Social Media and Communication Tips for Pet Sitters
“Are you serious?” are the last words you want to hear from a pet owner. Copy on your website or social media posts that are not completely clear can lead to customer frustration. Posting a joke where the humor may not be understood or appreciated by others can lead to disaster.
As a pet sitting business owner, you have a brand and a message to convey to the public. What you offer and how you do this need to be consistent. The messaging you promote should be considerate of your target demographic while keeping one eye towards the competition. (What are they saying? What can they provide?)
Don’t Over Engage on Social Media
Increasing competition in the pet sitting industry might inspire you to be “edgy” or to simply try and show off your sense of humor. Unfortunately, this is where misunderstandings happen on a massive scale. Businesses of all kinds can find themselves in very hot water when they try to push the envelope too far. Local businesses with one location or online retailers can all be in the same boat if a gaffe is big enough. Hell hath no fury like an enraged Twittersphere!
Sarcasm is really really hard.
Breaking Poe’s Law can carry sniff sentences. Being snarky or sarcastic in written form can be difficult to pull off if your goal is to come off as witty. Without body language, facial expressions, or vocal modulation to assist you, you can be easily misunderstood. Don’t look to comedy writers and assume that if they can do it, you can do it. If you have heard of them, chances are that they’ve had years of experience building and refining their craft. Furthermore, these writers still bomb on occasion. Consider how often comedians have to apologize – and they’re professionals.
This entire phenomenon is referred to as “Poe’s Law.” Basically, it is impossible for you to be sarcastic in written form and not be misunderstood by somebody out there. Don’t assume that your customers know you and will, therefore, understand you. The sentence for breaking this law can be steep and without leniency.
Attempts at sarcasm or jokes can cause conflict within a community. In 2017, a Denver coffee shop attempted a new slogan mocking the fact that their location was in a recently gentrified neighborhood. Without understanding how sensitive a topic this was for many families in their area, they posted the joke on a sign outside their shop. Within hours, photos of the sign had gone viral, and the situation became national news. They had not even posted the offending statement on social media; it did not matter. The public shaming was fast and furious. They were publically excoriated and had to spend a lot of time and money to rebuild their image.
Play It Safe
When it comes to dark humor or snark, save it for face-to-face conversations with your friends from high school. While your pet sitting services might be appreciated by your customers, your sense of humor might not be. Also, check your tone. Keep it friendly and sincere. When describing what you do and what your pet sitting services are, stay neutral and straightforward. Even a personal social media account – if it is available to the public to see (assume that it is) – should be monitored.
Your digital voice is a part of your brand. If you keep it clear and consistent, your customers should not have any difficulty understanding you.