Instagram. If you can make it there, you’ll make it anywhere! Whether you're promoting your blog, your business, or your dog, Instagram is a great place to build an audience of real superfans.
But you’re taking pictures, you try to post consistently, your dog is the cutest ever, so why aren’t you getting views?
If you want to make your dog Insta famous, you need more than just pictures. You need a plan, and you need to understand the algorithm.
Let’s take a look at what it takes to become a real Dog Of Instagram so your dog can get the recognition she deserves.
Engage With Other Creators
To build an audience, you need to figure out who you want your audience to be composed of. Are you looking at serious fans of a certain breed? Other bloggers and business owners, or just people who love cute dogs? Start finding these groups, and get to know people who fit your ‘ideal customer’ persona.
Start leaving (genuine!) comments on their photos, and build real relationships. Once you start to become a recognized member of your target groups, they’ll start to recognize you and return your likes, and engage with you. The best part is that you’re not just building your dog’s Instagram audience, you’re also creating real, genuine friendships. Who knew social media could actually be social!?
You Need To Use Hashtags
If you haven’t mastered hashtags yet, now is the time. They help categorize your post, so people looking for things in that category can find them easily. Hashtags make it easier for people who do not already know you and follow your account to see your posts.
If they find that your content is what they’re looking for, congratulations, you’ve gained a new follower.
You can hashtag anything that will categorize your post like breed, day of the week, where you took the picture. Some examples are #dignifiedgreatdanes, #dogsofillinois, #mondayfuzzyfeet.
Create Quality Content
It’s easy enough to upload a picture onto Instagram. It might even be a decent picture, but is it enough to attract an audience? An okayish picture won't get you engagement. If you’re serious about building your dog’s Instagram account, you need to think before you post a picture. Is it well taken? Does it have bright, natural lighting? Does it tell a story? Think about what you like to see on Instagram, and make it a reality.
Make sure you show your dog’s personality. Is he a grump? Play it up. A total princess? Lean into it. Help your followers get to know and love your dog just as much as you do. You want them to feel attached to your pup, even though they’ve only seen him through a screen!
Highlight the goofy things your dog does, or catch emotional moments. Help build an emotional connection so your followers keep coming back for more. If you post Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, you want your audience to spend Tuesday and Thursday in anticipation of your next post.
Plan fun photoshoots. Use props, or take advantage of bathtime to get a fun shot. Cute bath products can make a fun photoshoot, like this sweet girl with her Fido Fizzies Melts Hearts Gift Set. Don’t forget you can add video too. Seeing your dog in action will help your followers feel more connected. Who can resist this good boy on bath day with his Fido Fizzies towel?
Add Context With Captions
You can use your captions to ask questions that help the audience engage with your post. You can use the caption as a place to invite them into your head for a minute so they can feel the emotion behind a picture. Well-thought-out captions with strong photos or videos will make your posts truly stand out.
You don’t have to post every day because that can be overwhelming. You also don’t want to go so long between posts that your followers forget you, or you get lost in the algorithm shuffle. Posting two or three days a week can help keep your followers engaged, while still leaving you time to focus just on your dog and not his follower count.
As your followers increase, you’ll need to put more work into maintaining your dog’s Instagram account.
You’ll find it helpful if you make a schedule. Organize your posts, and try to have ideas for planned photoshoots. If you plan some of your content in advance, this gives you time to scout a location and gather anything you need before the day of the shoot. You will also need time to edit the photos and come up with those engaging captions. So make sure you’re allocating enough time for every step of the process.
You will also need to schedule time to engage with your dog’s followers. Answer their questions, and respond to any comments you get. Interacting with them will keep them coming back to see your account and your dog’s antics.
Making your dog Instagram famous is almost like a second job. If it's something you’re serious about, treating it like a second job is your best chance of meeting your goals. Make a formal schedule, and stick with it. Some people like to put together an online content calendar. Or you can use a paper planner to help you plan out your posts. Do whatever it takes to help you keep your eye on the prize, as long as it isn’t detrimental to you or your dog.
Be Careful With What You Post
You don’t want to give away too much about where you and your dog live. The world is full of interesting people, and not all of them have your best interests in mind. Be vague about your address and the places that you go. If you will be someplace recognizable, don’t post about it until after you’ve already been there.
Remember some people are just mean. You might find negative comments on your posts. Don’t let those get to you. Tell yourself they are just sad people who need to get a life and block them. There is no need to get in a back and forth exchange with them, this will only lead to negativity on your account, and this can hurt your following. Keep things positive and only engage with people who are genuinely kind and supportive.
What do you think? Are you ready to make your dog Insta famous? Grab our free guide: How To Grow Your Dog's Instagram for even more tips!