Instagram is the Cara Delevingne of the app world: getting served first at every bar in town and sporting all the hippest clothes before you knew they were cool (like 70s flares –wear if you dare). Most major retail outlets have been sucking-up to Instagram, Mean Girls style, think ‘ I saw Cady Haron wearing army pants and flip flops, so I bought army pants and flip flops’… Shops like Urban Outfitters now even encourage you to Instagram a photo of yourself in their changing rooms wearing their clothes and pouting your hardest.
We’ve told you why you should use Instagram for business, and if you’re stuck, how to make using it easier, but we know that sometimes people need a visual aid or two to get the ball rolling.
So we thought what better way to show you the perks of Instagram than by using the examples of the Instagram gurus themselves. No we are not talking about the Kardashian Klan, but the real stars that have used Instagram as a platform for exposure and majorly capitalised on it...
We are talking about the animal accounts of course!
No frowning please, we can learn a lot from our four-legged furry friends. Prepare to be amazed by the power of a witty caption and a wagging tail.
Maybe you will learn a trick or two…
Take Prissy_Pig for example. Prissy and her little brother Pop (full names Priscilla and Poppleton) live the normal miniature pig life in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, yet they have nearly 500, 000 followers on Instagram. That’s right people, we live in a world where image is everything, and we can sure learn a thing about Insta-GLAM from these two trotters.
They are cahuttttteeee and they know it. These snuffling snouts are nailing Instagram with attractive applicable photos. After all, what’s cuter than two sibling miniature pigs? Two sibling miniature pigs dressed up as bunnies for Easter. If there is an occasion, these two will be all over it; cue photos for Cinco de Mayo, graduation, Memorial Day (they’re American piglets).
Sorry Pop! No hunting for shark's teeth today! This weekend is about hunting for eggs. I'm already stretching my hamstrings getting ready for our egg hunt this afternoon. It'll be fun Pop! I promise!#BeachBunnies #PrissyAndPop #PonteVedraBeach #HappyEaster
A photo posted by Priscilla and Poppleton (@prissy_pig) on
Brands and businesses can engage with their customers using holidays and celebrations to make them feel more relatable. Prissy and Pop don’t just say ‘Happy Easter’, they show it in their appropriate attire and hilarious image set up. Try and use your Instagram photos to create a brand people want to invest in because they like your take on things. Whether it’s a holiday photo or a cuppa cocoa at Christmas, use Instagram to talk to customers as your pals: people who are interested and delighted by the same things as you are.
Laughs for likes
The way to many people’s hearts is through a good joke and boooooy do animals make things funny. Marnie the Dog isn’t your usual Insta-star. She’s old to start with, in human years probably around 60. She’s also kinda weird looking, in a cute way; this is no perfect pooch but rather a senior rescue dog whose tongue hangs permanently from her mouth and is blind in one eye. But Marnie has something you want – 1.4 million followers on Instagram. Considering Tesco has 8780 followers and Jeremy Clarkson has mere 334 K, we can learn a lot from this ol’ fur ball.
A photo posted by Marnie The Dog (@marniethedog) on
What makes her so popular? Well, she doesn’t take herself too seriously and knows how to crack a joke or two.
Whether it’s plugging herself as the new cameo in a Taylor Swift video, or grabbing a beer and ‘Taking it easy 2nite’, Marnie knows how to let loose. You may not know Ed Sheeran or Sam Smith (yes, Marnie does) but you can take a leaf out of her book, (or rather a bone out of her box), and keep up-to-date with trends and events such as TV programmes or award shows to engage with your audience.
Marnie’s cottoned on to a few other things about people that you’d be good to utilise too. People love jokes about being hungover, not going to the gym and falling asleep at work, so try and incorporate Marnie’s lazy humour into you pictures to ensure a few belly chuckles.
Now, these animals aren’t just pretty faces or creatures of comedy, they are strategists and they are working Instagram to their advantage. Doug the Pug’s bio reads: ‘King of Pop Culture Seen on TIME, Good Morning, BuzzFeed, Mashable and more!’ –Doug evidently means business.
Yes Doug is cute, but there are many cute dogs out there, so how does he differentiate himself from the masses? Well, he knows how to work a crowd that’s for sure. Doug’s sassy and self-assured Instagram persona keeps people continually engaging with his profile. For example, he posted an adorable photo of himself sporting a party hat with the caption: "Thanks for all the heartfelt Birthday wishes on my Facebook wall AKA do I know you?" and ‘#HappyBirthdayDougThePug’. Doug has used the classic rule of exclusivity to make everyone wish they were invited to his super-cool LA bash. He’s even utilising the hashtag to get other people involved –such a schmoozer!
A photo posted by Doug the Pug (@itsdougthepug) on
Doug also knows the importance of tagging yourself at a place or event, such as Coachella (even if he was too short to see the acts) to help gain more followers and draw more attention to his images. Work the crowd like Doug and use as many hashtags as possible (try and make up some fun ones too) and tag yourself at places when you’re out and about.
"When u pay a lot of money for concert tickets but can't see a thing because ur too short" -Doug A photo posted by Doug the Pug (@itsdougthepug) on
Stop! Collaborate and listen…
As I’ve mentioned, these animals are PR pets, they work Instagram like it’s a party hosted for them (think Doug’s bday). Ever the socialites, they know that collaborating with other animal accounts or celeb insta-stars helps to keep them current.
Milla the Cat teamed up with @aaronsanimals and his feline friend Prince Michael to create a hilarious Taylor Swift spoof. Working with other accounts creates a community that a customer or client enjoys following and feeling connected with.
Milla encourages communication with her fans by regularly posting their artwork to her Instagram with a #fanfriday tag. This is a fun and creative way to correspond with your followers and mix up your posts with something different.
Today's #FanFriday artwork comes from 10 year old @bellaamoreglitter. She truly captured Milla's kitty "CATure" fashion sense. #artwork #couture #tgif #millathecat A photo posted by Milla (@millathecat) on
Don’t let those innocent eyes fool you, Milla knows a thing or two about product placement. She regularly posts a photo of her using something that her followers may want to buy and even collaborates with retailers to offer discount codes for certain items and websites. Be as wily as Milla and look out for celebs or popular bloggers who could promote your brand or product online.
We hope you feel inspired enough to get posting on Instagram!
You may not be a purrrrr-fessional but you can build your brand or business on the app by uploading funny and cute images as well as creating a community that people want to get involved with.