PetSmart Goes to Pinterest to Save Homeless Pets

Posted on by Patty Odell

PetSmart is combining people’s love for their pets with a Pinterest promotion and store events in a cause-related campaign to help save homeless pets.

This marks one of PetSmart’s early initiatives on Pinterest. It began Dec. 1 with a goal to reach 1,000 pinned photos by the time the initiative wraps Dec. 16. (5 Pinterest Pointers for the Holidays)

“We just started working with Pinterest in April of this year so we’re testing it and figuring out how best to use the channel to reach pet parents,” Jeff Davis, PetSmart’s senior manager, public relations and social media, said. “We believe it has lots of potential.”

To participate, people pin a photo of their pets with a holiday theme with the #pinitforpetsmart hashtag on Pinterest and then upload the link to PetSmarts Facebook page. The pinning triggers a $25 donation to PetSmart Charities up to $25,000, to help save homeless pets. More than 5 million pets have been adopted through the PetSmart Charities adoption centers located in every PetSmart store since 1994. People are also encouraged to submit a link to their Pinterest pin on PetSmart’s Facebook page, which has 1.5 million fans.

The success of the program will turn on engagement and how things unfold in social.

“It’s less about ROI and more about fan engagement and raising awareness for a cause that’s very important to PetSmart, which is saving the lives of homeless pets,” Davis said. “Of course, we want our social media fans to participate and share this out, and we’ll be measuring that.”

The pin-it initiative is in partnership with the creators of The Grinch by Dr. Seuss who developed a new line of pet holiday apparel and toys called Fetch for Pets! The line features classic characters from the children’s book, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”

In stores, Santa Claws photo events, a popular annual tradition, are being held at all PetSmart stores during the first three weekends in December. The events offer a special for PetPerks loyalty members who can have a photo of their pet taken with Santa for $9.95 and $5 from every photo package will be donated to participating local animal welfare organizations.

“This is our most popular in-store event behind our quarterly National Adoption Weekends,” Davis said.

The promotion is being marketed on all of PetSmart’s social media channels, public and media relations and some in-store signage.

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