Let’s face it … pets are like children, not only because they become child substitutes, but because every pet owner thinks their animal is the most beautiful, the most talented, the most charismatic in the world … which is just wonderful because all animals deserve to be treasured.
However, from a purely objective standpoint, to the outside world, nine times out of ten they’re an average doggy or moggy.
Having said that, there are some animals that have been elevated to stratospheric stardom in the social media universe thanks often to savvy owners.
No one could resist the hypnotic cuteness of Lil Bub who was the first in a long line of animal social media celebrities.
Lil Bub, who sadly died suddenly in December 2019, became a household name when her owner parlayed a public obsession into some very beneficial earnings.
The money raised allowed them to pay for new treatments for one of Bub’s genetic conditions that had rendered her almost immobile and has gone on to generate more than $ 700,000 for pets with special needs.
There was something about this little fighter that went beyond the way she looked to lift the spirits of millions.
Despite her passing, she still has 2.9 million Facebook followers and 845,000 on Twitter.
Then there was Grumpy Cat, who also died last year, and touched something within us, though not in the same way.
She tapped into that inalienable human right to moan … about everything.
Grumpy still enjoys more than eight million Facebook followers and 1.5 million Twitter followers.
Now known as pet influencers, there are thousands of wanna-bes out there but few make it to the truly dizzying heights of an Instagram icon.
Jiffpom, a dog so cute it hurts, has 9.9 million Insta followers, 1.3 million on Facebook and 10 million on Twitter and according to a guarantorloans.com ranking, the potential to earn $ 45,000 from every post.
Second in the rankings, the lovely Nala with 4.3 million Insta followers, can theoretically earn almost $ 20,000 per post.
And it’s not just dogs and cats that are making their mark … there’s Jill the Squirrel, Mr Pokee the Hedgehog and Esther the Wonder Pig.
So you think your fur baby can match it with the likes of Jiffpom, what’s next?
The first thing to consider is that success takes more than just posting some cute pics. It’s actually hard work.
Social media needs to be regular, as in regular content and posts, and you need to decide on the theme. Are you raising awareness? Making people laugh? Making a profit?
Whatever the reason, your first priority must be the welfare of your pet and nothing is worth stressing them out, especially the opinions of people you’ve never met.
So consider whether your pet is going to be happy with regular, even daily photo shoots, and comfortable with the content you want to curate and create.
If your dog doesn’t like dressing up, you must rule that out.
Instead, develop a content plan which makes the most of the activities your pet enjoys. The happier they are, the easier it will be for you, and the better your content will look.
Then identify what makes your pet unique and develop a character around that trait, build on it and make it the consistent tone for your content. Grumpy Cat is the perfect example … always grumpy.
And when it comes to content never underestimate the power of a good laugh.
The Three Girls Media website claims you can never have enough hashtags and if you don’t know about them … learn … the site advocates around 25 per Instagram post.
The company also suggests networking with other social media accounts that specialise in pets as this may help extend the reach you get.
Remember, every animal is a star and they don’t need millions of strangers following them to prove it.
But if you do want to go down the social media path, do your research and make sure it works for you and, more importantly, your pet.