Making Your Pet Shine on Instagram

Instagram has opened up a whole new world where we can access a feed filled with pictures of everyone’s cute kittens and smiling puppies, ready to make our day. Instagram tells stories with photos and video so it is the perfect place to showcase your own adorable fuzz ball and connect with other pet lovers.

You’ve probably seen Instagram accounts in a pet’s name. Thousands of followers, fun photos and a growing community that enjoys seeing the lives of all the animals and their humans. Maybe you’re interested in sharing your fuzz ball with the world on Instagram too but haven’t the slightest idea where to start. 

One Step at a Time

Creating an Instagram account for your pet is simple. Here are pointers to get you going but our best tip is to not stress but have fun sharing your pet(s) with the animal-loving world!

1) Get that account rollin! 

Download the Instagram app on your smartphone and set up your pet’s account and profile. This is the most popular way to set up your pet’s profile–to make it seem as if your pet is doing the posting. It may sound silly, but it really works! 

It’s helpful to check out other animal profiles to see how they’ve set theirs up and to gather ideas. Keep your account name fun and easy to remember! 

  • Marnie the Shih Tzu has 2 million Instagram followers @marniethedog
  • Nala Cat has almost 4 million Instagram followers @nala_cat
  • Doug the Pug also has almost 4 million Instagram followers @itsdougthepug

2) #hashtags are #life! 
Seriously. If you want to get noticed, you have to use hashtags and lots of them. You can post as many as you want but keep it related to what you’re posting. A quick example would be if you have a dog, then a few of the most popular hashtags would be #dog #dogsofinstagram #dogs (you get the idea). 

While these popular hashtags have the most followers, the pace of new photos is too fast for a new account to gain much visibility. Also look for smaller hashtag communities such as #catstyle #catstuff or #catsdaily where your images won’t be pushed down as quickly in the feed.

Another quick way to get hashtag ideas is search for popular tags using the search icon. Type something like “dog” or “cat” and see what pops up. You’ll be able to see how many posts are under each hashtag.

3) Post Adorable Photos and Videos. 
This is the heart of your account! Pictures are what make Instagram popular so really make them shine! Download a free photoshop app and start creating amazing pictures! Be as creative as possible and always be sure to highlight your pet’s awesome personality. That’s what made you fall in love now make others fall in love, too! You have an Insta-Star in the making.

4) Post Often. 
You may feel like two to three times per day is a lot but remember that not everyone is on their Instagram feed 24/7. People are going to miss your posts if you only post one per day. So try for two or three times with plenty of hashtags! 

Bonus Tip: if you link a Facebook account and allow Instagram to auto-post for you, your pet will get seen twice as much!

5) Shine with Instagram Stories!

The IG story has become very successful and can help you stand out from many of the other Instagram pets. Stories share moments of your day in a series of photos or short videos that disappear after 24 hours. The images and videos become a slideshow on Instagram featured at the top of follower feeds. Add a geotag to have your Story included for that area. Add a new photo or video to your story and you’re back at the top of the feed. You can also post your Story to your profile page to keep it around longer than 24 hours as a Highlight on your profile.

6) Be Friendly! 
People LOVE it when you go out of your way to follow their own special pets so follow as many as you like! Press that heart button to like their photos and post a comment to show how much you care. This will go a long way in making friends but also getting recognized. 

Be careful not to make it all about the likes! Instagram fans can tell when someone isn’t genuine so make your posts all about your pet and all about spreading the happiness of that sweet face!

As always, have fun posting about your pet and remember to respect their boundaries if they aren’t in the picture-taking mood! We would love to see some of your Insta-famous stars so feel free to use the hashtag #unionlakepets and you can also follow us on Instagram @unionlakepets