The Power of the #InstaDog
Four years ago I fell in love with Shiba Inus. At the time I wanted a pet, and my mother who owned two huskies suggested the breed – what she described as a smaller, intelligent, and cat-like version of her own dogs who I adored. Through a ton of research I fell in love and my hunt for a Shiba commenced. On September 29 2014 my puppy Milo was born!
I was prepared and eager, and as an excited new dog owner, of course he dominated my personal Instagram and Facebook posts. To avoid annoying friends and family with the amount I wanted to document his puppyhood (they’re only this tiny once!), I decided to make a separate Instagram so that those who wanted constant updates and cute Milo pictures could follow. It started innocently enough, posting pictures the breeder sent us of him, and finally the homecoming.
This account opened the floodgates for my DOGE insta-craze. Through hashtags and similar account recommendations I realized there is a massive community of dog and pet accounts all over social media and my Milo could also be adored by thousands. And so I started to participate, and utilized different methods that gained attention for my little furball. Success came from the right mixture of hashtags, caption, emojis and of course the cuteness/silliness/beauty of Milo.
Like running any social account, this took work. What started at first as just a place to hold personal pictures turned into my dog having more followers than myself! Not only that, it became a place where “Milo” interacted with his admirers. Milo was quickly gaining followers and reached over 1000 followers in his first few months. His posts would average 100-150 likes with a select few going more “viral” at 160-220 likes.
I would describe Milo’s account as more of a hobby, with myself posting once a week if he’s lucky and frequently forgetting to attend to his followers when my own life gets busy. His following fluctuates during these times greatly, which at first surprised me when I hadn’t posted in a few weeks and realized he went from 1500 followers down to about 1300. Dog followers take this very seriously.
Hobby or not, one could definitely make a great career for their dog on social media. This insta-craze gets some pet owners with substantial followers brand deals, ads, and genuine fans. Social media doges are huge, and if you want to jump on this bandwagon here are a few of my suggestions.
THREE!!! ????????????????Happy birthday to the cutest, sweetest, feistiest, sometimes-cuddliest shiba baby ever!! You are a puppy to me for life. Lots of treats and belly rubs for you!! ???? #shiba #shibainu #shibasofinstagram #shibastagram #doge #dogsofinstagram #dogsofinsta #shibapuppy #shibadog #cute #handsome #toronto #happybirthday #birthdayboy #birthdaypup
- Caption your doge! A lot of successful pet accounts frequently caption their pictures as the pet in the first person. And remember – your dog is super funny and always says the perfect thing. (No pressure).
- Have a good username and bio! Your Instagram username should describe your doge in some way, whether this be their name, breed, temperament, or colour. When people come to your page they also want to know a bit about your doge. Emojis are very helpful for describing doges.
- Variety! Keep your followers coming back with different styles of photos, videos, places, activities. Who wants to see a millions pictures of a couch?
- Interact with your followers and other doges! Like and reply to comments! There are so many accounts you can interact with, and once you start following, liking and commenting on other accounts, they will likely return the favour.
- Use your hashtags! This is how doge lovers can find you. Through experimentation you can find what are popular hashtags for your breed.
- Post often! As I mentioned, followers like a constant steam of content. Posting 1-2 images regularly rather than a lot all at once is more attractive to your followers.
- Take advantage of events and occasions! Who doesn’t love a doge who will dress up for halloween? Or root for their favourite football team? Or wish you a Happy Women’s Day?
- Have fun. Don’t be a stage mom. Don’t make your pet uncomfortable for instafame. Give lots of extra belly rubs.
Hope I helped you and your insta-famous doge!
Check out some more insta-famouse pups here:
If you’re in #Toronto on Sept. 28th, come join me at Artbound’s charity event #worldwithcolour to help bring art programs to youth in the city and around the world! ???? @goartbound . We want to know where our followers are from. ???? Please comment below and let us know! ???? #streetsoftoronto #thankyoutoronto #the6ix