By Elisha Wilson, Creative Strategy Intern
Instagram is a huge social media platform (100 million daily active users) – and it’s great in that it enables anyone, with any niche, to have their own space on the Internet.
From Doug the Pug with 2.7 million followers, to Hamilton the cat with 744k followers… We’ve put together some useful tips on how you too, can make your pet #InstaFamous
1. You must be committed.
Before endeavouring on the journey to pet stardom it is important to consider that it is going to be an investment of your time. The biggest pet stars on Instagram post regularly (sometimes 2/3 times a day) and are constantly engaging with their followers. The more active your account is, the more likely it is that you will attract attention…
2. People LOVE good quality pictures.
Although smartphones have a great camera, there’s nothing quite like the quality of a DSLR. If you really want your pet to be #Instafamous, then you will probably need to invest in a good camera. To add to this, using a good editing app (VSCO/Photoshop) will enable your pictures to be even more special.
3. Follow similar accounts.
To build yourself a base, it’s a good idea to follow animal influencers and other accounts like your own. This allows you to gauge the competition, get some ideas of what to post and see what’s popular! To add to this, we’ve found that most animal accounts will follow back
4. Be creative.
People love accounts which show off the pet’s personality. If you post your pet in the same pose, every day, people will just get bored and unfollow. Shoot them in different locations and position them in different angles. Also, having creative captions is another way to make your account stand-out from the crowd.
5. Make ‘Furiends’ and stay engaged with followers.
Yes, that’s a thing. There are millions of other Instagram users posing as their pet – so why not make friends? Follow, like and comment on accounts similar to yours. It’s a great way to build a fanbase and almost guarantees some likes and comments on your page. A win-win!
6. Use #Hashtags.
An easy way to reach people from all over the world. Simple hashtags like #dog & #instapet will allow your picture to be seen by people who don’t follow you already.
7. Try and stick to a theme.
Many #Instafamous accounts which we’ve come across generally have a good-looking feed because they’ve stuck to a ‘theme’. For example, @theobonaparte is a cream French Bulldog, who has over 219k followers. His feed is very aesthetically pleasing as his owner takes pictures with backgrounds that are neutral and flattering to his colouring.
8. Enter Competitions! (or hold Giveaways)
There are ALWAYS competitions in the #Petstagram world. Whether it’s a competition to win a load of toys or a model search. Enter as many as you can, because if you win, it will be GREAT exposure for your account. Even better, when you start to have a following, you can hold giveaways yourself. This type of engagement is a great way to gain followers.
9. Always tag companies.
Don’t forget to do this!! If you buy your pet something new (collar/lead/bandana/food) always tag the company. This potentially means that you’ll get a repost, which means more exposure for your account.
10. Have fun!!!
This is one of the most important tips. If your account is fun, engaging and the captions are light-hearted, then people will definitely want to follow you!
…If you have consistent content, make time to engage with your followers and have a bit of fun, then you’ll have no problem turning your pet into a social media star! ?
The PHA Group PR Student Awards – we have our winners!
The The PHA Group 2017 PR Student Awards have received a number of amazing entries and we would like to say a very big thank you to all of you who entered, we really enjoyed reading your entries and were impressed by your enthusiasm for PR.
After much deliberation, the team couldn’t narrow it down to one winner, and therefore have decided on the following three winners:
Josh Dunne – Addict Aide’s Louis Delage Instagram Campaign
Kate Eldridge – Smirnoff’s “Love Wins” Campaign
Jasper Stanley – The Royals’ Heads Together Campaign
As a leading UK PR Agency, The PHA Group are advocates of recognising talent and we are committed to reaching out to students to help inform them on what a career in PR can offer them. We run a very successful PR Internship programme, regularly attend University Careers Fairs and host PR Open Days at our offices for aspiring PR professionals to gain a unique insight into what it’s like to work in Public Relations.
Over the years we have been hugely impressed by the creativity and ideas of the great interns we have had at our agency and so we wanted to create an initiative designed to give students a chance to discuss PR campaigns that they felt particularly engaged with.
We asked students to tell us about their favourite and most inspiring PR campaign from the past 5 years in 300 words or less. The campaign could be from any size company but had to be a PR campaign specifically.
We hoped to hear from students who are interested in a career in PR and who are excited about the prospect of joining The PHA Group team for a day of interactive and bespoke activities at our London Offices – and we weren’t disappointed!
We received so many engaging entries which had hard-hitting topics at their core such as mental health, equality and addiction. It was a tough process choosing a winner, and so we decided on three of our favourites.
Josh Dunne impressed us with his understanding of the impact that PR can have and how campaigns can be effective on a low-budget for his entry on Addict Aide’s fictional Instagram account for socialite Louise Delage to highlight how easy it can be to miss the addiction of someone close to you.
Kate Eldridge wowed us with her description of the “Love Wins” PR campaign for big brand Smirnoff and the real world impact that they achieved with their bespoke ‘equality collection’ vodka bottles which created awareness and supported gender, sexuality, race and nationality equality.
And finally, Jasper Stanley stood out for his awareness that a successful PR campaign doesn’t have to have a monetary impact, but can simply create a conversation where previously there has been stigma – this was achieved by the mental health campaign Heads Together in partnership Prince William and Harry.
The winners will spend a day at The PHA Group learning from industry experts and gaining a unique insight into one of the UKs leading PR agencies. There will be Q&As with our senior team, including ex-national newspaper journalists and the founders of the PHA brand. As a multi-sector PR agency we have expertise across consumer, sport, business, fashion, corporate and political PR and our friendly team are excited to welcome Josh, Kate and Jasper to the agency on Wednesday 19th July.
Dan Bilzerian: King of Instagram #NoFilter
The PHA Group’s Ben Cossor discusses the Instagram Playboy Dan Bilzerian and how his approach could influence your social media strategy.
Those of us who like to think the intricate details of our lives (meals, pets, torsos) are interesting enough to put a filter on and share with the world are already very familiar with Instagram.
But while the majority of users abide by the line at which appropriate, generic sharing becomes incongruous and risqué, one man has redefined how to use the social channel, prompting us to think twice about uploading a black and white photo of our next Nandos. In the grand scheme of things, it’s not a suitcase of dollar notes or a Project X-style pool party, and therefore it’s not interesting.
Known by his followers as the “Instagram Playboy”, Dan Bilzerian has taken the concept of social media sharing to a new level; unafraid to make public his life of excess and daily exotic escapades.
When it comes to earning yourself a worldwide reputation for doing little more than living life, the self-confessed gambler, actor and astronaut (apparently) is a prime example. He has found his niche in the lucrative ecosphere of poker, which inevitably means he has his adversaries as well as fans (2 million followers on Instagram).
But while many -myself included when I first discovered his Instagram page- are cynical about his sense of self-entitlement as a result of a wealthy upbringing, maybe we just have to admit that he is one of life’s winners who has earned his lavish lifestyle through an unorthodox example of meritocracy.
Sitting at home playing private games of poker is not everyone’s idea of a raucous Sunday afternoon, but when you add girls, goats, money, champagne, private jets and more money to the equation, suddenly the whole world wants to be a part of it. Of course, this means that Bilzerian is subject to a plethora of messages from fans seeking his recognition: “I WANT YOUR LIFE!!!” is a personal favourite.
Like him or not, approve or disapprove, without the Instagram Playboy the poker world would be a much darker place.
His penchant for posting photos of his scantily clad acquaintances resulted in a social media fail recently in the form of a video I’m sure you have all heard about. Surely a life such as this is just a disaster waiting to happen? Even so, anything he does is likely to up his social media followers significantly. Swings and roundabouts.
Delving into the world of Dan Bilzerian has prompted me to reconsider how we use Instagram and other social media channels. How far are we willing to go to get that one more follower? Somehow, I don’t think a selfie with your cat will make the difference. It seems that uniqueness is key, but we all need to become poker experts and astronauts first.
There is talk of Bilzerian relinquishing his crown as the king of Instagram in the near future. Winning over $10 million in one day and losing half of it the next evening, five days a week, seems to be taking its toll, and he is finally looking to settle down at the age of 32.
Someone now needs to replace Bilzerian and assume the role of the Instagram Playboy. Any takers?
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Instagram Release Video Sharing
Over the past couple of years, Instagram has become the leading social media app for capturing and sharing still imagery. With the option to add a number of filters, it has allowed users to produce really stunning imagery, something which professional photographers with the help of Photoshop would even be proud of.
At the back end of 2012 Twitter purchased the failing video app Vine, which allowed users to record short stop animation style videos and share them around the world. Until now, Vine has been the only app which has focused solely on sharing video content on a social media platform.
This week has seen Instagram attempt to rival Vine’s dominance as the leader in video sharing, by allowing it’s users to now share video content as well as it’s traditional still imagery. Instagram is also allowing it’s users to upload content 15 seconds long in comparison to Vine’s 6 seconds, while also maintaining the function of adding filters to really enhance the look and feel of the videos.
So what does this mean for Vine? Twitter users have already taken to the platform with the hashtag “please don’t kill my Vine”, referring to the Kendrick Lamar song “please don’t kill my vibe”, suggesting that Vine’s days are over.
Last week it was announced that Vine’s videos are now shared on Twitter more than Instagram photos, mainly due to the fact Instagram cut off it’s Twitter integration in December. So permitting Instagram and Twitter do not integrate again, Vine won’t be in danger.
It is exciting to see what the ability to share video content will bring to the Instagram community, especially with the option to add filters, image stabilization and the option to add a cover frame image. All functionalities Vine has still not enabled.
Only time will tell how the apps will compete in the market, but either way, it has opened the door for video sharing enthusiasts to get even more creative.
Is That My Instagram in My Klout Score?Instagram images will finally play a role in your Klout score. Although you have been able to connect your Instagram account to Klout for some time. Your Instagram influence did not play a role in your overall Klout score, until now.Your Instagram images will now join the likes of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to measure your social influence. Your most influential updates will feature in the ‘Your Moments’ section of your Klout profile.Klout is a San Francisco based company that provides social media analytics to measure a users influence their social network. Measuring the size of your network, the content created, and how others react to that content. Klout scores range from 1 to 100, with higher scores corresponding to a higher social influence.In addition, Bing has been made a Klout partner that will result in high-profile influencers having their scores displayed on search results. So if you are searching for a particular individual you can see at a glance not only their score, but also where their influence lies.Here in the digital PR team, our personal accounts increased by an average of 3, thanks Instagram. Has your score been affected?Image courtesy of: Kevin Sablan, flickr.com
Instagram bought by Facebook – how will this affect the Instagram community?
Unless you have been asleep for the last week, chances are you have heard the news that Facebook has bought the 2-year-old app ‘Instagram’ for a whopping 1 billion USD. Breaking it down that works out at $80million per employee and $33 for each of their 33 million users. An offer I’m sure was very hard to refuse!
The news of this broke on Monday morning when Mark Zuckerberg himself took to Facebook to announce the new integration.
This was met with a mixed reaction. Many loyal Instagram-ers pledged to delete their account following the news claiming that Facebook would destroy it. The main reason for this reaction being that the whole world is yet to find out about Instagram, and that’s how users like it. As successful apps go this one is pretty niche, and although they have a strong 33 million following, the users represent its quirky arty nature through their photos. People fear that with an industry giant such as Facebook taking over the app it will turn into yet another mainstream public service. It’s comparable to when Coca-cola bought shares in healthy brand ‘Innocent’ – to an extent it could be seen as degrading the brand personality, replacing it with connotations associated with the buyer.
Not all responses were as extreme and others seemed amiable to the convergence of the two social networks claiming they already share their photos on Facebook, so it makes no difference.
At first, I was unsure as to which party I agreed with. As an avid Instagram user, I can understand the opinions of those deleting their accounts. The quirkiness of the app is why I like it, and in a way, it’s a ‘cool’ secret that I share with my community on there, which is significantly smaller to my Facebook community. And I, personally, do not share my Instagram photos on Facebook; only a select few make it onto Twitter. So it does feel like an intrusion on Facebook’s part.
However, Zuckerberg clearly states that Instagram isn’t changing. They are supporting the (now very wealthy) creators of Instagram in improving its services and help enable others to use it. As much as I love the app I could list a few of its flaws, and if Zuckerberg and his team can help fix these then surely it’s a win-win situation. Instagram remains the same brand with help from a super brand to make it better.
The founders of Instagram, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, are probably thinking this is too good to be true. Their two year old business has made them millionaires overnight and they are able to continue developing as if it was still there own.
In addition, Instagram is a free app, meaning that sooner or later users would have had to start paying or the developers would have had to start rolling in ads. Which I’m guessing would have sparked the same boycott as this news has. How else would they have repaid the investors? From this perspective, Facebook has saved Instagram from a foggy future.
Alas, as many have learnt, nothing is too good to be true and I fail to believe that Facebook are doing this out of the kindness of their cyber heart. After all, Instagram is one of the largest mobile social networks around, and Facebook needs mobile to work…