This summer, I decided to start an Instagram account for my brother’s dog, Milo. I was convinced that I could make Milo Insta-famous by the end of the year. However, I quickly learned that I was too ambitious. Here are my biggest lessons from the past few months:
1. It takes time
During summer, I would post pictures and videos of Milo occasionally. I didn’t have a plan, and I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to achieve. So I decided to take this challenge seriously.
First of all, building a genuine community took a lot of time. I had to get to know the tone of voice within the dog community, get rid of my timidity when approaching new accounts, and create Milo’s own personality. Nowadays, Milo has a wonderful community of adorable dog friends that are very caring and supportive.
Eventually, I also downloaded Preview to plan ahead some posts instead of coming up with something last minute. I take pictures of Milo once every 2-3 weeks and upload the pictures on the app. Then I spend some evening to edit them all, write some captions, and schedule them ahead. It has helped immensely to manage my own time and plan content instead of running behind Milo trying to tell him to sit somewhere.
Besides that, I was quite surprised by how difficult it is to take pictures of dogs! Milo gets very easily excited about anything and gets bored quickly. If not that, then there is always some fur that needs to be brushed or I have problems improving my basic photography skills. I remember spending almost an hour taking Halloween pictures of Milo. It was exhausting and only two pictures were good enough to post.
2. Like, comment, and share
Interacting with the rest of the dog community is crucial! In the beginning, I thought that liking and following other accounts was enough to grow Milo’s account. Now, I spend about an hour 2-3 times a week to comment and reply to comments on Milo’s posts. I also learned that noticing my furry friends has helped to grow a very loyal community. I make sure to join their challenges, chat with them privately, and support them. After all, we are all in it for the same reason – we just want our cute dogs to be noticed.
3. Get creative!
Sometimes I tend to get stuck on what to share, so I turn to my brother for some help. My brother told me to share polls and new hashtags whenever we are watching a football match at home. My brother’s mates and other football fans out there have then started following tiny Milo on Instagram. These small ideas have definitely created part of Milo’s identity on Instagram and makes him stand out from the rest.
My brother also noticed that I often share the challenges other dogs have created and that I should spend some time creating something on my own. So I created some themed templates leading up to the Christmas season!
Follow Milo on Instagram to see what he is up to!