Who doesn’t spend most of their downtime browsing Instagram for cute cat pictures, or funny dog videos? I know I do!
With all of the developments with the internet, one thing remains consistent – bored people love cat pictures. It was only a matter of time before the adorable animals begun to take over on a celebrity status. Enter, Grumpy Cat!
Grumpy Cat (real name Tardar Sauce) started out with a simple post on Reddit, and has since EXPLODED all over the internet. She currently has over 2.5 MILLION Instagram followers!
Not to be outdone by cats, the dogs stepped up with a mega-star of their own, Boo!
This adorable little Pom has over SIX MILLION Facebook fans! Can you even imagine having that level of popularity?!
So, inspired partly by their fame and partly by my incessant need to constantly post pictures of my pets, I created Burger his very own Instagram account! You can follow him here. With over 2,000 fans, he’s clearly not as famous as other internet celebrities, yet chances are that he has more followers than many of you do.
How does one go about creating a successful Instagram page for their pet? These are some of the tips that I used:
First and foremost, you need excellent photos. I am no professional photographer, and my hunch is that’s one of the biggest reasons that Burger’s fanbase is in the thousands and not the hundreds of thousands or millions. The photos I take are with my iPhone, and luckily I am able to get some pretty decent photos with that. If you have a newer iPhone, portrait mode is AMAZING for capturing stunning photos. My phone isn’t equipped with that, however, I’ve found that the Focus mode on Instagram takes pretty great photos as well. Other tips are making sure that your pet is as comfortable as possible, choosing the right lighting, and making sure that the background isn’t cluttered.
The next step is to establish a fan base! You can’t have a famous pet without them having followers! Start out by following other human and animal social media influencers. Like and comment on their posts, and check out their fanbase. Something that helped Burger get his few hundred fans was paying attention to the most active fans on other insta-famous pet pages. By that, I don’t just mean the person who always comments “FIRST!”. I looked at people who consistently liked their posts and commented thoughtful comments — especially comments related to the caption or theme of the post. After pinpointing those active followers, I started following them! Probably 30-40% of the people I added followed me back, and to this day are some of the most active fans on Burger’s page.
Posting regularly is extremely important. This is also something that I struggle with. If you check out pages of any influencer, they are posting consistently – if not every day, at least every other day. Along with posting, utilize hashtags! They are one of the biggest ways for people to find your page – especially if you wind up on the Discover page for one of those hashtags. I always try to use a combination of hashtag popularity – popular, less common and those in between. For Burgers page, every 500 fans or so, I’ll search out cat related hashtags. I’ll pick out a few of those super common, popular tags, such as #cat and #meow. Those hashtags have MILLIONS of people that use them, which can be great for exposure! However, your chances of being featured on one of those discover pages is slim unless your post engagement is huge. I’ll then ,pick out a few hashtags with under 10,000 or so uses (you can find these uses just by clicking on the tag itself – it will show you how many people have used that tag!). Tags such as #themostinterestingcatintheworld and #catchat. The chances of your getting featured on those pages are much more likely, because there simply isn’t as much competition. Lastly, I’ll look for some hashtags with anywhere between 100,000 – 500,000 uses. These tags, such as #igers and #pamperedcats have a high number as people using them, yet it’s not completely impossible to be featured on their discover pages. When Burger’s page jumped from 500 fans to 2,000, it was because he wound up featured on one of these pages.
Endless creativity is SO important. You could have the worlds best looking dog, but no one is going to want to see the exact same photo of him sleeping day after day after day. Have some fun with the photos. Use inspiration from different locations, take photos at different levels, take pictures of your pet in costume celebrating a holiday! Also, this is a great time to start experimenting with product placement. Ideally, some day you will be able to make a profit (or at least receive free items) from your page. This is a great time to play with different ways to showcase products you’re already using – your cats favorite food, your dogs favorite toy. Be sure to tag the brand who makes that product – occasionally companies will share those fan posts, and that alone can cause your page’s popularity to explode.
Last but definitely not least, HAVE FUN! For all of the millions of animal accounts out there, only a handful actually make it big. If you’re doing this only for the fame or the money, you’ll get disappointed fast. On the flipside, if you’re already taking dozens of pictures of your pets anyway, why not post them and see what happens?
Does your pet have an Instagram page? Post the link below, I’ll be sure to follow!