Have you ever come across a cute animal on Instagram and saw that they have thousands of followers? It’s no secret that the internet loves animals, but it takes much more than a cuddly pet to reach stardom. I reached out to the owners of famous Instagram pets and asked them about how to make your pet an internet star!
There are a ton of great communities online and in real life. Each platform has a their own benefits.
Is the go to place to get your place started. This is where you are going to find the most return with the minimal amount of effort.
Facebook is great for finding groups and communities for your pet. These communities have meetups, advice and tips for taking care of your pet, and who knows you may even make a few friends!
Twitter is a great way to support your pet’s growth when you already have an established following. With the lifespan of most tweets lasting only 30 seconds, you will only get a brief moment to capture a person’s attention.
There is even a social media site just for your pups called The Pack. You can submit your own pictures or you can connect your instagram and have your pictures automatically uploaded with an assigned hashtag.
Regardless of what platform you use this will eventually lead to online friendships. Some breeds even have local meetups where you can bring your pet to play with their new online buddies. Meetups may not work for other animals outside of dogs, but don’t let this stop you! There are plenty of pet communities you can be apart of even if they are just online!
Use popular hashtags
Making your pet as visible as possible will ensure a steady increase in followers. I reached out to the owner of the three Instagram stars, Sonny, Coco, and Louis and asked what has been a contributed to the success of her adorable little Yorkies. “It’s all about the hashtag! Don’t restrict yourself when it comes to putting a hashtag on your picture. If it’s a picture of a dog in a dress, use #dog #dress #fashion #blogger #dogsofinstagram #ootd and there are so many more! But don’t over tag. The limit is 30 and some people find ways around it and it doesn’t help. It just makes you look desperate! Less is more!”
This is key to the success of your pet. It gets you visibility, but at the same time you don’t want to get a reputation of someone who overly hashtags for the sake of hashtagging. You may also want to include your hashtags as a comment so you don’t clutter up your caption.
Designate a pet only account
As someone who follows a lot of animals and has an account for my corgi, Moose, with over 2,000 followers, I can say with confidence that your pet needs their own account. This doesn’t mean that you can’t be in pictures, but I’d avoid posting pictures of your food or nights on the town. People who manage pet accounts rarely post pictures of themselves unless it’s relevant.
This account should also have a name that represents your pet, even if it’s your pet’s name. Basically, you don’t want your name to be ChevyTruckLover141 if your account is dedicated to your pet.
Post often, but with quality images
It’s important to post often to build your following, but it’s also important to post clear pictures. You don’t need to have professional photos, but you definitely want something that will catch people’s attention.
When I reached out to the owners of the superstar cats Alice & Finnegan they had this to say, “We focus on producing good images. We make sure we shoot on bright days, for the best natural light. We post every day, a single post of the two of them together, or a shot of them individually. Consistency is key! We hear from many of our fans about how much they look forward to their daily dose of Alice & Finnegan, how funny our posts are, and how much they love Alice & Finnegan (we never tire of this kind of feedback!).”
Likes, likes, and more likes. If you want a quick way to build your following then you can go through and start to like pictures that are related to hashtags. You can do this by going to the search, selecting tags, and typing in a pet related hashtag.
More often than not, people will look at your profile, see that you have an account that is dedicated to your pet and follow you. This does get tiresome, though, and there are definitely better ways to build your following.
Owning a cat, dog, or even a pig is a luxury. There are a lot of people who would like to have their own pet, but can’t because of allergies, financial means, or living situations. The way they are able to have the same amount of fun without actually owning a pet is by keeping up with all of your pet’s antics.When I reached out to the owners of Milo from MiloMeetsWorld to see what makes a dog’s popularity skyrocket it turned out that they never even realized how popular Milo could become. Milo’s Instagram account started about 2 years and have an actively engaged group of members. They originally started posting cute pictures, but no one would have thought that their cute little puppy would have his own clothing line!
They also make sure to not let their followers hanging. “We try to think about what our followers want to see Milo doing, and we use the comments and likes as a way to gauge what is popular,“ they said. Responding and making sure that any questions are answered is critical to the success of your pet’s account. In the end the reward will pay off of keeping your followers happy will pay off. “Whether it’s reading someone’s comment that seeing Milo’s post made their day better to making real friends from the other side of the world, we enjoy sharing our little guy with others.”
Comments and replies
When someone leaves a comment on your picture it’s always nice to give them a response – even if it’s a quick “thank you” or even a happy emoji. Comments build strong relationships with your followers.
Liking someone’s page may get them to notice you, but you should also comment. Let them know that you appreciate their post – people love feedback. Everyone wants to know how cute their pet is, and saying nice words can go a long way to making strong relations with other pets! People may actually comment that don’t even follow you. This is rare, but engaging with people may incline them to follow you. Comments can also encourage people to share with their friends and tag them.
Make people happy
Making people happy goes hand in hand with having fun, but there with a slight difference. People that follow your pet and like the majority of your pictures are people who grow with you and your account. The owner of the beautiful Golden Retriever Goose, gave an awesome bit of advice to make your followers smile. “The primary purpose of his posts are to make people smile and perhaps encourage followers to share this happiness with their friends. We’ve been fortunate to have wonderful followers and have met great friends through our account.”
This sentiment is echoed by the owner of Super Jojo the Surfing Corgi, who says that the secret is making others smile. “It’s about doing things that defy all odds, about loving your pet and showing you love them. Some will say hashtags, giveaways, making friends with a big account, or better photos like professional ones! Well, I use an iPhone, and the best comment I see every time is ‘thank you for making my day better with your smile, Jojo.’”
In all honestly, you never know what can happen when you start posting pictures of your pets. One of the sweetest things that I heard was from the owners of Momo, “We started the account with an intention of keeping a journal of precious moments of Momo. We are just blessed that there are other Momo lovers out there who are willing to join our boat! I must say it’s pure luck.”
I love the idea of chronicling a journey of your pet. For everyone who’s ever owned a pet and ever wanted to relive those memorable times, Instagram is the perfect place to do it. Whether you end up with 10 followers or 10 million you’ll always have a place that will allow you to enjoy the time you spent with your beloved companion!
Pet Social Media
Alice & Finnegan Instagram
Alice & Finnegan Pinterest
Alice & Finnegan Facebook
Alice & Finnegan Twitter
Super Corgi Jojo Instagram
Super Corgi Jojo Twitter
Momo The Eskie Instagram
Sonny, Coco, Louis Intagram
Moose The Corgi Instagram
Goose The Golden Retriever Instagram