Influencer marketing has been a growing trend on social media for years now, and influencers can extend to far more than just people. If you think your pup has star potential, here are five tips to get your dog headed toward Instagram stardom.
Take More Pictures than You Think You’ll Need
While some business-focused accounts may overwhelm their audiences with too many posts, pet-related content never gets old on Instagram! Take a lot of photos of your dog from the puppy stage all the way through adulthood. You don’t need to be a photography pro in order to do this: as long as you find some decent lighting and have a smartphone, you should be set to take Instagram-quality photos of your pup. There are some professional photographers who take quality pictures of their pets and spread them out over less frequent posting, but most dog accounts tend to post multiple times a day in order to stay in their audiences’ feeds.
Here’s an example of a photographer styled dog account that posts less frequently, but has a cohesive aesthetic and professional-quality photos in each post:
By contrast, here’s a less professional account with more frequent posting that still generates high engagement and a high following:
Videos Are Even Better
We all know video content is key to a great social media strategy, and taking videos is easier than ever when you have a smartphone in your pocket. Taking short-form video of your dog will really help to boost your reach and create content more likely to be reposted by other larger accounts, which in turn can drastically increase your following. An Instagram account like Pupflix, which has over one million followers, pulls its favorite videos from submissions using its hashtag and reposts them to its followers. You don’t need a high-production-quality video to spark engagement—just capture your dogs being themselves, especially if they’re being goofy!
Don’t Take Your Content Too Seriously
One of the best benefits of running an Instagram account for your dog is that it’s a lot of fun! The people who engage with dog accounts are dog lovers, looking for humor and cuteness to brighten up their day. So while you might be taking your dog account management seriously, don’t be too serious with your content. Try tactics such as doggo speak, trending memes, or challenges (like the #whatthefluffchallenge that took over many Instagram feeds in June 2018). Some popular accounts even speak from the perspective of their dog. Throughout any social media campaign, our social media team works to tailor content toward what the target audience is likely to engage with or what is likely to resonate with them. Do the same for your dog’s audience. If you find people are engaging more with silly videos than staged photos, it might be time to pivot your strategy.
Do Take Your Hashtags Seriously
Any Instagram strategy needs a strong hashtag strategy to be successful. While Facebook content typically needs paid promotion nowadays to gain engagement, Instagram content can still gain traction organically, but it performs best when strategic hashtags relevant to each photo are used. Research hashtags specific to your dog’s breed to find audiences that are already likely to engage with your dog. The hashtag #pugsofinstagram, for example, has over six million submissions, and some photos within that hashtag are receiving thousands of likes. Don’t worry if your pup is a rescue or a mutt: there are great hashtags, such as #muttsofinstagram and #rescudog, which have millions of submissions and receive great engagement as well. Make sure you do your hashtag research before you start posting, and try out different tactics to see what performs best.
If You Do Make It, Don’t Sell Out Entirely
Once you reach a certain follower threshold, you should start to get more attention, particularly for sponsored posts and partnerships. When done correctly, this type of content can be a great way to connect with your followers by sharing products and brands you care about that will help improve the lives of your followers’ pets as well. If done wrong, however, it can drive your follower base away. At Online Optimism, we like to preach the 80/20 rule for all of our clients’ social media accounts. Ideally, 80% of your content should be fun and engaging, while 20% of your content is more promotional and focused on sales or leads. This rule works great for pet accounts as well. Make sure the majority of the content you share is fun and engaging while only a small amount is promotional to keep your audience following along for the long haul. Learn more about Instagram marketing at Online Optimism today.