Social media platforms are a crucial part of any business’s digital marketing campaign. Not only can you use these sites to advertise the services that your pet business offers, but also as a way of sharing information directly with your customers. There is nothing like social media to allow you to communicate and connect with a large audience instantly. But with so many platforms out there, it can be hard to know where to focus your efforts. In this article, we are going to explore two popular sites, Facebook and TikTok, and how they can help you advertise your pet business.

What is Facebook?

Facebook is a social media and social networking site, that originally began in 2004 for school and university students. This opened up a couple of years later to anyone over the age of 13 years, allowing it to quickly overtake MySpace to become the most popular social network in the world.

It currently has over three billion monthly active users, and while a whole array of other social media platforms now exist, Facebook still retains its strong appeal. 

Facebook allows users to set up a profile and send ‘friend requests’ to others. They can use their profile to display information about themselves and make posts on their timelines, sharing a variety of media such as photos, videos, and articles. Their friends can see this information and interact with it, commenting or ‘liking’ it. 

Similarly, users can ‘like’ pages of interest to them and start following, which is where businesses come in. When users like the page of a business they automatically become exposed to the information that the company shares, with their posts regularly appearing in their newsfeed. These can be liked, shared and tagged with wider audiences.

Its user-friendly nature is one of the reasons that it is so popular and is accessible to all age groups and other demographics.

Pros of Facebook for Advertising your Pet Business

  • Facebook is still the most popular social media site with billions of active users
  • It is a user-friendly platform and appeals to a wide range of ages and demographics, so could put your business in front of a variety of potential customers
  • Facebook allows people to share and post all sorts of different things, including videos, photos, music and written information, which makes it very versatile for businesses.
  • It is free to set up a Facebook business page, with many tools specifically designed to help you manage it successfully. This includes features such as interactive chat (so clients can message you directly), the option to pay for boosted advertisements and analytics to see how well your page is performing.

Cons of Facebook for Advertising your Pet Business

  • Younger social media users may be straying into newer platforms.
  • So strong is Facebook’s appeal, that many people are now shying away from it. They are either uninstalling the app or deleting their profile, to reduce the amount of time they spend ‘scrolling.
  • Facebook allows users to follow a page but unsubscribe from having posts appear on their timeline, meaning that your audience of 1000 followers may not actually be engaging with your content…
  • Negative reviews are possible. With customers being able to interact with your business page, this can sometimes backfire if someone has an axe to grind. You can switch off reviews altogether but this means losing your positive ones too.

What is TikTok?

TikTok is an app used for sharing short videos. It is mainly used on mobile phones, though it is possible to view videos on a web app too. It began with in 2014 which was designed for users to share videos of them lip-syncing to songs. However, this app changed hands and became TikTok in 2018 with users primarily posting dance challenges.

This has now evolved into a mixture of informative, cute and funny videos, with video lengths increasing too (now up to ten minutes). Many businesses use a TikTok account to show off their personalities through their videos and inform clients of what they have to offer. However, some businesses just use it for advertising with many TikTok stars being able to earn a living from paid advertisements.

In January 2023 TikTok ranked as the 6th most popular social media platform globally. It has 1.1 billion active monthly users. Age-wise, TikTok is most popular with 18-24-year-olds, with 25-34-year-olds not too far behind. Despite its popularity, the app has come under scrutiny for potential security concerns which threatens its future use in some countries.

Pros of TikTok for Advertising your Pet Business

  • People enjoy watching and engaging with visual information.
  • If you aren’t keen on making your own videos, advertising on TikTok may be an alternative way of utilising the social media platform for your pet business.
  • Short snappy videos keep people interested – although you have 10 minutes to play with, most users prefer something shorter.
  • You can use TikTok’s filters and features to help edit your videos, which even work when posting live videos.

Cons of TikTok for Advertising your Pet Business

  • Appeals to a younger demographic which may rule out a large sector of people if you only use TikTok for your pet business.
  • TikTok has come under fire in the past for inappropriate content. Like most social media platforms there are adult content filters, but TikTok seems to struggle more than most to remove harmful content.
  • TikTok only allows videos to be posted, which restricts the type of content you can share with customers on this app.
  • The US government is threatening to ban TikTok. At the time of writing, 18 states are backing this with local bans and other countries elsewhere in the world are starting to follow suit. Concerns around security have driven this.

So which is best, Facebook or TikTok?

The clear winner here, in my opinion, is Facebook. Facebook has nearly 3 times more active monthly users than TikTok, and a more certain future at the time of writing. Most pet businesses like the flexibility of being able to post a variety of things including photos, videos, and text. TikTok only allows for short videos, most of which need to be funny or cute to grab users’ attention. TikTok can be a good complimentary site so you should still consider using it but I would stick to Facebook for the bulk of your advertising and communication.

Dr Rebecca MacMillan

Dr Rebecca MacMillan

Rebecca is a companion animal vet who has always had a passion for writing and client communication. Since her graduation from the Royal Veterinary college in 2009 she has gained a wealth of experience in first opinion small animal practice, in both clinical and managerial roles. She has been writing for The Veterinary Content Company for three years, and has experience in SEO, content writing, marketing, and veterinary business development.