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Isn't it fun to fire up Instagram and get bombarded with pet photos? That kind of cute can turn a bad day bright or a good day awesome.
From cats to dogs to hedgehogs, rabbits to pigs to chinchillas to birds and more, pets provide perfect fodder for the photo-sharing app. Some pets, with the help of their human "assistants," have catapulted to Instagram stardom, with their daily photo uploads racking up hundreds of thousands, and even millions,offollowers around the world. Which made us wonder: How does anyone reach that level of exposure? Some pet superstars' human "managers" stumbled upon their fame, while others strategically crafted their ascent. And though every path to success is a bit different, there are some things you can do to get your best friend the attention he deserves.
We spoke with some of the human assistants/photographers behind some of the famous accounts, and here’s what we learned about what turns a pet into an Instagram star.
Many popular pets on Instagram were part of their owners’ accounts, until these self-aware pet owners realized that not everyone wants their feed flooded with the latest, cutest antics of pets. “I had been posting way too many Richard photos on my own personal account, which some of my friends weren’t as excited about as I was,” says Maya Tuttle, the human behind Richard Kitty, who has nearly 120,000 followers. “So I decided to give Richard his own space to shine. His account is now nearly 50 times as popular as mine—and I couldn’t be happier!”
People like Tuttle created accounts for their pets so anyone following would know precisely what they could expect. And, judging from the number of followers on some pet accounts, there are plenty of people who do prefer furry, feathered or finned accounts over those of their boring human counterparts.
Hashtags are a key component of Instagram culture, because they help people find the things that interest them in a sea of photos about, well, everything else. Pet people want to find pets, so make it easy for them to find you. Popular pet-related hashtags include: #pets, #petsofinstagram, #dogs, #dogsofinstagram, #cats, #catsofinstagram, and #weeklyfluff. A good way to find the best hashtags is to take note of what popular pets are using and use those if they seem relevant to your pet, too.
You can't get anywhere on Instagram with blurry, uninteresting photos. If you have some photography skills and a good camera, you can truly shine on this platform. Snoopybabe, a Persian cat with 271,000 followers, clearly has some owners who know what they're doing. Theron Humphrey of This Wild Idea uses his professional capabilities to take incredible shots of his dog, Maddie, gaining more than 760,000 fans.
But plenty of pet parents can get exceptional shots with the cameras on their phones. Amber Chavez, the person behind French Bulldog Manny the Frenchie, for example, posts fun, compelling photos with great lighting, props and composition. That seems to work well for Manny, who has amassed more than 628,000 followers.
But even if your photographic talents are lacking, there’s still no excuse for posting bad photos. Instagram provides a choice of photo editing tools and filters that can turn mediocre pics into something truly cool.
A key to Instagram success is to give your followers what they want—more of your pet! Nala Cat, with 1.7 million followers, also has a whopping 3,475 posts. Most popular pets on Instagram have a high number of posts as well. This means the pressure is on to take lots of great photos of your adorable furbaby. “Always be ready to take a photo,” Tuttle advises.
Chavez agrees. "Try to capture every possible moment you can via photo or video."For most pet owners, this shouldn't be a challenge.
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