If you’re an Instagram user, then you might have spotted the growing trend for dogs with their own Instagram account. So how can you help your dog becomes ‘insta famous’ and an Instagram sensation?
Ashley Rossiter heads up PR & Social Media Marketing Agency MirrorMePR with a dog brand division. They work with lots of dog influencers so what are their clients looking for in a furry brand ambassador?
Which social media platform you choose is important and currently the most popular channel for influencers (human and dog) is Instagram.
The reach for that particular platform is excellent and so is the search functionality if you include the right hashtags on your posts. This makes it easier for brands and PR agencies to search and find your dog too.
Create consistent tone of voice
In the noisy world of social media, you need to make sure your social media posts stand out.
You need to create a dog account that reflects your dog’s personality and create a consistent tone of voice.
If your dog is a cheeky chap or a sophisticated lady, keep the tone and type of posts uniformed. If anyone discovers a post, then visits your profile, it should have the same feel.
Engage with your followers
Don’t forget to engage with your followers too (as your dog of course!) If someone leaves a comment, then make sure you reply and keep the conversation going!
Post photos regularly
Most owners have full-time jobs so even if you can only commit to 1 x post a week, try and keep that number throughout the year.
Consistency is vital when you are trying to build a following and an audience.
Don’t buy followers
In the beginning, it can be tempting to buy followers to make your Instagram account look popular.
But be aware, Instagram is cracking down on this practice and agencies can now determine with software if an Instagram influencer has bought a large percentage of their following.
Buying followers devalues your ‘brand’ and don’t think because you only have a small following that dog brands and dog companies are not going to be keen to work with you.
‘Micro influencers’ (individuals with lower numbers of followers, but with high engagement rates and conversations) are becoming a sound choice for companies who want to see people talking about their brand and products within social media circles.
Go for beautiful photography
Your dog account requires great photography. Running the account takes time and a good eye.
These days you just need a phone with a good camera. There are so many useful apps out there to tweak your images with before posting.
The best piece of advice we can give is to make sure that the subject (your pooch) is the main focus in the shot and not a pile of dirty washing in the background!
Instagram is all about beautiful images so don’t let your background ruin your photos. Cute pets are great but great photos of cute pets are even better!
Ensure your dog is trained for photoshoots
Good manners are important for any dog but especially a dog on a photo shoot or film set. Toilet training your dog is essential and an understanding of basic commands.
If you can teach your dog a few tricks, they are always well-received and make for a great photo shoot.
If your dog gets picked up by a brand or pet agency be honest about his temperament and manners.
He might take a good picture in his home environment, but if you know he doesn’t like strangers or gets nervous away from home, be realistic in his ability.
Research dog agencies
There is a growing trend for PR agencies to represent influencers and some also represent dogs. These agencies might take payment for promoting your dog or charge a percentage on any bookings.
There are also plenty of animal agencies too. Be cautious before handing any money over and read the small print of any contracts.
If you decide to go down the dog agency route, do plenty of research. The agency should also be happy to disclose previous jobs and their brand experience if they are asking for payment.
Don’t do it for the wrong reasons
If fame and fortune are all you are interested in, then creating an Instagram account and investing considerable time in creating content, posting, replying to comments and building a solid following might not be the best or quickest route.
If however, you love your dog and love taking photographs and talking about your pet, then a doggie Instagram account could be for you.
Don’t Give Up Your Day Job
You might earn some pocket money from your dog’s new found fame, but with thousands of doggie Instagram accounts, there is plenty of competition.
Of course, there are few exceptions to the rule when it comes to earning a wage from your celebrity dog and lucrative book deals.
Loni Edwards, owner of Chloe The Mini Frenchie had over 180,000 Instagram followers and several lucrative brand partnership deals at the height of her doggie’s fame.
On the plus side, your dog could receive some delicious dog treats, fun dog toys and even a stay in a dog-friendly hotel in exchange for a sponsored post on his or her’s Instagram feed.
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