Nowadays, the secret to a good social media post is to look cute, ride a skateboard or wear a superhero costume.
Don’t worry, I’m not suggesting this is what you should be doing.
I’m talking about dogs… obviously.
WeRateDogs started as a joke by a then 19-year-old Matt Nelson to pass the time as a university student. Fast forward to today, and it’s become a major influence on the Internet for many reasons.
As a financial adviser/planner, you may not think building your social media presence is all that important. But if Nelson’s story is anything to go by, you’ll surely think differently.
Here’s what I’ve picked up from following WeRateDogs over the last few years (and no, I haven’t picked up an actual dog, unfortunately).
1. Be consistent
In 2015, Matt Nelson created the Twitter account @dog_rates with the intention of making people smile. So, it’s safe to say that intention has been met with remarkable success.
A new dog is posted on each social platform daily with a rating out of 10, except they always exceed that number, with the maximum being 15/10 (more on that later).
Nelson and his team have been consistent with this method from day 1, letting people know the dog’s name, what is happening in the image or video and their rating.
When it comes to your social media presence, consistency is, predictably, key. Rather than making content creation a chore, see it more as a habit. This helps to build your reputation online, plus it doesn’t need to be a burdensome task.
A prospective client could be looking for the exact services you provide, but they won’t find you if you’re unwilling to put yourself out there.
2. Go the extra mile with your audience
Whether you’re managing your business or personal account, I can’t stress enough how important it is to interact with your audience.
With every post from WeRateDogs comes a flurry of replies, most of which include images of people’s own dogs. By responding to these replies, it drives stronger engagement and enables your community to grow over time. If the interaction is positive, these people will come back time and time again on your latest posts.
Think of it as a snowball effect. Explained by North Public Relations, it’s “a metaphor for a process that starts out small, but quickly begins to gain momentum and weight, moving more quickly as interest and visibility grows”.
In short, trust the process. It won’t be a success overnight, but by maintaining your social media presence, the results will soon arrive.
3. Raise awareness about what’s important to you
Over time, WeRateDogs has not just become a platform for looking at four legged friends in awe, but to also help those being faced with a hefty medical bill.
In 2021, Nelson launched the 15/10 Foundation, a reference to the highest rating that can be awarded to a dog. The charity aims to help dogs overcome their financial burdens when it comes to adoption.
After adopting a dog of his own, a senior German shepherd called Doug, Matt was inspired to create the 15/10 Foundation when he discovered the behavioural and medical issues Doug has. With severe ear infections and arthritis, he was unlikely to find a forever home until Matt found him. By sponsoring dogs in this situation, they are now more likely to make it out of the shelter.
When it comes to social media marketing, it’s important to apply a human approach. We’re so much more than just our professions. Have a think of what you’re passionate about, and spread awareness by getting your audience talking about it.
4. Identify how you speak online
The way you speak as a business or individual is more important than you may think. Who’s going to be interested in what you have to say if it’s in a monotonous tone? No one. But it’s not just a fine line between chatty and professional – you can make it your own.
On their social platforms, WeRateDogs have developed a tone of voice that is engaging and clever with the language they use, inputting puns and storytelling into their captions throughout the years.
Of course, I’m not saying that your tone of voice has to be barking mad, just suited to yourself or your company. It’s worth remembering that this isn’t just about the words you decide to use, but also how you structure your posts and how they sound to the reader.
Get in touch
If your social media presence is looking a bit ruff around the edges, we can help you make it a solid 15/10. Email email@example.com or call 0115 8965 300.
P.S. I’m actually more of a cat person…