7 Easy Tips for Turning Your Pet Into an Instagram Star

5. Be Friendly

An Instagram of Jamon the Pig dressed for a pool party
Jamon the pig's owner says it's important to consider your audience and what they like and want to see from your Instagram star.

Like other social media channels, a lot of Instagram success is built on engagement with followers. Likes, comments and reciprocity are important aspects of building a following. When asked what surprised her most about Richard Kitty's Instagram success, Tuttle says it was how friendly his followers are. “You can’t find a more good-natured, encouraging group of people than Internet cat fans!” she says. With a community like that, it shouldn't be too hard to engage.

6. Showcase Your Pet's Personality

Your “home” page on Instagram is a great place to briefly share what’s fun and unique about your pet. Then you can deliver on this promise with your pet’s cool, cute and unique photos, captions and hashtags. Chavez does a great job determining what shots Manny the Frenchie's followers will like. He has a special look about him, which works to his advantage, butChavezalso takes care to post quality, interesting photos. "He is hilarious in his own way, of course,"she says. "Be creative, find your pet's 'voice,' and stick to it," she advises.

Andrea Mendes, the person behind JamonthePig, with 63,000 followers, says consistency and being yourself is critical. "Be the protagonist," she advises. And stay focused on the things you know your followers like and enjoy. "Don't talk about everything. You need to know whom you're speaking to."

7. Have Fun

The most common advice owners with pets on Instagram had to share was to make sure your pet is having fun and is always staying safe. "Your cat should never have to suffer for fame," Tuttle says. This means that props for photos are pet friendly, no taking photos in dangerous locations, and if you put clothes on your pet, they have to be comfortable for him and not have any buttons, threads, beads, ties or anything else that could be chewed on. And remember, if you don't like having cameras flashing in your eyes over and over, your pet probably doesn't either. So avoid the flash when you can—which is something professional pet photographers recommend as well.

An Instragram of Nala Cat
One way Nala Cat has amassed 1.7 million followers is by posting frequently.

Finally, what surprised some of the humans manning pet Instagram accounts was just how much happiness their animals bring other people.

Chavez says, “It’s overwhelming sometimes to hear the stories of people who’ve lost their pets and how much our posts cheer them up. It’s created this sense of responsibility now to try to make people smile with what we post.”

Jamon’s owner, Mendes, agrees. “I receive a lot of messages and emails telling me how some picture or post made people smile,” she says. “To see how many people I can make happy during the day is amazing.”

So if you're obsessed with taking photos of your pet (and most of us are!) think about how much joy your pet brings to you and consider sharing that happiness with the world. You just might make someone's day with your latest iPhone pic. And, if you are very fortunate, you might even make some money off your Internet star, like the owners of Bodhi, the Menswear Dog, who earn $15,000 a month with sponsorships, guest appearances and more.

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