Don’t get me wrong, humans are great, but if you’re anything like me, you probably follow over 100 dogs on Instagram and your feed is disproportionately full of dog photos! Some of those dogs have hundreds, thousands or even hundreds of thousands of followers.
It’s an odd phenomenon that can be attributed to that pup’s tech-savvy and creative parents – they’re creating awesome doggo content in an aesthetically and/or humorous way that people are lapping up. And why not? They’re proving that you and your pup can own your own piece of the internet with just a camera, some creativity and the help of your doggo!
If you think you’d like a slice of the pie, we’ve complied a list of tips to help you get started – some are from us at Pet Threads HQ and some from our favourite Instafamous dogs & their owners!
1. Good things take time
We want to preface this list by saying that can be tough starting out – you’re essentially creating a brand around your dog, and despite all their quirks and adorableness (I think that’s a word), they’re not going to be much help – it’s going to be all up to you to develop the right ‘look’, tone of voice and content… and all of that takes time!
2. Develop a niche within a niche
Dogs on Instagram is a niche in itself, but you need to do something different and exciting within that realm. It won’t be enough to just start uploading cute photos of your dog and expect overnight success.
Sure Doug The Pug is cute, but he didn’t get famous by his owner uploading blurry selfies or copying others – his owner developed a tone of voice and synced it with pop (or pup) culture. So if you can develop your own niche that is funny, engaging or heartfelt, it’ll be a great start.
For example, maybe your dog is Star Wars obsessed? Loves cheese? Wears glasses? Protects the beach? Pick a theme and stick to it, this will be the core of your doggo brand and what makes you different!
3. Advice from @bigchunkymonkey (130k followers!)
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I always tell people to stay grounded and to interact with everyone. Even the ones you don’t follow. Always put love out and in return you’ll receive love back. Plus make your photos as clear as possible. If it’s blurry or hard to see, most people will pass over it. Be original too – every dog has that one special thing that shines right out of them!
4. Engage the community
Do you research and find and engage with other doggos in the community. For example if you have a Brussels Griffon, find all the #BrusselsGriffon related hashtags on Instagram and use these in your posts and also start chatting with those also posting with those tags. The more targeted and relevant your content is to these tags the better.
Of course, this only usually works if you’re actually interested in the community you’re trying to join – half-hearted attempts at conversation or just spamming love hearts on photos will do little to help you or your pup’s profile grow! Community engagement means actually that… engaging in the community!
5. Advice from KingKingsley (100k+ followers!)
[su_row][su_column size=”1/4″][/su_column][su_column size=”3/4″]Okay there are multiple things one can do, but starting out: Engage with LOTS of accounts, always like and comment on images Tag appropriate brands/pages into the images being used NEVER ask for someone to do a follow 4 follow or a shoutout It takes time to build a page up with lots of followers but good content and high quality images and originality goes a long way!
6. Run competitions & giveaways
Running competitions and giveaways is a great way to get other pet owners engaged and increase your followers. When you’re starting out, you’ll probably have to buy the prizes yourself, but in time and with enough followers you’ll be able to work with relevant dog brands. Pet Threads is always looking for dog’s to partner with on amazing competitions and giveaways.
There just needs to be some benefit for us too (and all brands will have the same mindset here) – figure out ways to incorporate the brand into the root of the competition and make it mutually beneficial, e.g. entrants must like BOTH your page and the brand’s page to be eligible to enter.
Outline what you can offer in terms of increasing awareness of the competition/campaign and if your numbers are small, thing of other ways to drum up interest. E.g. saying “I’ll do one post about it to my 200 followers” isn’t very compelling, but “I’ll do bi-weekly posts on both my dog’s Instagram account of 200 followers and personal account of 10,000” is definitely more compelling! In time, and with proven success – it’ll be companies like ours that approach you first.
7. Consistency is key
With the way that Instagram & Facebook algorithms work, it’s not going to cut it to post one photo a week and expect incredible results. You’ll need to commit to at least one (or more) posts a day of great looking and engaging content. Try setting aside a couple of hours a week or month and have a doggy photo shoot with the goal of creating enough unique content. Costumes, clothes and accessories are great ways to develop a ‘look’ or aesthetic for your pupperino – so it might be worth taking a look at our range.
If you find it hard to manage multiple Instagram accounts, you can look at tools such as Later, Hootsuite, or our personal favourite Grum that allow you to schedule posts for you to send at later times. Later and Hootsuite work similarly, in the way that they will send you push notifications reminders to post, but you have to manually post the photos yourself at those times, while Grum will actually post the photos for you. We’re not actually sure how, or if it’s Instagram approved, but we’ve been using it for over a year without any issues.
8. Advice from ruckustheeskie (60k followers!)
[su_row][su_column size=”1/4″][/su_column][su_column size=”3/4″]We notice that some accounts have strict rules and guidelines on what they will or will not post. Keep in mind that this is completely up to you and the freedom belongs to you. Over at Ruckus the Eskie, we always remember that whatever we share, it is organic and true to us. Our main goal is to provide a glimpse into the lives of Ruckus and family.
9. The right way to monetise
Monetising is the process of activating or utilising the followers you’ve built to generate an income or rewards stream. Many brands (including ours) have ways to earn money or discounts if you refer customers to their website(s). Pet Threads have a program called the PawPack which allows you to generate reward points for every sale you send our way!
We generously give you 1 point for every dollar of every sale made with your unique discount coupon. It’s win, win, win! A win for your followers (they get a discount), a win for you (you get points to be redeemed) and a win for us (we get a sale!). Learn more.
10. Advice from thelifeof_hank (101k followers!)
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We’ve always believed in never losing sight of why we started the page in the first place, which was to share pictures of Hank with family and friends!