You’ve most likely heard of Grumpy Cat. Or Boo, the World’s Cutest Dog. While these two were among the more popular animal social media influencers, they’re far from alone. The Internet is filled with adorable pets, some of whom have talents like skateboarding, others of whom are just adorable.
And is it any wonder that people create Instagram accounts for their pets when Google created a massive computer network and gave it access to YouTube, at which point it promptly taught itself to recognize cats from the huge numbers of cat videos available there. But what is it about the most famous pet influencers that made them so successful and how can you get in on the game?
How Popular Are Pet Influencers?
Pet influencers can get millions of followers. Boo the World’s Cutest Dog had 16 million followers on Facebook and kept them even after he sadly passed on. Pet influencers have had books written about them and Grumpy Cat even got a movie deal. Lil’ Bub was a presenter at the Catsbury Park Cat Convention.
How Much Can Pet Influencers Earn?
Pet influencers can net their owners tens of thousands of dollars. If a pet is famous for something like a book or movie deal, they can earn even more. Grumpy Cat, for example, is reported to be worth $100 million. While most pet influencers don’t reach quite the same level of earnings as Grumpy Cat, they can still be worth quite a bit.
How Do Pets Earn Money?
Any pet that is famous enough on social media earns money by being part of a brand or through ads on social media. Boo the World’s Cutest Dog, for example, was the face of Virgin American Airlines. Lil’ Bub gets $30,000 annually from YouTube royalties alone. Others earn money by attending events.
How Can I Make My Pet a Social Media Influencer?
You won’t be getting book deals and having your pet be the spokesdog of an airline to start. It can take a lot of hard work and even some luck to earn any money with your pet’s fame, let alone reach Grumpy Cat status. But each of those famous pets started somewhere.
Create Social Media Accounts
It isn’t enough to just share photos and videos of your pet on your own social media accounts. Those will appeal to friends and family, but not to a wider audience unless you’re already famous in your own right. The trick is to create social media accounts for your pets.
Lil’ Bub has her own YouTube account. Boo the World’s Cutest Dog is on Facebook, which is now dedicated to the human owners’ other dogs, Bean, Bluebeary Pie, and Benny. Grumpy Cat had her own website. Most of the more famous ones have multiple channels – you can find Lil’ Bub on Facebook as well. Boo is also on Instagram and Twitter.
It’s also important to choose something memorable to use as the name. Grumpy Cat was known by that nickname, but it wasn’t the cat’s real name. Although Grumpy Cat’s real name, Tardar Sauce, is just as memorable as the nickname the Internet gave her. Even if it’s not your pet’s real name, the social media account should be easy to remember.
Take Lots of Photos
Before you start, make sure that your pet is comfortable around the camera and looks good on social media. If your pet is camera-shy or just isn’t photogenic, then they may not be the best fit for social media. It’s a good idea to have a backlog of photos and videos ready so you won’t keep your audience waiting for new content.
You’ll also need to have some knowledge about photography yourself. The quality of your photos and videos – both in terms of camera quality and your skill – will be what sets you apart from the amateurs.
Make Your Pet Stand Out
What is it about your pet that makes it unique? Maybe you have an otter as a pet. Maybe your cat can skateboard. Or maybe your dog has a unique haircut. Whatever it is that makes your pet stand out from all of the other animals out there is what you’ll need to focus on and highlight.
Keep the Content Coming
It’s essential to post regularly, follow others, and to engage with your audience. Use hashtags to make your pet’s content easier for users to find. If you can start building up an audience, make sure you know what they want more of. Which photos and videos got the most shares and likes?
It’s All About Who You Know
Network, network, network! Look for other pet social media accounts like yours. Follow them and like and share their content. There’s a good chance they’ll return the favor and share something of yours. If they already have a large audience, their fanbase will see your adorable pet as well and some may begin following you, too.
Treat Your Pet
Most importantly, have fun with your pet. If you can tell that your pet is tired of the camera, give it a rest for a while. If you’re staging a photo shoot with props or a special location, make sure that it’s safe for your pet. Nothing can turn an audience against you like endangering the pet they’ve come to love. Then, when you’re done, reward your pet with treats. They deserve it!