If there’s one thing all dog owners have in common, it’s that we LOVE to talk about our fur babies and show them off on social media every chance we get. According to a study from BarkBox, dog owners post about their dogs on social media six times per week, on average. The study also showed that 20% of a dog owner’s photos on their phone are pictures of their dog.
There’s no doubt that we love sharing, liking, commenting, and tweeting about our precious pups. But some dog owners have managed to turn that love into their full-time jobs! How? By making their pets a social media sensation.
You’ve heard of the Forbes lists, telling you everything you need to know about the wealthiest people in the world, but did you know that Forbes has a Top Pet Influencers list? Animals like Doug the Pug, Grumpy Cat, and Marnie the Dog went so viral with their adorable images, that their owners quit their jobs to become their managers! Now, these amazing animals spend their days reeling in sponsorships, signing book deals, and of course, posing for the cutest content the internet ever saw.
Have you ever thought of turning your dog photos into your source of income? Maybe your pup has what it takes to become the newest member of the Forbes Top Pet Influencers list! If you’re giving serious thought to taking your dog’s social media presence to the next level, there are some things to consider.
Things to Consider:
Your Furball Comes First
Make sure your dog would be into social media life, too. This might be a dream for you, but if your pup is unhappy with the camera in their face or the silly costumes you may put them in, it’s not worth it! Their happiness is the top priority, so make sure they can keep up with the demands of social media stardom and still keep that tail wagging!
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Understand that this will require a LOT of legwork. Not only will you be posting content, but you also have to be willing to interact with people in your dog’s social media fan club. You will be answering messages and DM’s, connecting with other doggie influencers, and eventually networking with sponsors and affiliate companies. Make sure you know the scope of the work and are willing to shoulder that message-heavy burden by yourself.
Do a gut-check with yourself. Do you have the stamina and patience to keep posting funny, relatable content regularly? And for an extended period? It may sound stupid easy now, but in a couple of months, you may be tired, or you may be out of fresh ideas, but you haven’t made any posts this week! How will you handle it? How will you keep yourself full of creativity?
Be honest, and make a plan. Social media scheduling tools can help you stay on top of things, but you still need to keep the good content flowing. Preparation now will save you from burnout down the road.
It’s All About Personality
You need to show your dog’s personality. That’s what sets them apart from the pack, after all! Every dog has their own silly, loveable, hilarious quirks, and it’s up to you to showcase your dog’s character to the world. Is your dog a total diva? Is he a goofball? Is she an adventurer? Identify their distinct personality, and own it.
Still Interested? Then Take the Leap!
If you’ve thought everything through and feel good about making this jump to influencer status, here’s what you need to do:
Create an Account
You can’t give your dog a voice if they don’t have their own account! Don’t use your personal account and expect your dog’s social media presence to grow; it just won’t work that way. Create a new account that’s just for them.
It’s also helpful to focus on one or two social media platforms, rather than taking them all by storm. Instagram and TikTok are great choices as they are popular platforms for pet accounts. If you do set up an Instagram account, it’s worth setting up a Facebook account, too, since you can share all of your Instagram posts to your Facebook page.
What’s in a Name?
Finding the right name for your dog’s social media account can be tricky! You want it to stand out and be memorable, but you don’t want it to be too over-the-top. An “industry standard,” if you will, is to use your dog’s name and some kind of descriptor, whether it’s their breed or refers to their personality. For instance, a dog named Darcy could be “DarcytheDivaDog,” or a Golden Retriever named Milo could simply be “MilotheGoldenPup.” Play around with the name and see what sounds catchy to you, then bounce the ideas off a few close friends! Keep the name consistent across each social media platform you use.
Create High-Quality Content
Start your content game off strong. Don’t jump straight into launch mode quite yet; you want to make a few high-quality posts before you share the account with family, friends, and potential followers. You want them to have a few posts to interact with, rather than just one!
Make sure your posts are high-quality; take good photos, spend time crafting the perfect caption, and get creative. Don’t be afraid to be playful with your dog and start snapping tons of photos on burst mode! The best photos are often the most candid ones. Remember: let their personality shine through!
If you need some guidance, check out a few YouTube tutorials, or look at successful pet influencer accounts. Don’t copy their content, but use it as inspiration to fuel your own!
Hashtags aren’t just for cutesy quips anymore – they have an impact on the success of your dog’s account! Use your hashtags to gain exposure and reach a wider audience. Instagram allows you to use up to 30 hashtags on one post. Don’t be shy with them! You’re your posts with relevant hashtags, especially when you are just getting started. There are plenty of guides to help you master the hashtag game, so do some research before you go hashtag-crazy.
It’s also helpful to keep a spreadsheet of popular hashtags you see or the ones you notice on viral pet influencer accounts. These hashtags could be dog-related, activity-related, or just fun! Keep them all organized in your spreadsheet so you can quickly find the perfect ones for your posts.
Keep it Consistent
Once your dog’s account is up and running, share new posts regularly! You will need to come up with a schedule and social media marketing plan that makes sense for you and your audience, which can be a delicate balance. Maybe your followers want to see a new post every day, but you can barely keep up with posting content three times a week. It’s not sustainable to meet their demands, especially if the quality of your content starts slipping because of it! Plus, your dog might have a few choice barks for you if you push him too hard.
Find a schedule that’s a happy medium, and stick to it. If you say you’re going to post Fridays at 3 pm, be sure that post goes out at 3. You’ll keep your dog’s followers engaged and will start to build a relationship with them, like meeting a friend for coffee every Friday afternoon.
It may be hard work, but sticking with these principles and staying consistent could yield a major lifestyle change for you and your fur baby! Brands are realizing that pet influencers are worth the investment, and they may see your dog as their next influencing partner. After all, you’re bound to have thousands of followers with that sweet smile and playful personality in front of the camera!
Always be ready to market your pup’s social media accounts. If possible, keep a few business cards on hand and have a short pitch ready for any moment. You never know when you might get the opportunity of a lifetime!
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