These days, it seems like everybody and their aunt has a pet account on Instagram with more followers than you. So, you might be asking yourself some questions: How did they do it? Why is that poodle who can’t even pay taxes cooler than me? Well, I’m here to help you with the first question!
Create Quality Content
Instagram is a picture driven social media platform, so clean and beautiful imagery is key to catching people’s attention. That said, the quality of your post will directly affect your engagement. If your Instagram game has plateaued with iPhone pictures, try investing in a DSLR camera. When it comes to captivating pet photography, a DSLR camera is a fantastic resource. In conjunction with a low-aperture lens, for example a f/1.8 50mm, you can create stunning images with a shallow depth of field or blurry background. If your budget does not allow for a new camera, spend more time drafting up unique photo and video ideas. Right now on Instagram, there is nothing more powerful than a fun, cute, comical, or interesting post. With Instagram’s algorithm, quality content will naturally rise to the surface. So, if your content is engaging enough it will reach a larger audience. In addition to posting quality content, the timing of your post has a huge effect on its success. If your post goes out and no one’s there to engage with it, the picture or video will naturally perform badly. So, find out the most active time of day for your followers and schedule your posts then!
Develop A Voice
Before diving headfirst into the Insta game, do a little research and create a voice for your furry friend. Is your pet goofy, energetic, lazy, rambunctious, sassy, or all of the above? Is your pet a master of tricks? Does he or she cuddle with a favorite toy every night? Find something characteristic and run with it! Craft your voice around your pet and the rest will follow. For instance, Kodiak is extremely goofy and adventurous, so we create content around him being weird and curious. Keep up with pop culture and all the craziness that goes along with it. Is there something trending that people are currently talking about? Capitalize on it and make a post that your average consumer can relate to. Is it Taylor Swift? Is it Star Wars? Is it a funny meme on Reddit? Whatever the trending topic may be, find a way to incorporate it tastefully into your content. Create posts that keep people coming back. What do you find in other pet accounts that makes you return to their page every day? What works or doesn’t work? Ask yourself these important questions and apply the results accordingly!
Build Your Audience
To climb the ranks of the interwebs, you’ll need to continue to grow and expand your following. A quick way to achieve this is by getting shout-outs from larger accounts. So, when it comes time to post your photo or video tag brands, companies, feature pages, and other similar accounts to catch their attention. Along with tagging accounts in your posts, come up with no more than 30 relevant hashtags. Save these somewhere easily accessible on your phone, so when it comes time to post all you need to do is copy/paste the hashtag block in a comment below your caption. With Instagram’s algorithm, there’s a trending section for each hashtag so if your post is doing well it may be trending under multiple hashtags. This is a great way to reach new audiences beyond your own following. To keep your engagement high, post once a day and interact with your followers. The dog community on Instagram is amazing, so it’s easy and fun hanging out with like-minded dog owners! Also, if you have the time and resources, coordinate a product giveaway with a group of fellow pet accounts or brands. When pulled off appropriately, giveaways are a powerful tool for bringing in fresh followers. The real challenge is getting them to stay!
Utilize the Instastory Feature
Since Instagram’s buyout a few years back from Facebook, the social network has been rolling out new features every month! One of their biggest additions to the app was the “Snapchat” story feature, Instastories. This allowed for additional content consumption, but it was much different than your standard feed post. Consumers were given the option to click on informal bonus videos and pictures showcasing the behind the scenes and everyday life of the instagrammer. This feature made accounts more personal and followers more invested. That said, stories today play a huge part in the clockwork of the algorithm. If people are clicking on your stories and continuing to engage with it, your content will take priority over someone else’s the next time you post. So, the longer they stay on and engage with your profile the quicker your content will appear in their feed. If your story content is interesting, quirky, funny, and captivating, your overall engagement will increase, creating a larger reach for your posts. The quickest way to grow your account is through quality, organic posting and daily activity. So, what makes a good story? Find interesting things to capture throughout the day. Show off your goofy side. Take pictures and videos of your routine or training sessions. Try out new ways to use the in the widgets and stickers. Finally, don’t forget to use captions for every story because most people consume them without the sound on. If your average consumer sees a 15 second video of you staring at your dog with no indication of what’s going on, they’ll simply swipe left and move on to the next account.