Flyers didn't help. Going door to door proved unfruitful. In the days before social networking, James Woodley would have been out of luck.
His cat, Zion, had gone missing, and Woodley was losing hope.
Then he turned to Facebook.
As a last ditch effort, the Facebook page Find Zion was born. “I put out a status update, asking my friends to look at the Page, like it and share it to try to get some reach outside of my network,” Woodley told Buddy Media. “A handful of people liked it and asked a few questions.”
The cat, a Ragdoll, had been missing for two days. In order to get the word out about his missing pet, Woodley purchased Facebook ads that pointed towards the page he had created. The ads were targeted to people in his town, a suburb of London.
After the ads went live, it took just 30 minutes for the first tip to come in. A woman from Woodley’s hometown had seen the ad, recognized the picture of Zion, and sent Woodley her contact information.
“The girl told me that she thought Zion had been run over, because she saw him, on the day he went missing, in the middle of the road, and she tried to coach him to the side,” Woodley said. “Apparently he got scared and ran into the woods.”
Woodley, his girlfriend, and his housemate headed over to the woods that the woman described. After calling Zion’s name, they heard him cry out. They tracked the sound of his cries to a ravine, where the group found their cat.
After two days of searching offline, it took only thirty minutes to find the cat using social ads. “I would say the money was well worth it,” Woodley told Buddy Media. “I’m so lucky, and Zion was so lucky.”