How to Make Your Cat Instagram Famous – Watch Me Do It
[This post is Part 1 of my journey from 2018. Read the updated 2020 version here if you’re interested]
Perhaps you have no social media presence because you’re a shy introvert like me but still long to be a part of a digital community. Or, maybe you have thousands of photos of your cat on your phone and are even paying for cloud storage to store all those photos.
Both of the reasons above are why I started an instagram account for Nala & Charlie called @nalachar. I wanted a place to put the best of the best photos of those guys somewhere instead of on my phone and in the cloud.
I don’t have a big following, because I haven’t really employed any techniques to grow the account. But it would be nice to, because (uh-oh, here comes my Pageant Mom coming out) there are opportunities to leverage a big following on Instagram!
So, this is my research on how to make your cat Instagram Famous, and I’ll use what I learn from writing this post to see if the techniques work.
Taking good quality pics is a must, so I won’t mention that in the list below. You can check out those tips in my post about cat-photo-contest-worthy pics instead.
Let’s get into the top tips that are actually implementable which I have selected from many many opinions out there.
How to Make Your Cat Instagram Famous for Beginners – Start of the Journey
Okay, so I’m going to try this for 30 days and see if it works.
As of today, here are the stats.
- Today: September 4, 2018.
- First ever post was on January 8, 2016. So, it’s been 2 years and 9 months.
- # of posts: 194
- Followers: 55
- Following: 18
- Profile blurb: “Nala, Charlie, and I. 🐈🐈👩🏻💻 We have a blog! 🚗🐈“How to Drive Across Country with Cats” 🚽🐈“Best Cat Litter” & more helpful tips on raising happy cats at indoorcatguide.com”
- Most # of likes: 21
- Least # of likes: 3
- Usual hashtags used for both least likes and most likes: #cats #cats_of_instagram #catstagram#mainecoon #catlady #catlover #abyssinian #kitten
- Currently all my photos are of Charlie and/or Nala separately or together. Usually of them just hanging out. Some are when they have funny expressions.
Let’s get into what my research says in how to grow your pet’s instagram account.
Lesson #1: Cat Instagram Hashtags
This past week I decided to actually google cat Instagram hashtags for the first time. (Which is actually the inspiration for this post.)I came across different suggested hashtags. Since Instagram has a limit of 30 hashtags per post, I like this list of recommended hashtags:
#Cat #Instacat #Instacats #Meow #Instacat_meows #Kitty #Kittycat #Catofinstagram #Cutecat #Instapet #Catoftheday #Kittylove #Instakitty #Cateye #Catlover #Cateyes #Catlovers #Cutecats #Animals #Catlove #Catloaf #Mypet #Kittens #[breed specific] #[industry specific in context of photo] #[location] #[brand in context of photo]
Okay, so I have these tags saved in my Notes app and will make a few changes to fit the context of each photo I upload.
Also, don’t put the hashtags in your caption, because it’s unappealing. Put a caption to give a micro story for your pic first, publish, and then immediately after, comment with the hashtags.
Lesson #2: Upload Once or Twice Per Day
From a real-life example of this cat who got 4,000 followers and growing, her owner suggests uploading once or twice daily.
I wasn’t sure how many is too many, because I also don’t want to annoy my followers. Once or twice a day is reasonable; I can keep up with that.
These are the times that this guy posts. He posts 3 times a day:
- 7am to 10am,
- mid-day between 11am – 3pm, and
- evenings between 5pm – 9pm.
Lesson #3: Interact & Follow Other Accounts Humbly
I think this is also a good tip. I’ve seen people follow other accounts in boat loads in order to grow their account faster.
They end up with a disproportionate number of followers to following, where the number of accounts they’re following is threefold their followers.
And, when I see that, it deters me from wanting to follow their account.
She suggests that you follow or interact with other accounts just a few accounts per day and grow gradually.
Also, like other photos in your niche. And socialize with comments. You don’t necessarily have to follow them.
And finally, tag other accounts.
Lesson #4: Keep Up with Instagram Trends
Just google instagram trends and read the first few posts. For example, Instagram stories is a trend right now. And Instagram features is another one.
Tagging other accounts doesn’t have to just be for accounts in the same niche. It can be popular Instagram trending topics and something to do with them.
Lesson #5: Pick a Theme and Stick to It Brainstorming
I think picking a theme is a great tip, which I haven’t really sat down to intentionally think about. When I started my cats’ account two and a half years ago, I just started posting photos of them. I never spent time to brand them.
So, let’s do some real-time brainstorming on.
First, what do I like seeing on Instagram?
- Funny, visually appealing, evoking an emotion that I relate to, like “that’s so true” or “that’s hilarious, let me share this with my sister”.
- Visually appealing to me is: beautiful colors, high quality photo, focused on the star in the photo (i.e. I don’t have to do the work but the photo leads my eyes to the focus), something interesting to look at, something pretty that I want to keep looking at.
Second, what is genuine about my cats and myself?
- Personalities: Nala is a smart and athletic Abyssinian mix and Charlie is a lazy and furry Maine Coon mix who always wants to eat. Could post Nala jumping and playing. Could post Charlie with desperation for food and him lying down in the laziest positions, looking like he just gave up on life. Charlie is like a dog cat.
- We’re just your average cat mom and 2 cats. We spend time together at home. Sometimes, I work and they are just sleeping. Or, sometimes I play with them. Sometimes, I go to them and hug and kiss them like a true cat mom.
- My blog promotes healthy and happy cats.
- I want to improve my illustration and graphics, so I can try to incorporate or combine them.
Third, what are some of my passions that I want to share with the world?
- Cat and dog rescue.
- Destigmatize the notion of “crazy cat lady”.
- Turn cat haters into cat lovers.
- My illustrations and design.
- Pride of being a cat mom.
Fourth, what are some new ideas?
- I could also include me in the pics? Afterall, human faces get 38% more “likes”. Like family portraits, shameless cat mom photos. Interactions with me and the cats.
- But I think what’s important is something I can actually stick to, because if it’s too out of the ordinary or onerous, then I won’t stick to it. So, I can’t go too far from my natural self and life.
- Making them do cute stuff and fails at trying.
- Costume / props for every photo.
- Instagram features.
Okay, so in conclusion, this is my theme from now on.
- The cats in their natural element in various poses and actions, and try to highlight their personality without forcing it.
- Mostly pics of them, but sometimes include me to promote and share the idea of “cool cat lady” rather than “crazy cat lady”. (Self-proclaimed “cool” cat lady, by the way.)
- Each pic is funny or cute by way of situational context or by way of adding illustration or a background, which showcases creativity and uniqueness and I can practice my illustration.
- Include a micro story caption.
Something like this that I whipped out that I whipped up on my computer but with much better quality illustrations!
This has been a great exercise. Just simply reading tips and tips out there didn’t get me to execute. Sitting down and brainstorming like this helped to set a structure and put into action good ideas.
So, here are the 5 things I’m going to do to grow my Instagram account for @nalachar.
- I’m going to post 3 photos a day at meal times – breakfast, lunch and dinner time.
- The theme of the pics will be Nala & Charlie in their natural element in combination with illustration and text to make it funny in its situational context.
- The pics will be edited to good quality.
- Some pics will include me in it. Maybe once a week for now.
- Will include a micro story in the caption.
I’ll check back in a month to see if we organically grew the account from 55 followers to more!