If you are looking to increase your Facebook following, you might want to talk to Ava Gardner. Not THE Ava Gardner who stole Ol’ Blue Eyes heart. This Ava Gardner is a cat whose enormous popularity supports the belief held by many that cats rule the Internet. Ava Gardner the Cat’s Facebook page has managed to attract a following of 326,000 fans – and she’s not even Grumpy.
Ava’s popularity even confounds owner Susie Newton. Two years ago, she got the idea to put up a Facebook page for her Tuxedo cat that was found stray in 2011 in the San Francisco Bay Area and turned over to a cat welfare group. Ten months later, Newton and her family adopted Ava. What followed once Ava’s page went up is the stuff of Facebook legends. Her popularity just took off and today the 12-year old kitty basks in the adoration of her thousands of fans.
Newton, who claims no social media marketing experience, soon saw the potential in her social media darling to save the lives of other cats in need. A volunteer with several Bay Area cat rescue groups, Newton began including posts about other homeless cats on Ava’s page. The posts, which she consistently updated three to four times a week, boosted Ava’s popularity and helped other rescued cats find homes.
Last July, Newton began volunteering with Maine Coon Adoptions (MCA), a highly regarded San Francisco area rescue group. Among her primary activities, Newton took over managing MCA’s Facebook page, which had already attracted about 4500 loyal fans. Newton began re-posting MCA Facebook posts on Ava’s page. By the end of the year, the social partnership proved to be hugely successful. MCA’s following tripled to 15,000, and continues to climb, and Ava’s fame spread even further
Newton actively posts for the MCA page about four to five times a day and tracks what posts are the most popular. She varies the posts between adoptable cats featured on MCA’s website, upcoming events, and special fundraisers. But the posts that get the most likes and shares are the ones about adopted cats living the good life in their new homes. As Netwton puts it, ‘Everyone loves to see the cats living happily ever.”
Ava Gardner the Cat and Maine Coon Adoptions highlight the value of establishing a social partnership to help grow your follower base. Ask an affiliate or partner to mention your company or organization in their blog, share your posts on their Facebook page or give you a re-tweet, and return the favor.
Ava was a rescued cat who now is sharing her limelight to help other cats in need. You can’t get much more social than that.