Dog blogging is fun and quite easy: just post your dog’s life whenever you feel like it. Then, you start looking at other dog bloggers and do what human do best: compare yourself to others. You realize your dog is the most beautiful yet his or her following isn’t taking off.
Eventually, you start looking for actionable tips to boost the engagement of your dog’s social profiles, and grow their following. And then, you find this article.
First, let’s just be clear on one point this article is NOT about. No, this is not an overnight system that will suddenly make you the #1 dog blogger out there. Yes, you will need to work hard and do things differently than what you used to. And lastly, the items aren’t going to track themselves up so you need to do more of what works, and less of what does not.
Fairly simple, right? So, let’s dive into it.
Action 1 – Declutter Your Social Presence
Contrary to popular belief: you don’t have to stay on every new platform. Of course, as soon as a new social network becomes relevant, signup and reserve your nickname on there but no need to scatter your sweat on several platforms and get very little results on each.
The importance of ONE. Target a single social channel and put all your efforts into growing and thriving in it. Only once you’ve managed to grow sufficiently, you can start thinking about the next land to invade.
Instagram is usually the first and most appealing platform because of it’s very searchable (hashtags) and you can easily interact with fellow dog bloggers and get the ball rolling. Dog breeders are all about it and it helps them get some eyeballs.
Action 2 — Cross Promote All Your Dog’s Social Profiles
As a human being having a decent Internet connection, I am sure you have one or several personal accounts on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, Pinterest or even Google+.
This is a goldmine! Make sure you promote your dog’s profile through your personal accounts. You don’t have to be straight to the point (ie. go like my dog’s instagram profile) but you can share pictures or videos you posted on your dog’s timeline, for example.
Action 3 — Outreach Several Times, Every day
Prefer depth over width.
Meaning, before sending a tweet or a comment to another fellow dog blogger, check out their page and see what they like. Don’t just comment generic messages. People have an anti-bullshit radar and you won’t even get a reply.
Set a schedule, perhaps every evening morning and every night, to go on Instagram and find five relevant accounts to connect with. Be genuine and honest in your approach and even if 10% of them reply, you’ll win in the long run.
Don’t ask for something right away, provide value upfront and in due time, you’ll receive more help than you ever expected.
Action 4 — Use The First Mover Advantage
People who invade a platform in the early days have a much larger following. At first, quality profiles are scarce so people follow them all. Then, critical mass is hit by the platform and it becomes much harder to gain some traction.
But please… Don’t just wait for the next Snapchat or Periscope to use this tip. Make yourself known using existing and established platforms’ new features and organically reach a whole heap of new followers.
Action 5 — Collaborate As Much As You Humanly Can
What do rappers and other singers do to grow their fan base? They do collaborations with bigger artists… And you know what? It works.
Buy a bunch of cheap-ish collars, leads or treat pouches and offer some of them to a few fellow dog bloggers. That way, they can organize a free contest and drive followers your way!
Another way to do it that is completely free is to contact dog bloggers at your level to promote each other so both can benefit from this collaboration. Don’t abuse that because you might piss off your current followers; but once every two weeks will be just perfect!
Action 6 — Create a Themed Posting Schedule
A lot of dog bloggers post photos and videos randomly to say the least. They are definitely not following precise guidelines and they don’t even know what will be posted the next day, week or month.
Some days where they have to post, they end up having nothing of interest and post average content. They don’t prepare their content.
Instead, you should find a theme for each day. No need for military-like discipline but just a set of broad ideas for each day. For example:
- Monday is a dog quote (with your dog as background)
- Tuesday is a homemade dog meal recipe
- Wednesday is an outdoor photo
- Thursday is a short video
- Friday, Saturday and Sunday are free
This helps you prepare high-quality content ahead of time and provide your audience with engaging ideas and concepts, contrasting with other bloggers’ random posts.
The essence of this post is to get you to see your dog’s social strategy in a more precise and planified way. To grow a social media following you must put in the work, the planning and the content creation it takes to succeed.
You can do everything hobby-like but don’t expect much results.
Thank you to Lazhar for this informative guest post!
Lazhar is the founder of Breeding Business, a free online magazine discussing ethical dog breeding. Debates, news, in-depth articles, reviews and guides: it is a platform for responsible breeders who love their breed more than they love themselves. You can also find them on Facebook.