From being the Toast of the town to changing the way we think of the word Tuna forever, the Internet has gone to the dogs. It’s the norm for pets to have social media accounts where they can share their adventures with the world— like getting hugged by TayTay (or just sharing an ice cream cone with Mom.)
If you see Instagram star potential in your pup, here are six steps to get you started. Don’t forget the little people when your dog is famous!
1. Think about what makes your dog unique.
Winston is a rare white corgi, Maddie can balance on anything, and Ginny has hops. What is it about your dog that will make him stand out and leave a lasting impression? If it’s not a physical attribute, consider your dog’s quirks or cute antics that make you laugh. More than anything, social media is a place for you to share what you love about your dog with the world.
2. Post consistently.
Don’t go overboard with 30 identical selfies of your dog within a week, but if you want to grow a steady following, stick to one or two posts a day. Test timing windows to determine the optimal time for you to put up photos for the most engagement. The more dedicated you are to documenting your dog’s life, the more loyal your followers will be.
3. Find your dog’s (famous) spirit animals.
Toast had his big break when his human mom Katie Sturino convinced Leandra Medine (also known as Man Repeller) to post a “Who Wore It Best?” photo with her and Toast wearing the same outfit. It may take some work, but tag and comment on famous Insta-dogs’ accounts, and take photos that will get their attention.
4. Practice taking photos.
Sure, you may never be the Annie Leibovitz of dog photography, but it pays to take a lot of practice shots. The fun part of being a “stage mom” for your Insta-pup is that it gives you an excuse to create shots and go on impromptu adventures with your best friend. Play around with natural lighting, capture your dog’s brilliant smile, and unleash your inner creative!
5. Take advantage of awesome apps.
You can stick to Instagram for all your photo needs, but there are tons of nifty apps out there that can help you capture and create awesome pics people will want to share. Text2Pic gives you cute fonts and designs, Layout lets you collage, and you can manipulate basics like lighting and apply professional filters with VSCOcam or Snapseed.
6. Harness the power of #hashtags.
Some say you can go overboard with hashtags, but especially when you’re starting out, they’re a great way to get noticed. Jump onto #tongueouttuesday, for example, with your dog’s own adorable grin. Get familiar with #doggos and #pupperinos, as well as non-dog-related hashtags that apply. #cute is always a good one!
7. Engage with your Insta-community.
Follow others who follow you. Take a few moments during the day, every day, to like, share, and comment on accounts of other dogs. At very least, it gives you an excuse to enjoy plenty of cute dog goodness.
8. Use the platform for good.
The best part about pets on social media? When thousands upon thousands of people are commenting and liking your pup’s photos, you have the power to change lives!
Get inspired by furry philanthropists like Manny the Frenchie, who’s touring the nation to meet fans and support local charities, and Marnie, the lopsided Shih Tzu who advocates for senior dogs everywhere. We really loved what Hamilton the Hipster Cat did last year: he donated his Instagram account (with over 540k followers!) to Adopt-a-Pet to support rescue animals. Fame will provide your pup with an influential voice, so why not use it to help others?
Featured image: Tula the Dog Photographer. @caninehappyhour