06 Oct 6 examples of great Instagramming: the dog edit
Want to take your Instagram account to the next level and gain followers quickly? Take advice from the six dog accounts that are rocking Instagram today!
Who doesn’t dream of quitting the 9-5 and living the lavish lifestyle of a social influencer? A life full of tech freebies, luxurious holidays, and free meals at top restaurants, all in return for a few posts on Instagram – how hard can it really be?
With 700 million active users on Instagram, the competition is high, but the opportunities are greater. And, although not all of us will achieve Instagram fame, we can still get the instant gratification that comes from hitting follower milestones, or gaining over 100 likes on a photo!
With the dreams of social stardom bubbling, let’s focus on improving that pesky follower count and upping your engagement levels. We’ve popped together six tips to help you on your way to becoming Instagram royalty. Plus, we’ve used dog accounts as examples because, let’s face it, it’s cuter than looking at ‘gymspiration’.
Tip 1. Picture perfect… or maybe not?
Although a high quality photograph will always help – don’t run out and buy an expensive camera and Photoshop just yet! Many modern phones have adequate cameras, and Instagram has a range of editing tools to help you manipulate your selfies into submission.
Think instead about utilising good lighting – early mornings and late afternoons are normally best, as the sun isn’t too bright yet (cue squinty eyes and over-exposed images). Look also at the composition of your shot: your focus doesn’t necessarily have to be the middle of the photograph – experiment instead with moving your subject to the left or right of the frame.
Looking at some of the most influential accounts on Instagram, each one has its own unique look– whether it’s the colour scheme, the subject, or the editing style, it’s something that ties every photo together. Take a look at Finley, the Golden Retriever – although there are a variety of indoor and outdoor shots on his account, the filter makes each one consistent in colour and tone.
Tip 2. Relevant hashtagging: #CuteDogAlert
The notorious hashtag has many purposes. The main use is to help your content become ‘searchable’ by using relevant keywords. This way you’ll reach an audience actively looking for you. Hashtags can also offer great content ideas through popular trends such as, #ThrowbackThursday, better known as #TBT.
However, make sure you don’t over do it, as Instagram has been known for blacklisting users who over-use certain tags (so your post won’t appear in that search anymore). We would say five to ten tags is plenty – and try mixing it up on each post.
Not only do hashtags help you create great content, but they can also be a bit of fun – giving your post a higher entertainment value. What’s important to remember though, is that you need to keep the tags relevant to the topic of your page, like @wieselblitz here, who uses tags that other Whippet owners will know and search for.
Tip 3. Content is king – but keep it real
There isn’t just one way to win the affection of Instagram users, and sometimes it can just be as simple as timing your post to reach audiences when they are online – think about early morning, or evening when they are not at work. However, this will entirely depend on your target audience and their time zone.
The best thing you can do is to experiment with your content. Try and capture a lifestyle through your photographs – but be true to yourself! Find your unique selling point – is it that you live in an interesting location, or that you sell something unusual? Whatever inspires you, will probably inspire others too.
For @topherbrophy, it was as simple as people telling him that he looked like his dog! Cue his new Instagram account, and the hilarious world of the dog doppelganger.
Tip 4. National Lemonade Day and other very important events
When you have your overall theme sussed, it’s time to start planning your posts. That’s right, no more posting for the sake of it; a great account takes time, effort and organisation.
Generally speaking, there should always be some sort of purpose behind each of your posts. Think about what’s trending at the time, what are people talking about and how can you tap into that? From national days, such as Buster the Pomeranian posting about #NationalLemonadeDay, to changes in season, or international events – when it comes to Instagram, it’s OK to jump on the bandwagon to drum up engagement.
Tip 5. Big up the brands
Gaining new interest can be as easy as getting a shout out from an account with a large following. To carry on with our canine theme – many pages, such as @dogsofinstagram with 4million followers, will repost your images and give you credit for doing so.
Another way to tap into a popular account is by becoming a ‘brand ambassador’ for them – e.g. use their product and post photographs of you doing so. If brands see that you are actively promoting their product, they may repost you, give you discount codes for your followers to use, and potentially offer you free items to advertise on their behalf.
Check out the lovely Luna, who not only promotes a bandana and collar company, but has also partnered with a dog supermarket, and a food company to sell their products – she has been a busy pup!
Tip 6. Share the love
It’s not all about posting; much of the hard work comes from staying engaged with your Instagram community. The best key to success is to give what you want to get: plenty of likes, follows and comments.
Do you have a few accounts that you really love? Then ask to collaborate on a post, or give them a shout-out. If you interact with others, they’re more likely to interact with you – simple!
Another great way to earn comments is to ask for advice – people love giving their recommendations, and in return, you should take the time to answer other Instagram users’ questions too. Just like Rio’s owner here, respond to commenters and thank them for engaging with you.
You’ll have plenty of ups and downs with your Instagram account, and it can be frustrating at times. So, our last piece of advice is to make sure you’re enjoying it! Don’t cry over lost followers, or beat yourself up over posts that didn’t get likes – it takes sufficient experimentation and planning to get it right, and you’ll get there in the end!
Formedia provides social media guidance, support and management of accounts. If you want any help please get in contact with Gaby at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 01752 764223