How to Turn Your Pet Into an Instagram Star
Everyone thinks their pet is the absolute cutest, and you have probably thought to yourself, at least once, that your pet is so adorable he (or she) deserves to be famous. With social media, bringing your furry friend to stardom has suddenly become a possibility.
What if your dog or cat has what it takes to win the hearts of people all over the world? Wouldn’t you want to share that awesomeness with others? We are about to uncover the secrets of how to make your pet an Instagram and social media superstar.
Stay tuned for tips, tricks, and advice from the owners of influential pets that have thousands of social media followers.
What Is a Pet Influencer?
Social media has changed how companies market their products and services, and many businesses are now turning to individuals with a large social media following for help with marketing and promotion. This applies to companies trying to market products made for both humans and pets.
An influencer is someone with the power to influence other people, and with enough followers on social media to be of interest to companies and businesses. They often get paid or receive products in exchange for mentioning a company in their Instagram stories, feed, or on other social media, and being an influencer is linked to being what is known as an Instagram star.
The company gets exposure, and the influencer gets compensated for the trouble. It is a mutual relationship that benefits everyone involved. Influencers use social media to reach a wide audience, and common influencer niches are fashion, traveling, fitness, gaming, parenting, and – you guessed it – pets.
Now that we’ve established what an influencer is – how about pet influencers? A pet influencer is a pet featured on an influential social media account, where the owner chooses to post about their dog, cat, or other pet, instead of posting about themselves.
Some people start their pet accounts to have somewhere to post all those adorable pictures that tend to fill up a pet owner’s phone, and others set out with the goal of making their pet famous. These accounts usually feature photos from the pet’s everyday life, and as they grow bigger and more influential, many start doing collaborations with pet brands and companies.
Turning Your Pet Into an Instagram Star
It can feel overwhelming to look at accounts with thousands of followers, while your beloved cat or dog only has 25. The good news is that most of the ‘Insta famous’ pets on Instagram started out exactly where you are now.
Becoming someone on social media requires hard work, persistence, and patience, and the first tip is to understand that your adorable puppy won’t make it overnight. It is going to take time. The biggest mistake you can make as an aspiring pet account influencer is to give up too soon, but there are many other things to take into account as well.
Let’s start with the basics!
Create an Instagram Account
Before you can do anything else, you need to create an Instagram account (or any other social media account you are interested in). It takes only a minute to sign up with the desired username and an email address.
Choose your username carefully. The username can be changed later, but it could end up confusing your followers if you have already grown a small fan base by then. Pick a username you think you will be fine with for a while.
Choose a Profile Picture
Accounts with profile pictures are more likely to gain followers. Would you bother clicking on a profile with no profile picture? Probably not. Pick out your favorite pic of your pet and if possible – make sure it stands out.
It has become a trend to remove the background of the photo using an app and replacing it with the color of your choice. This isn’t for everyone but could make your pet pop.
Create an Instagram Bio
A recurring tip found in social media groups and forums was to write an eye-catching bio. The bio is what will appear below your profile picture and above your Instagram feed (your photos and posts), and you want to use the space to attract new followers.
What can you say about your pet (and yourself) that could make people want to hit the Follow button? Use the bio to sell yourself and your pet.
Start Following Other Pet Accounts
The first thing that will happen once you create a new Instagram account is this: It is going to ask you to follow a few other accounts. Pick out a few that you like using the suggestions or the search function.
Start following them, but don’t overdo it in the beginning. You want to have a few photos on your feed first, to inspire those you follow to want to follow you back.
Upload Your First Photo
Your first photo upload matters. You don’t have to be a professional photographer to make your dog, cat, or other pet Instagram famous, but you do need photos that make people want to see more. A blurry and dark picture probably won’t do the trick, and it is important to choose wisely when picking out the pics that will go in your feed.
A tip is to use photo editing apps, such as Lightroom or Snapseed (both free), to polish your pics already before you use the Instagram photo editor. The Instagram photo editor has a few filters and features to offer, but you will come to discover that most Instagram pet stars have their photos pre-edited with apps and photo editing software.
Add a Caption
A common beginner mistake is to think that people go on Instagram only to look at photos. The captions you use for your photos allow followers to get to know you and your pet, and it could be worth the extra time to write a longer caption from time to time. Let others see what you are up to and give context to the photo! Be you.
This doesn’t mean you have to write a novel every time you upload a picture, but sharing a few things about yourself or your pet could be what gets someone to want to follow you.
Using hashtags (#) is what gets your uploaded photo seen by others. When you skip hashtags, the photo will only be seen by those who already follow you, while a hashtag makes it accessible to anyone who clicks on it or who searches for a specific photo.
Instagram allows you to add up to 30 hashtags to every uploaded photo. This doesn’t mean you should use these carelessly, and it is highly recommended that you use hashtags that are relevant to your picture. When you type it in, you’ll be able to see exactly how popular the hashtag is and how many people have used it in the past.
How Often to Post?
You want to make sure you post often enough for your followers to remember you, but not too often so that your posts become annoying to your followers. You don’t want to cross the line. A general recommendation is to post at least once a day but to try not to exceed three daily posts.
It is a good idea to spread out the posts if you do choose to publish multiple photos in a day, and perhaps post one in the morning, one midday, and one at night. You don’t want to take over your followers’ Instagram feed, but you also don’t want them to forget you. Consistency is very important when wanting to succeed as an Instagram star.
Never underestimate the power of Instagram stories! Instagram Stories are posts that remain visible to viewers for 24 hours, and you can post photos or 15-second videos. You also have the option to add hashtags to your stories, and you can add up to 10 hashtags per story.
Tips from Rising Instagram Pet Stars
To get a better idea of what to do when your dream is to make your pet Instagram famous – we reached out to the experts. Who has better tips than those who are already on that very same journey? The following tips come from pet parents who saw their fur friend’s potential and made them an Instagram, and who now have well over 10K followers.
What is so interesting is that they all started out with 0 followers, just like you, and they are the perfect example of what you can do when you set your mind to something. How many followers you need to have to be considered “Insta famous” is subjective, but the following pet accounts are certainly well on their way.
“My biggest tip would be this: Don’t look too much at the numbers – share what you love and look at what works well, but don’t let likes and follower counts determine your worth. Focus on building friendships instead of followers.” – @dingoatemyticket
“Have a story to tell. Think about why you want to start a dog Instagram. There are loads of dog pictures out there. The best accounts (at least as far as what I look for) started their accounts to share a unique perspective.” – @flywithnimbus
“Create content that makes you happy. It’s exciting to get likes and comments, but at the end of the day you want to spend time on things you love doing.” – @pimalovespeewee
“Use hashtags for the city you take the photo in as well as things related to the photo. Example: Hashtag and tag the business that made your dog’s bandana. More than likely, they will reshare it on their page and tag you back.” – @wag.swagco
“Focusing on becoming Instafamous shouldn’t be the goal. It’s more about doing what you love and the fact that so many people enjoy the content you put out. I’ve never done it to be Insta famous. It’s just nice that many people did choose to follow us!” – @k9.wanderings
“If you’re starting an account just to be famous, then I don’t think you’ll get very far. People like genuine, nice people with interesting content, so create content that makes you happy and proud! Stay creative, have fun and be nice – it’ll get you a long way. The best part about it all isn’t the likes and followers, but all the new friends you get.” – @mollythedal
“Make sure what you are doing is sustainable for you. If you aren’t having fun, you won’t be able to maintain it no matter how many followers you have.” – @charlottewithdogs
“Choose your own individual angle and try and stand out from the crowd somehow. The days are gone being able to just copy someone else’s style. Uniqueness and individuality shine more on Instagram so have fun and let your personality come through.” – @citydogexpert
“Consistency is key when creating a pet Instagram account. Post regularly on your feed, stories, and reels. It’s actually so much fun coming up with creative content. If you enjoy creating your posts, your followers will grow organically.” – @marykatefallisofficial
It is clear that the best tip when starting out is to set reasonable goals. Don’t aim for making your pet famous, but rather to create content that many people will like and enjoy. Followers will come if you produce content worth following.
One thing that will help you reach your goals is to interact with your followers! Comment on their posts, reply when they comment on yours, and show that you care! Be a person and an account that other people will want to interact with and support, and post what you are passionate about.
Growing your Instagram pet account takes time, patience, and effort, but if you learn to love the journey rather than to only focus on the goal, then you are in for an unforgettable social media experience.