How My Hot Pink Bra & My Cow Became an Internet Sensation
Posted by Julia Smith on
This is the story of how a relatively routine veterinary matter took over our Facebook page and 3 million people got to see my hot pink bra. Somehow, Penny, our very pregnant dairy cow somehow managed to tear her eyelid damn near clean off. I'll spare you the "before" photo but after the vet stitched her up, she advised me to protect the eye with a patch of denim and some glue. I thought "there has to be a better way" and so there was......
Had I known that the photo I snapped of Penny with her fancy new ophthalmological protection was going to go viral, I probably would have waited until the sedation wore off. Poor Penny looks like she just woke up the morning after a frat party.
Ludo got all excited when dusted off my box of nice lingerie that I haven't even opened in years but that didn't last long after I started snipping away.
People who know me were unfazed and more surprised to learn that I owned a hot pink bra than by the fact that I had put it on my cow, but the rest of the world lost their minds. My Facebook account and email was bombarded with thousands of comments and requests to publish the photo everywhere from our local paper to Cowsmopolitan to a magazine in Germany. I'd never experienced anything like this before and found it quite stressful, to be honest.
Facebook is a hard task-master. If you don't respond to people within minutes, you are penalized. With the post going viral around the world, I was getting just as many messages in the middle of the night as during the day. Not willing to spend 24 hours a day staring at my phone, I eventually made peace with losing my great response rating. The other reason it was stressful is because while the overwhelming majority of interactions were positive, I do get the odd negative comment/threat from folks who are not supportive of animal agriculture so I needed to stay on top of things so I could delete those posts before they got any traction.
In the long run though, the exposure will probably be good for us. We got a whole bunch of new "likes" and are getting more engagement with our other posts. Facebook is nothing if not a popularity contest so while most of our new followers are not prospective customers, Facebook doesn't care and is more likely to show my posts in your feed now because more people like us. Crazy the stuff farmers have to worry about these days huh?
To protect her sensitive nature, I have taken away Penny's Facebook privileges for now.