How To Get Your Dog Instagram To 10k
I bet you often find yourself opening up your Instagram account and just praying that today was the day that your account would blow up and you would have thousands of followers. Yep are you still waiting?
For some of us that does happen. Your shot or video gets seen by the right people at the right time and bam off you go.
But that is not the case for all and it certainly was not the case for me.
But somehow, I did it and I want to share with you a few tips and tricks I have learnt along the way because whilst it may come across that I know what I am doing, I did not start out that way.
And lets be honest, I still don’t know what I am doing!
Dog Instagram Journey
I personally found the journey a very long one but so rewarding. Reflecting back on my account, I can not believe how much I have learnt from both a creativity point of view and also as a dog mum.
I actually encourage a lot of new dog owners to set up an Instagram account more for the learning opportunity and to help problem shoot as we are all here to help each other out and share the love.
The day that number ticked over to 10k I was so excited. It is just a number but for me it was a little goal. Because I never actually thought I would get to 10k. Especially if you were one of my earlier followers and you can remember what my account used to look like.
I have no special skill set and I am certainly not a photographer. In fact, I do not even class myself as a creative person.
Lets do a then and now…
Honestly, when I first created an instagram for Amos, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I started my account back in April 2016 and I did not realise that you were meant to talk to other dogs and I actually never knew that people edited their photos. Well I only thought professional photographers edited there shots not us standard folk.
Oh man, so much to learn.
You see I am a Maths and Science girl at heart and I love numbers. That's why I became a physiotherapist and also why I was a Gymnastics Judge whilst living in London.
Creativity for me is difficult and challenging. But I had to start somewhere.
It took me 5 months to get 200 followers and I hit 1k followers in January 2017! Crazy I know but it is 100% true. I clearly had no idea what I was doing and that it was such a community.
I just used to put up a shot and that was it. I had no idea you were meant to talk to people or explore. It took me about a year to figure all this out. Who knows what on Earth I was supposed to be doing.
Both accounts were funny and I noticed they both had a lot of engagement and whitty comments on their pages. They had also figured out a way to express themselves as their dog.
Then I realised that was what I was supposed to be doing.
Why am I telling you this? Because anyone can do it. You just have to learn what to do and remember that your content is key and that you must provide value to your friends aka followers. Try not to get caught up in other people’s accounts. Sure, be inspired as I am by so many, but focus on sharing your dog and your story. That’s what I want to see, not a copy cat. You could try copy Amos, but it wouldn’t work, because there is only one Amos and I get the privilege of sharing that story.
DOG INSTAGRAM 10k
So I taught myself how to speak Amos language. It was hard at first but I managed to somehow figure out how to express his personality and I think for those that have met Amos, I think I’m on par.
I also discovered the amazing @maggielovesorbit which led me to @barkcommunity where I have learnt so much and used so many of their tips to get my account to where it is at today. I would highly recommend you finish reading my blog and go and check them out here because there tips have been invaluable.
So lets look at a few important things that I have to improve your account ?
(Please I am no expert and I am still learning and finding ways to improve my account. I am just an average person with no special skill set that made it to 10k!)
DOG INSTAGRAM PROFILE
Now this is an area that I frequently am still messing around with but I try make it extremely clear as to what my account is all about.
You should really think of it as your home page. It is the first thing that people see so make it worthwhile and let them know who you are.
I am constantly looking at other accounts BIO’s and looking at ways in which I can change mine up to improve. But it is definitely something that you should be focusing on.
It also serves as a direct link to my blog so it is extremely easy to find our website.
One thing I still need to improve is my Highlights section and figuring out ways in which I can use IGTV.
A work in progress!
This was actually how my account grew up to about 5k followers. I was slowly working on my photography but I knew that was going to take time so I pushed the captions and tried to share my story and who Amos was. I remember so many times driving home and laughing to myself as I thought up crazy caption ideas.
My greatest fun was when I decided to have virtual fetch crew and held auditions. I did laugh out loud in the car.
Keep an eye on my Instagram because if you remember Amos being a reindeer last year, I will be holding auditions for fellow reindeer crew soon!
I personally tend to go for more of a long caption format and I am also attracted to accounts with long form captions as I like to know the story behind the account.
Therefore I taught myself how to be fluent in Amos language. So fluent, I drop in and out all the time when I am texting friends. My phone autocorrects to Amos lingo all the time!
Early on I started to test my captions and would hide questions in the captions and different points and see who replied to that question. I noticed that a lot of the followers I was getting were engaged in my captions and they were actually reading them. That is why I continue the long form and still to this day.
Sometimes they are slightly shorter but only because my brain runs out of ideas!
My captions either focus on :
Sharing the moment and the background behind the shot that I have captured
Creating a story around the shot but not necessarily in that moment
Amos making up something for example - my instagram pawties
I also aim to maintain a 100% reply to comments - but I am not managing this at the moment. I am so flattered for all of the amazing comments that we get and I read them all. But I am extremely far behind and I have decided not to stress about it and do the best I can. But I do read every single comment and I am always so flattered.
You see when I reply to a comment, before I reply, I actually go and have a look at the account and share the love. If you take the time to come to my account and leave some love then I can do the same to you. Thats often how I find new accounts to follow or perhaps decide to follow an account that has been active on my page for awhile.
That is why it takes so much time but I feel it is worth it.
Honestly content trumps all which is something I never really knew despite how obvious it sounds. When I get a good feature my account booms but in order to get a feature you have to create the content.
Some dog breeds have it easier than other dog breeds and I am sure you know that. But again, thats not what it is about is it. I create memories with Amos and I then share them with you all because man I love him to pieces.
So I needed to improve my photography and to do this day I still take all of my shots on my iPhone.
I taught myself how to edit and just gave it a whirl. It is funny looking back on photos and I remember thinking how amazing it was at the time and wow what a good shot only to look back on it now and realise yes, it wasn’t that great!
Here’s an example
Early on, I read an article on how to edit on my iPhone. I was looking it up for this blog and actually found the updated version of which I actually learnt a few more things from :
One of the things I also pushed myself to do was enter model searches because it made me look at my photography and to try think of ways to show off Amos.
I was also inspired by the accounts that also were participating and it pushed me further.
If I was then successful in the search, taking photos of the products helped push me creatively as well and to try think outside of the box to find new ways to show off the products.
And do not be disheartened, because I entered so many model searches before I finally was selected by our now amazing friends @arnie_blue_terminator . That was the start of Amos’s modelling career.
Actually I have to laugh here because I remember when I didn’t win a few searches I found myself thinking “ What?!” , “How could you not pick Amos” “He is so handsome” “My photos are amazing”
My photos were not amazing…..
I guess that is how parent’s feel when their kids don’t get selected for the school play !!!
Instagram creating stories was the best thing ever as we were now able to allow you all a glimpse into the day to day life of Amos. You see I feel like my Instagram feed needs to be perfect. Like the perfect shot where as on my story I can share anything and you really learn who Amos is and what he is all about. Amos comes to life and so do I. I have way more fun doing my stories and I love being able to share these moments with you.
I have recently started to use an App called Unfold and I love it so much.
I also loving putting music to my stories but wow sometimes it takes me sooo long to choose the perfect song!
Remember I am no expert and I am still learning and improving but i have learnt to focus a lot on my content and sharing my story. One of the most important things is to have fun. If you are not having fun it is time to time to turn that phone off and go play with your dog.
Don’t focus on the numbers. I still get caught up in numbers. I mean I look at them, I can tell when a post goes well and when it doesn’t go well. But at times I get too into it, especially the past two weeks. Thats when I know I need to get off Instagram and take some time out and go play with Amos. It is because I am a numbers person and I have a tendency to be some what of a perfectionist!
And remember, Instagram is just a free App on your phone. You don’t have to use it so don’t let it stress you out.
There are a few times I too need to remind myself of this.
I take my photos for me and my memories and I love that we can put a smile on so many peoples faces by sharing. It flatters me so much that so many people join us every day to see what crazy stuff Amos has been up to.
I sure hope that you enjoyed reading through some things that I have learnt along the way and we really hope that we provided you with some help. Please share this on your social media accounts so that we can help even more of you!
I love being involved in the Instagram Community and I have been fortunate to make so many lovely friends, many of which I have met in person. I had no idea that is what I would get out of it and I am forever grateful
I would love to know if you have any more tips to share or maybe share something you love most about Instagram.
Comment below !
Mel and Amos x