My Dog, a Social Media Guinea Pig

Part of my brand is the brand of my Labradoodle, Raegan Huston – Labradoodle Lifestylist. I have mentioned Raegan many times before on my blog because she has a fairly substantial online presence. She has accounts on the following platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

I have had Raegan since before Facebook was even created. However, when I joined Facebook, I started talking about Raegan quite a bit. Over time, her little personality had a life of its own online and I decided to take that personality into their own accounts and pages.

Raegan’s brand is interesting to me for several reasons:

  • Raegan is a dog. Since SO many people in the United States (and the world) are dog lovers, the growth of her audience has been fairly easy. Dog fans tend to be very loyal to their “pet brands” so Raegan has a wonderful group of people and canines who pay attention to her.
  • Her brand is very fun and whimsical. I might be biased but there really is not too much (if anything at all!) to dislike about a cute, furry pup. She certainly does not lose fans or followers due to controversy.
  • She is definitely a conversation piece in the offline world. People constantly talk to me about Raegan and ask me follow-up questions about things that she has written or posted. It is really quite sweet.
  • Raegan, my dog, is a great guinea pig.

Yes, Raegan is my social media guinea pig. She tests all new features before I do. She faces the learning curve before I do. Her brand works out the bugs before they have the opportunity to bite mine. My little girl definitely takes one for the team when it comes to social media.

For those of you who think that I am completely ridiculous right now, please stop and think about it. I see lots of people ask questions about Facebook’s latest features, Instagram’s new filters or the particulars of Pinterest. Asking questions is great and I certainly encourage that people continue to do this. I ask questions, as well. However, I am also able to use Raegan’s accounts as a way to test the waters before jumping into the deep end of the pool. It works for me so why change it?

Just tonight, I played around with Raegan’s Facebook fan page and updated it to the new Timeline. I still have some work to do on it, but I selected a cover image for her Timeline. There was definitely a learning curve there for me because setting the dimensions for the cover was not an easy task for me. I am a Type A perfectionist and I wanted to get it just right. Based upon my learning experience with Raegan’s page, I went ahead and updated my other Facebook pages.

Through Raegan’s page, I learned the following about Timeline for Facebook business pages:

  • Default landing tabs have been removed.
  • Each page has a cover photo that is used to convey a brand’s message. In an effort to keep cover photos from looking like ads, however, Facebook has established that images cannot include price or purchase information, contact information, or requests such as Like or Share. No calls to action may be mentioned either.
  • The “About” section is now front and center at the top of the page. Make sure that it is short and sweet and that it effectively gets your point across to your audience. For example, Raegan’s “About” section says, “I am a happy miniature Labradoodle & Mommy’s official joy dispenser. http://raeganhuston.com/.” People who like dogs/Labradoodles may stay on her page as will anyone who either thinks that “official joy dispenser” is engaging or can relate to that piece about her.
  • Page owners can pin an important post to the top of the page. Pinned posts can stay for up to seven days. This is a great way to showcase posts that are important to you and your brand.
  • The new Admin Panel features private messages from Facebook users to your brand. This is fabulous! Instead of posting on a Timeline or tweeting to ask how to get in touch with someone at the company, you can now message them directly. I REALLY look forward to using this feature and I see a lot of potential with it in terms of growing my brand.

I have to thank my little Labradoodle guinea pig here! I love learning lessons through her. There are many more things that I have to explore about Timeline for business pages and I look forward to doing so during the upcoming days. I think that I have had a great start, though.

If you have not yet switched your page to Timeline, I encourage you to do so before Facebook does it for you. Please go ahead and message me (by going to my page and clicking the “Message” button) with any and all questions!

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  • http://ideagirlmedia.com/ Keri at Idea Girl Media

    Nice – Creative approach!

    Also great integration of helping people understand the new messaging opportunities.

    Thanks for the fun view of our big blue!

    ~Keri

  • http://www.meetusinghal.com/ Meetu Singhal

    Hey Lauren! Great article and very interesting post title. I got inquisitive after reading the title  and read through the entire piece :)  

    Would you like to do one more experiment on Rae’s blog ? Use Livefyre commenting solution instead of Disqus and then please create a blog article as your review on it. 

    Why am i suggesting this ? Not sure why but when I was logging into disqus to comment , I realized why not livefyre ?  :)

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