Your Dog: Can be a Social Media Rock Star
September 23, 2013 | By Carol Bryant
by Carol Bryant
When some hear the word "Boo" it may conjure up Halloween, but for nearly 1.5 million Facebook fans (and growing), Boo is an iconic canine with a legion of followers.
Did you ever dream of your dog becoming the next Boo? Maybe you envision your pooch as the next Lassie or Air Bud.
If you answered yes, you aren’t alone. There are well over one billion people on Facebook, and with approximately 78 million dogs living in the United States, many of them are connected via e-leash; that is, social media.
Does your Terrier “tweet?” Is your Collie herding with his friends on Facebook? Here's a checklist on how to get your dog into the socially savvy world and tips for becoming the next canine rock star.
It is estimated that 14 percent of people have a Facebook account for their dog. In recent times, the powers that are at Facebook have begun cleaning the doghouse, so proceed with caution when launching a canine Facebook account. If your account is set up incorrectly, you risk deletion, so use the Facebook “Pages” option to one an account for your dog.
Your dog’s manners on Facebook should mirror the real world: Be friendly, be polite, be social, yet not obtrusive. In other words, don’t sniff the butts or climb on the furniture of those who aren’t into talking to dogs on Facebook. Think like your dog and write like him. Show his or her personality with pictures and videos. Let your friends and family know of your dog’s Facebook account and start gathering followers.
Twitter is a fun, 140-character playground to unleash your inner puppy and one of my favorite forms of social media. Tweeting is easy and fun and despite what your grandma thinks (or maybe she’s on Twitter), it is a great way to connect with like-minded people and their pets.
Once you’ve learned how to tweet , first and foremost, follow other pet people. It might seem time consuming and daunting, but if your plan is to create an online persona for your pooch, Twitter needs to be a part of it. Brands have become savvy to what dog parents want, and as a PR and social media guru in the pet industry, I can attest firsthand (and paw) that tweets by pets are being watched.
Most Tuesdays at 8 pm est, you can connect with other pet people (a good place to find an array of species on Twitter) at #BlogPawsChat. Hashtags are a trackable shared way to gather under one “cyber umbrella” where everything can be tracked. Remember the days of online chat rooms? Hashtags are very similar but privy to the whole world and anyone with a Twitter account.
Instagram is an online photo sharing service that allows you to upload photos, apply effects or filters, then share them to a variety of other places. It's easy, it's fun, and I've been playing around with it for a few months now. I am gaining new followers and fans to my magazine dog blog thanks to Instagram. Are your ears perked now?
If you've ever posted a photo on Facebook, you have a pretty good understanding of how Instagram works. Pictures that make you want to stop in your tracks get the most comments and attention. People with a lot of followers pretty much get a lot of likes.
Once you've uploaded a photo in Instagram, you want to hashtag it appropriately. Hashtags on Instagram are similar to but work a bit differently than hashtags on Twitter. Any word that is preceded by a hashtag will be searchable in Instagram.
The following is a photo I uploaded and hashtagged appropriately for your reference:
So three cute dogs and here are some hashtags you could use with this:
These #cockerspaniels are a trio of trouble and #cutenessoverload. #dogstagram #dogsofinstagram #doglover #dogsrock #homesweethome #cockerspaniel #blogpaws #cockersofinstagram
People start blogs for a variety of reasons, and there are thousands of pet bloggers giving a voice to their dogs. If you like writing about your dog’s adventures, have a passion for dogs in general, and/or want to share your thoughts or views to help pet parents in general, consider blogging. I started out blogging about pet-friendly travel and evolved into working in the pet industry.
One of the catalysts for putting your pet blogging dreams into action is BlogPaws. BlogPaws is a social media company founded in 2009 that brings the online pet community together with yearly conferences that are pet friendly (pets are even welcome in the classrooms.) Nowadays, pet bloggers are monetizing: Making money by engaging with companies in the pet industry.
Whether connecting with like-minded pet lovers is your thing or wanting to start a blog, grow a blog, or take an existing one to the next level, a good place to start is the free online BlogPaws Community. You can join here: http://community.blogpaws.com
Note: Don’t expect to be an overnight sensation but do keep at it. Before long, your dog might just b the next big thing!
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