Learning how to set up an Instagram for your pet can be so much fun, and if done correctly, it can even be profitable! Ready to become the next pet Influencer?
First, you will need to sign your Pet up for an Instagram account
Once you sign up, you will want to create a Creator account, so that you can get insights on your posts and you will know how well you are doing or if you need to change things up. To do this, go to Settings, then hit Account. At the bottom in blue, you can see it says Switch to Professional Account. Choose your category. Most likely, you will want to be under Digital Creator, unless you are selling something. You can choose to display it on your profile or not. This is a personal preference and makes no difference in people finding you! You can then confirm that you are a Creator, vs a business.
You will want to complete your profile with a clear photo of your pet. The name in your bio is important! It is a way for people to find you. If I just put "Levi," no one would find my account, unless maybe they came across it while searching the jeans. If I spice it up and add that he is a rescue dog and that he is a mutt, people who are searching for other rescue dogs have a better chance of coming across it. People with specific breeds, such as an F1 Goldendoodle, tend to love following other Goldendoodles. Use this to your advantage and include it in your bio!
If you have a website, you will want to add it into the website spot, as this is the only way that Instagram will link it.
For your bio, use this as an opportunity to elevator pitch people on why they should follow you, engage with you, etc. Some things to include in your bio may be:
What you're about
Where you are located
Any niche you are in
Including your contact info will be important if you want to become a pet influencer down the line. It will give businesses a way to reach out to you.
Pick a Niche
Picking a niche will help you so much in the long run. It will give people a reason to follow you because they have the same interests as you. It will also make your content creation strategy much more concise. You will not scramble for random ideas, because you always have a topic to focus on and deep dive on.
Having a specific niche will make you stand out in the crowd. There may be thousands of dog groomers out there, but the crowd gets much smaller if you concentrate on grooming show Poodles. Have you ever heard the saying "Jack of all trades, master of none?" If you try to please everyone, you will end up pleasing no one. So pick a specific niche, stick with it, and master it!
Find Your Hashtags
Once you have your niche, it will make finding your hashtags that much easier. Research your ideal follower, or business you would like to work with. See if they are following any hashtags! This will be under their Following tab.
You can also find other accounts that are similar to yours, and see which hashtags they use, as well as how that post did. From here, you can experiment and see what hashtags work for you, and which you need to switch up. This is not a quick growth hack! It will take time and experimentation to see what works for you and your account.
Engage. Engage. Engage.
The golden rule. Everyone knows it. Treat others how you would want to be treated. If you want others to engage with your account, follow you, connect with you, etc., you have to be the one to do it first, especially as a brand new account. Look under hashtags you're interested in, look at the accounts Instagram suggests for you, and just do some general digging around!
Once you find accounts you're interested in, follow them, or like their post, and then comment a GENUINE comment. This means not saying "cute!" or just some emojis. What are they supposed to reply to that? Start a conversation! If you want to, you can take it to the DM's and start a conversation there. This is how you will build your community.
Look at Your Insights
Because you now have a Creator account, you have access to your Insights. This will be extremely useful for figuring out what posts and stories get you the most engagement. The Accounts Reached is the number of unique accounts that have seen your posts, stories, Reels, etc. Content Interactions will give you insight into the Likes, Comments, and Saves of your posts, stories, and IGTVs.
As of February 2021, Instagram changed their algorithm. Currently, they want your content to be saved and shareable, so they have made Saves and DM's (or Shares) the most important, with Comments and Likes being the least important in pushing your content out. Keep this in the back of your mind when creating content for your pet Instagram.
DO NOT BUY FOLLOWERS OR LIKES
Sorry for the yelling, but I cannot stress this enough. It is very obvious when an account has fake followers, and I can promise you that businesses check engagement rates over follower count. Having 500 dedicated followers who love your account and interact with you, is so much better than 5,000 people who never interact with your account and keep your engagement rate extremely low. Build your community organically and genuinely, and the right people will flock to you!
"Rome Wasn't Built in a Day"
AKA building a community will not be quick. It will take time! But trust me, it's worth it. Finding your people in this vast internet world is something that shouldn't be taken for granted. Your people are out there, and it's time to find them!