Social media has been a game-changer for animal adoptions of all kinds; it allows organizations to reach more people for less cost than traditional print or radio campaigns. When the COVID-19 pandemic forced people into their homes, many with more idle time than usual, they became a captive audience spending more time on social media, a fact that wasn’t lost on New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program, the nation’s oldest and largest racehorse rehoming program.
Anna Ford, Thoroughbred Program Director at New Vocations in Lexington, KY, spoke to the ASPCA about how the program uses social media to help their horses find homes. In April and May, New Vocations adopted out 163 horses into new homes—an astounding number in and of itself, but adding a pandemic to the mix makes that number even more impressive.
Anna credits adding in daily Facebook Live “meet-and-greets” with adoptable horses and the lowering of adoption fees to assisting in moving so many horses. The videos were then shared on Instagram, YouTube and Twitter, with an exponential growth in viewership.
New Vocations tailors its content to each platform; on Twitter the program focuses mainly on the racing industry, and Facebook, YouTube and Instagram are where potential adopters generally look for horses. The Facebook Live sessions have been extremely well received; potential adopters feel they get to “know” the horses a bit more than what we post online in their biographies.
The program plans to continue the Facebook Live sessions even after businesses reopen across the country.