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9 Steps to Making Your Pet a Social Media Star

By Sarah Sypniewski

dog and people taking photo on rock ledge
Is your pet the cutest? Does he always do the most awesome things? Does he always just naturally seem to be able to find his best light and angle in photos? Do people always greet him before you? If you answered yes to any or all of these, your pet may be a social media star in waiting. It’s your job to help him fulfill his potential! Here are eight steps to getting him into the social media spotlight.


1. Create an account just for him.

Don’t just use your personal account; you want to set up a separate and official presence for your pet. You should also choose one or two main platforms versus trying to maintain accounts on all of them. If you’re not sure where to start, go with Instagram – it’s a very popular platform for pet accounts. Plus, if you want to have a Facebook presence, it’s easy to share your Insta posts to a Facebook page automatically.

2. Pick a good name.

You have to find the right balance between boring and too cutesy. A lot of pet accounts include the pet’s name and then a descriptor of some sort. Sometimes, it refers to their species or breed, sometimes it refers to their “angle.” For example, if it’s a cat who hikes, it might be “freddythehikingcat.” And sometimes it’s just a pun. Whatever you choose, try to make it easy and memorable for people to talk about and find. Once you’ve chosen a name, don’t change it. If that means you need to take more time to really find a name that suits your pet, so be it. Changing the name later will only confuse your followers (and more importantly – potential followers) and injure your brand value and growth.

3. Create content.

Before you fully launch, put up a bunch of quality posts. Have at least a few weeks’ worth so your new followers have plenty to look at and engage with once they visit you. When they first discover you, they will scroll through your content and make a decision within seconds as to whether they want to follow you. Make it impossible for them to leave without making that commitment!

4. Make sure your content is high quality.

Accounts that get the most followers and engagement offer high-quality photos and writing. Make sure yours features both. If that means you need to take a photography or writing course or watch a few YouTube tutorials, go for it – it will be time well spent. Also pay close attention to what other successful pet accounts do and replicate, not copy, it.

5. Find an angle.

What’s your pet’s angle? What’s his special quality? Think about building your brand around that. Does he like adventure? Is he more of a derpy couch potato? Is he a film critic or foodie? Does he get into crazy predicaments with your human baby? Find something that naturally happens in his life, and that you approve of and like, and use that as your angle and brand. This can also influence your username.

6. Know your hashtags.

Start a spreadsheet and keep track of the hashtags you see other strong pet accounts use. You may want to add columns that will help you separate them by day or special events or anything like that. Keep track of pet-related tags, and any related ones as well. For example, if you’re out for a hike, throw some outdoor-related tags in there. The more interests your tags spread across, the more exposure your account will get. Use them liberally and change them up when you post. You might also want to create a custom hashtag for your pet that you use on ALL posts. Do a search for it first to make sure it’s not being used too much or at all.

7. Post regularly.

Once you’ve launched, make sure you post on the regular. Depending on the platform and your followers, you should come up with a schedule that meets their appetite level. You can also consider your brand and what your own personal capacity is for posting. That might mean once a week, once a day, or something else. You may even want to decide on themes for each day that you hashtag – or join in on pre-existing ones, like #tongueouttuesday.

8. Be a follower.

Follow accounts that you like, are successful, and vibe with your brand. Make sure you comment on and like their posts. It’s okay to follow more people than you have followers at first, but try not to make the gap too large. Ideally, you want your number of followers to be exponentially larger than those you follow. But in the beginning you will have to be generous with your follows and comments.

9. Use all the features.

Social media platforms change and get upgraded with new features all the time. Stay informed about them and use them as soon as they roll out. For example, the “story” feature across Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat are very popular. It’s pretty much a standard part of any successful social media brand at this point. If you don’t know how to use a feature, Google it and watch some how-to videos.

So there you have it – a few tips to get you started on the road to social media stardom! Remember us when your pet is famous!

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