My Social Petwork – Launching the UK’s First Facebook for Pets

www.mysocialpetwork.co.uk is the UK’s first social networking site dedicated exclusively to all types of pets and their owners.

Originating in Germany where the site has 40,000 members, My Social Petwork’s UK owners, PEP Publishing, briefed Smoking Gun PR to launch the site to UK pet lovers.

Objectives

Generate high profile national press coverage and online buzz around the My Social Petwork UK launch
Drive web traffic and membership sign ups
Engage with pet lovers who currently post and share pet-related content on social media channels

Strategy & Plan

We knew that the launch of the UK’s first social networking site for pets was a great news story so we set about creating a campaign that would generate national brand awareness, whilst engaging pet owners on Facebook and Twitter who would be crucial in helping to create a buzz around the launch.

Fifty pet owning influencers (including celebrities, bloggers, journalist and high profile Twitter users) were identified and sent a pupcake to coincide with the site go live date.

The ‘UK’s first pet census’ created the headline ‘Britons prefer pets to children’ for national news making, while a separate story was issued to technology writers on the launch of ‘Facebook for Pets.’ Sunday Times was given an exclusive interview with three prolific petworkers resulting in half a page of dedicated coverage.

TV vet, Emma Milne, was recruited as a spokesperson, for a series of national and regional radio interviews on the day of the site launch.

The research findings were brought to life with an infographic which was seeded on pet blogs and wider infographic sites.

Measurement & Evaluation

Campaign success was measured on the following factors:
Social media engagement and fan/follower growth
Media coverage around the launch
Website visitors and sign ups

Results

90 pieces of media coverage including Sunday Times, Mail on Sunday, BBC News, Daily Telegraph online, BBC Radio Five, Wired.co.uk and Huffington Post
44.5 million total opportunities to see
Over 1/4 million Twitter impressions generated from online media coverage – #petworking generated 94,267 Twitter impressions on the day of the launch
14,000 unique visitors to the site on launch
12% of web visitors created an account

Results

44.5 million opportunities to see in print media
14,000 unique visitors to the site on launch
32 million OTS online media

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Catriona Golden, Digital Project Manager Pep Publishing / My Social Petwork says:

"Having researched a number of consumer and social media agencies from across the country we chose Smoking Gun PR because of their great track record and the excellent impression they made during the initial briefing. The team was very personable but their straight-talking approach was a breath of fresh air and was ultimately the deal clincher. The Social Media campaign was interjected with a couple of creative "big ideas" that would make waves in more traditional press outlets. We have also been left with a better understanding of social media marketing & monitoring as a whole through watching and learning the Smoking Gun guys in action which will no doubt prove invaluable."