“Here Kitty, Kitty Kitty!” Cat Lover Social Media Channel Review

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Cats are cool and have always been a part of my household ever since I was young whipper-snapper. I mean, come on—who hasn’t cued in on all those fanatical, cat antics’videos for a couple of belly laughs? Apparently, I’m not alone as cat shenanigans tend to dominate the internet.  Below is a sample compilation of 10 videos that’s been viewed almost 10 million times…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbP2N1BQdYc

According to Google, people search for the word “cats” 30 million times per month, nearly three times the amount of searches for “Kim Kardashian” and five times for “bacon.”  According to Thedailymail.com, 20 per cent of our online pictures are dominated by our pets so creating sites dedicated to cute pictures of pets napping, eating and looking confused is natural.

Seeing as the cute fur balls have a permanent place in my heart, the special interest social media network site I’m reviewing is Catmoji.

Catmoji is a place for cat lovers to share and discover cat pictures and videos by “expressing themselves through emoji.” The social network’s mission is “to make the Internet a better and happier place with cats.” It sounds a little crazy—but I’m in. Actually the craziest thing is that there are tons of other cat social networks such as Catster, Purrsonals, Cat-Lovers-Only, or Meowbify.

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How does Catmoji stand out from the major channels?

I chose Catmoji because it has an attractive design, coherent style of a light-hearted, fun atmosphere and also seems to have the most reputable press responses such as:

  • Cats Get Their Own Social Network Mashable
  • Meow! Malaysia launches social network for cats Russia Today

According to Mashable (Cats get their own Social Network.), the world’s smartest pets are long overdue for their own social network. “We want to be Facebook for cats,” said the Malaysia-based founders/programmers. One Catmoji feature that adds a new twist to this global addiction is when sharing a cat video or picture, “you can tag them with one of our emoji to explain how you feel about the content you are sharing. That’s because we want users to express their feelings visually, which is not usually something they usually can do when they share content.” This approach could be particularly popular in Japan, where Catmoji launched a translated version.

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They recently began monetization through advertising. Sharing pictures and videos is easy with Embedly. It also encourages users to give credit to the original source of each image and picture. Catmoji is also gamified, and users earn badges and ‘catokens’ One of the other fun features of the site is making your own “catvatar” identity. Their next milestone is launching mobile apps to further fuel its growth. (Heim, 2013). How Catmoji got 7000 users to share 21,000 cat vidoes.

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How could this particular industry incorporate proximity marketing into its marketing communications plan? 

Furry online personalities such as Grumpy Cat, who has more than 30,000 Twitter followers and 6.7 million likes on Facebook, are immensely popular. Hundreds of cat owners, including celebrities such as Karl Lagerfeld, are creating social media profiles for their beloved pets. It’s no surprise that the world’s obsession with cats has spawned Tag A Cat, a separate mobile app from iTunes store, which comes after the success of sites such as Catmoji. Tag A Cat lets users find potential cat-loving contacts in their area by viewing photos of their pets’ selfies. Just like Facebook and Instagram, owners can follow their favorite cats’ feeds, comment on posts and make friends with the felines near them. (Figurido, 2014). Obsessed with looking at cat pictures?  

Every grocery store has an aisle devoted to pet products and could benefit from adding proximity marketing to their communications plan by offering discount coupons and small freebies to pet owners.  Pet Stores, Vet offices and adoption centers can also take advantage of this technology.  I would even take it a step further and put up a monitor or two in the stores or Vet offices that would feature cat videos and scrolling pet selfies, especially those needing adoption in their area. Not only could this lead to more sales, but featuring pet adoptions would be a good community service and show customers the more benevolent side of your business.

Where I live in Alexandria, VA, our city features some of the biggest pet parades in the country. The Washington, DC metropolitan area is one of the largest pet owner areas. Maybe because having pets is one constant and surefire way of calming in a high stress-level area.

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What social, content community, and other channels help with IMC efforts?

Youtube works well alongside Catmoji as the number one house for cat videos. Pinterest and Instagram are also some good choices that cross channel cute/fun cat photos. As mentioned earlier, 20% of everyone’s total photos posted on the internet are of their pets. Catmoji is also integrated nicely across multiple platforms such as Google+ and Twitter. Catmoji users can also follow each other, and automatically share their activity on Facebook if they like.

The best draw about a site that features pet photos are the visuals. Visuals that are pleasant and fun and make for great Tweets. Catmoji also cross channels to Tumbler as well. I think one of the best IMC channels to help with cross promoting are emails. How many mornings have you received multiple emails from coworkers that usually have at least some fun animal photos/videos? People tend to share items that we find amusing because we want our friends on the other end to get a smile and experience the same thing in a day that can otherwise be stressful. I particularly don’t open these shared emails until I’m in a frustrated or in a frazzled state because I use these visuals as easy and free therapy that works instantly. I am also not one to share everything that gets sent to me but I will share cute and funny pet photos that may have “cathartic” value to my friends and family.

The primary use for industry or special interest social networking is about “collegiality, information gathering, providing information to large groups, sharing opinions and venting.” Ruszczk, B. (June 5, 2012). Industry-Specific Special Networking: Fad or Future?

I thinks it’s also safe to say that some of the most popular sites are visually stimulating and fun as well or as my cat says, “Meow!”

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References

Figurido, R. (Oct. 12, 2014). Obsessed with looking at cat pictures?

Heim, A. (Jan. 24, 2013). How Catmoji got 7000 users to share 21,000 cat viedoes and pictures in one month.

Ruszczk, B. (June 5, 2012). Industry-Specific Special Networking: Fad or Future?

Taylor, C. (Jan. 3, 2013). Cats get their own Social Network.

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