Posted on April 05 2018
The United States is home to the largest number of domestic dog owners in the world (+35m pet owners). Americans have also created some of Instagram’s most famous pets including @dougthepug (3,2m followers), @nalacat (3,5m followers), @manny_the_frenchie (1,1m followers) and @jiffpom with a staggering 8,2m followers. Who knew that dog Instagram accounts would become a significant trend, gaining such notoriety that their owners have been able to cash in and turn account maintenance into an actual job? Pet celebrities are able to receive endorsement deals with some accounts earning between $5000 to $10 000 per endorsement post.
Millennials driving the trend
Millennials are tech savvy and 'live their best life' through social media and other online platforms. Unsurprisingly, so do their pets. The Millennial generation born between the early 80s to mid 90s challenges conventional norms in relationships, not accepting a 14-hour work day and striving to have a much healthier work/life balance. They push aside the 'old school' approach to life experiences and family constructs. This does not mean, however, that they've lost natural parental instincts - the desire for unconditional love and responsibility. So adopting a fur baby much earlier in life is the new norm to fulfill this need. Coupled with their love of social media, a new trend has emerged of self-expression through their pets and dog owners are creating Facebook and Instagram accounts in the name or persona of their pet. Dog profiles often have a quirkier feel and resonate with other pet lovers through cute imagery and a shared love of animals.
Famous Dog Instagram accounts in South Africa
Unsurprisingly South Africa has the 9th largest number of domestic dog owners globally, this born from our natural love of animals and lesser constraints on space in our homes compared to global standards. South Africans have also managed to create some famous Instagram accounts. Handles with the most followers include @rusty_and_dvd (10,2k followers), @dogmeetsgirl (9k followers), @goldengirlcalibear (19,1k followers) and @dog_lovesa with 15,3k followers.
Whilst we still have a lot of catching up to do, these Instagram accounts are gaining more followers every day. Some have endorsements, but the priority of South African influencers is to give back to the community and to focus on animal outreach. These influencers facilitate this via Instagram and Facebook competitions, doggy playdates, creating awareness around topics such as sterilization and of course to raise funds.
How can I turn my dog into a celebrity?
If you want to turn your pup into a celebrity, here are a couple of tips from the team at Urbanpaws to help you out:
- Add witty captions that captivate your audience and relate to your image.
- Post content regularly and consistently. Don't go wild, 10 posts a day will turn followers away.
- Do your research! Find the most popular hashtags, as well as common traits among the best accounts and use that to your advantage.
- Use hashtags wisely. The photos that do the best have a minimum of 11 hashtags.
- Have great photography. You don't need to have the best camera; your smartphone is perfect. Search for great apps that can help you edit or shoot more professional imagery.
- Use an app for posting to gain the best insights possible so you truly understand what's working and what's not. We recommend Plann, its available on the app store and it’s a fantastic tool that allows you to plan and schedule your posts ahead of time and reminds you that it's time to post!