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ARE ZOO FACEBOOK PAGES A WASTE OF TIME?

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by Animal Friendly, 22 Dec 2014.

  1. Animal Friendly

    Animal Friendly Well-Known Member

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    All zoos have their own Facebook pages where those who are interested can follow the progress of their favourite zoo, like photos and make comments. All well and good if you are only posting what the zoo wants you to post, if you start asking questions about the disappearance of a certain animal or animals that is a different matter, in my experience you will be simply ignored in the hope that you will "go away", if however you persist then you are blocked from the page, problem solved. Or is it the case that perhaps genuine zoo enthusiasts could be perhaps taking these Facebook pages too seriously and not participating in them for what they are intended, i.e. a bit of fun, eg, a caption for an animal photo, wish a gorilla happy birthday and look at photos of elephants eating pumpkins at Halloween or meerkats opening presents at Christmas?
     
  2. Taisha

    Taisha Well-Known Member

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    Yes, they are definitely a vaste of time for people who are interested enough to follow up individual animals and voice concern, where needed.
    IMO zoos on facebook are only there to attract or care for visitors, who refrain from critical questions.
    Brings us back to - do zoos really educate people? I doubt.
     
  3. Mr T

    Mr T Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't say they are useless, they most definitely have their place.

    I find them really useful as you can just have a quick glance and see what's new at the zoo. Yes they don't always deal with questions posted by users but they make no claims that this is what they will do. I know lots of new information about the 'big' zoos in the UK is revealed here on zoochat before the zoo posts it on their Facebook page but for smaller local collections, such as Lakeland Wildlife Oasis and The Lake District Wildlife Park near me, most of the information I gather comes directly from their Facebook pages.

    Once again people need to remember that 'zoochatters' are not the main focus for zoos and for us to think we are is misguided. Announcements of new births and arrivals is likely to stimulate interest in the everyday person who wasn't aware of the goings on at the zoo, especially since these pieces of news will come up in the followers message alerts of they follow the zoo.
     
  4. Animal Friendly

    Animal Friendly Well-Known Member

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    Good point, members of zoochat or indeed zoo enthusiasts in general are not what these facebook pages are focused at, perhaps we pry too much!. My experience of zoo facebook pages are, South Lakes, banned instantly for one enquiry only concerning Kadi the tiger cub. Twycross, banned for enquiring about a baby orang and requesting for a plaque in memory of Joe the gorilla to be put back on display, the zoo told me that they would "be back soon" to me, they simply banned me off. Chester, stated my displeasure at Jangoli the elephant being transferred to a zoo in Spain, the zoo replied promptly with their reasons for it, I did not pursue it further. Apart from that I like pages at London, Blackpool, Yorkshire Wildlife Park.
     
  5. atetilate

    atetilate New Member

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  6. Newzooboy

    Newzooboy Well-Known Member

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    I think one could make a pretty good argument for all facebook pages being useless!!
     
  7. Mr T

    Mr T Well-Known Member

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    That's a fairly pointless post unless you are actually going to put your argument forward :p
     
  8. Shorts

    Shorts Well-Known Member

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    Not really, people of a certain persuasion (including myself) might think it's a truism and requires no further expansion.

    i.e. "water is wet, facebook is useless."

    Other opinions are available.
     
  9. Newzooboy

    Newzooboy Well-Known Member

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    Quite! :);)
     
  10. bongorob

    bongorob Well-Known Member

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    Shorelands has a good Facebook page.
     
  11. dean

    dean Well-Known Member

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    I don't use face book, but i would think the smaller and more specialised a place is the more likely they will interact and inform face book followers. The larger ones I would think only use it as another tool of their marketing arm.
     
  12. Ned

    Ned Well-Known Member

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    It seems to me that businesses use facebook purely as a marketing tool (i.e they post a promotional offer or bit of positive news and invite you to "like" them ) and not as an open Q&A forum.
     
  13. Arizona Docent

    Arizona Docent Moderator Staff Member

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    Post number 3 and 12 on this thread have nailed exactly the purpose of a business Facebook page (zoo or otherwise).
     
  14. Shellheart

    Shellheart Well-Known Member

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    I think zoo pages are actually quite useful in that they help deliver news to those who are interested in zoos who aren't on Zoochat, and most of the time(in the case of the zoo/aquariums I follow) they deliver news a couple of hours faster than zoochat, but if I have any sort of questions, I'd prefer to ask knowledgeable people here like Betsy,since I doubt I'd even get answer from the zoo's page.
     
  15. azcheetah2

    azcheetah2 Well-Known Member

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    I am on several zoo Facebook pages and that is what I mostly have Facebook for...to keep up-to-date with what is going on at "my" particular zoos: births, acquisitions, moves, special events.

    My main (and local) zoo doesn't ban people for expressing opinions (there was quite a thing recently about the naming of a baby Orang), but it does ignore and it does remove posts asking about animals that are "no longer there". It's kind of become a joke with a co-worker friend and I. "I asked the zoo about X. I wonder if they'll answer or just remove the post." It can be frustrating, but you can't really take the whole thing too seriously.
     
  16. HGibbins

    HGibbins Well-Known Member

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    My answer to the question would be a definite no!

    It has been established here the overriding reason why a zoo would use Facebook (or any other social media platform for thar matter), that being as a means of advertising. Facebook and Twitter posts allow zoos (and all manner of other businesses) to publicise the latest news or offers that may entice members of the public far more efficiently and effectively than other methods of advertising (be it posters, leaflets, tv ads).

    I would also add that Facebook pages have not been given the credit they deserve in this thread with regard to their use to us ZooChatters. Whilst there has been obvious controversy on here with regards to the antics of some UK zoos, most notoriously South Lakes, on their Facebook pages, it is worthy of note that if one were to examine a zoo news thread on the UK section of ZooChat - take the Chester news thread for example - we would find that a significiant portion if not a majority of news updates are sourced from social media.
     
  17. adrian1963

    adrian1963 Well-Known Member

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    The latest Giraffe birth at Chester zoo was released first via FACEBOOK which says it all don't you think?
     
  18. bongorob

    bongorob Well-Known Member

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    Only a fraction of the Chester Zoo news has been on their Facebook page,
     
  19. persimon

    persimon Well-Known Member

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    and for most or all discussions on zoochat
     
  20. karenZOO

    karenZOO Well-Known Member

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    I follow a lot of zoos Facebook pages and find them informative, good source of up to date information on events and general news. It also nice to see visitors comments and photos and often a visitor will post a bit of news before it has been released that often ends up on here!

    I don't take Facebook that seriously and is just a bit of fun to me, unfortunately people on here take Zoochat too seriously at times. Where as on a facebook page you get all sorts of people posting sometimes awful pictures and daft comments and that is seen as totally acceptable, on here unfortunately these people are made most unwelcome!

    Obviously the facebook pages are seen by a lot more people and unfortunately not all opinions seem to be welcome on some pages but there is usually an alternative page somewhere!

    I have always found Colchester zoo page very welcoming and friendly with plenty of news and events posted regularly. I was particularly impressed during the time after the wolf escape and subsistent deaths of the wolves how they did not close down the ability for people to comment whether good or bad. I posted which is unusual for me and it was very comforting to have over a thousand comments (not all agreeing with me but I was pleased to receive these comments good or bad ) and several thousand likes at a time when emotions needed to be felt and expressed! I have been told that when Rajang is sadly deceased that the zoo know that they will be totally overwhelmed!

    So to sum up Facebook is what it is and so is Zoochat, which I have also seen several times spoken about on Facebook in less than flattering posts! It really is personal choice but I personally never just use one source for news or information on anything, and take everyone's comments and opinions for what they are :)