How to Save a Dog’s Life Using Facebook Ads

My friend Zain made a post 5 days ago on Facebook about a dog named Onyx that was abandoned by its owners. He bought a foreclosure and the poor dog got left behind for one reason or another. Here’s the post:

I knew right away that since Zain’s post was limited to only his circle of friends it was going to be tough to find an owner quickly. My marketing chops kicked in and I started thinking about how to expand the reach beyond his circle. The answer to getting this dog’s story in front of people in LA that have showed interest in dogs was Facebook ads:


Step 1: Create a page for your cause

I’ve been running FB ads for my clients for years so I’m very familiar with the platform and the power it wields. It’s insanely easy to target specific groups of people on a shoestring budget. I started out by creating a page in the Cause or Community section:


Step 2: Create graphics and contact information

From there I created a profile cover with contact information specific to the cause. I had Zain create a gmail address and get a free Google voice number so that he wasn’t putting his personal cell out to the world:


Step 3: Build the ad and call to actions

Now I had to craft the ad but I didn’t want it to look like a traditional ad. I also didn’t want to drive “likes” to the page as I didn’t see much use for it, not to mention the cost (over $1 per like). The most impactful and cost effective way to do this was to boost Onyx’s story in a post pinned to the top of his page. That way we weren’t limited in the written copy and we could convey his entire story in one ad. I copied the post Zain made, pinned it to the top of the page and added contact information. I also added two call to actions that reminded people to share the story (*****PLEASE SHARE*****). You’d be surprised how well this works. People inherently want to help and this is the easiest way for them to give back. It also dramatically increases the organic reach with every share to a new circle of friends. Here’s what the finished post looked like:


Step 4: Target your demographic and audience

Now it was time to get this story in front of the right people. I chose to target people that lived in a 25 mile radius around Los Angeles. I kept the age and gender demographics broad (18-65+ male and female) because I felt like anyone could love this dog. For interests, this is where Facebook’s special sauce comes into play. Facebook has a lot of data on its users and you’re able to target people who have expressed an interest in or like pages related to Pit bulls or dogs. I typed in “pit bull” and found a group of pit bull enthusiasts that appreciate this breed. I added them to the ad and also targeted two of the larger pet adoption groups in LA. Finally I added the broad interest “dogs” which targeted anyone in LA that showed interest in dog pages. The potential reach of targeting these groups ended up being 1.3M people:


We let the ad run for only 4 days and the response was overwhelming. This is the data we got:


After 91 shares, 40 comments, 352 reactions, 35k views and $68.93 later, we found Onyx a safe home with a lovely couple!


Zain makes an announcement about the great news!


Shoutout to Zain for having a big heart and not taking the dog to the pound. He took time out of his busy schedule to field calls, emails and meet with people just to find this abandoned dog a safe home.

Facebook ads could help to find your lost pet too!

Nothing is worse than losing a pet. The process of finding them is super archaic too. You’re suppose to print out and put up signs all over the neighborhood encouraging people to call if they find your pet. The problem is that if that neighbor doesn’t see your sign it’s potentially a lost cause.


This whole process of finding Onyx a home got me thinking about how Facebook ads could be super useful for people trying to locate their lost dog or cat. Instead of creating signs, just create an ad on Facebook about your lost pet and target a 1 mile radius around your neighborhood.

Now you can stay on everyone’s radar that lives in the neighborhood every time they open Facebook on any device. All it takes is a few dollars and a couple minutes of your time to craft the ad. What a small price to pay in comparison to the amount of happiness these animals bring to our lives.


About the Author

Ryan Bartlett

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Ryan Bartlett

Ryan Bartlett


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