: When you can see the photos, they are always stock photos of the animals. When they tweet about the giraffes in the shade, I want to see giraffes in the shade; when they tweet about gibbons swinging on vines, I want to see swinging monkeys. Real-time photos would be easy to capture and give their Twitter feed even more of the personal touch.
Follow all the breaking news on the zoo's Facebook page!
Giving your audience a taste of your products or services is a sure way to generate interest. Offer a taste of your selection (a one-minute clip or a single tweet) to show future clients why they need you in their lives. However, stay away from over-saturating your fans. Nobody likes the person that tweets every five minutes or posts a new status every time they change activities.
There are times when content should be recycled (like posting videos on your Facebook page and your YouTube channel); but there are times when new content would be valued. If the additional content doesn’t take long to produce, like pictures, your fans will appreciate the extra time you spent to engage them.
The sad truth is that more people log onto Facebook or Twitter every day than watch the news every day. So take advantage and make sure that you are posting your important updates and offers on social media.
Highlight the fun things your company does. We made a video about our bags tournament, and Brookfield Zoo filmed these Chicago bears destroying some Packers memorabilia.
Have you checked out Brookfield Zoo’s social media? Anything you’d like to compliment or critique?
Mandy is proud to be a part of QLP’s content team. A self-professed nerd, her interests include video games, sitcoms, superhero movies, iPods and iPhones but never Macs, and shockingly, writing. Her claims to fame are: owning over forty pairs of Chuck Taylor All Stars, offering spot-on coffee advice, and knowing an unbelievable amount of Disney Princess facts. You can connect with Mandy on Google+