In a world where many people are competing to get more likes and comments to stand out from the crowd, engagement becomes key in assessing your campaigns. However, rather than forcing a post to fit the trend, why not leave that toxic competition and bring attention to your beautiful pets instead?
These adorable, lovable creatures are a sure favourite for anyone and here’s how you can share these little ones with the public and boost your engagement (for yourself and your brand) while you’re at it!
To show you how pets are a great engagement booster, I decided to show you Taylor Swift‘s lovely cats.
In this photo (posted on April 26), @taylorswift poses with her beautiful cat, Benjamin Button (who is now trademarked along with her other 2 cats). This endearing picture where she announces her adoption of Benjamin garnered 2,595,417 likes and it’s her 2nd most-liked post of the last 3 months, coming after the picture she posted with her friend-again Katy Perry, which has 2,733,095 likes.
She also published a full body shot of Benjamin on the same day she published her adoption post. Despite being posted on the same day, that particular post was not stopped from becoming her 4th most liked picture within the last 3 months.
So now that I’ve proven that pets CAN boost our engagement, I want to talk about the dos and don’ts about posing with these darlings.
1. The main subject of the post
Pets deserve full attention from us and thus, they should be the main topic of the post.
Let your little princess/prince be the focus of the landscape. If possible, you can make the post both about it as well as another item of interest as @kaptenandson did:
Note that while @kaptenandson gives this good doggo the whole photo space, it tagged #kaptenandson. This very subtle promotion is how it got to becoming @kaptenandson’s top post of 2019:
Where it garnered a total of 37,827 likes and 510 comments.
Let the poor soul become the background of the post! Here is an example of what I mean:
In this picture, the gorgeous black dog is overshadowed by a black sofa and the huge banner behind. Thus, while it shows the brand, the doggo loses its attractive force.
2. Authentically ‘posed’
It’s really hard to get that one shot where your dog is looking straight at the camera or where your cat is not scratching your phone so many-a-time, we try to stage a pose for our pets. However, it’s those little moments where our pets are candidly cute that becomes really relatable to others.
Let your pet do a pose natural to them like this one by @cobythecat:
Where we get a ‘preview’ of this adorable fluff’s night routine…
In general, @cobythecat’s account has mixtures of a photoshoot-like post and random ‘a day in the life’ post. Thus, I decided to analyse the nature of his top posts:
And saw that 6 of his top 10 posts in the last 3 months are candid poses of himself, just hanging in his favourite bowl, chilling in bed or ‘contemplating’ about his existence, indicating that his viewers are interested in knowing Coby’s everyday life, maybe even more so than some of the editorial-looking pictures he’s also taken within the same period of time.
Force a pose on your pets like this:
Where the tight grip on the kitties made them feel DEFINITELY less than happy and the picture turns all in all, well, awkward.
3. Take it up with the creativity
For brands out there, using your ‘company pets’ or engaging customers with pets could be a way to boost your engagement, especially since at this time when brands generally rake in engagement rates of ~0.5%, brands that are able to go beyond that will most definitely stand out and appeal to the masses, just see Jeffree Star Cosmetics and Glossier (brands that have engagement rates a lot higher than others).
I made a comparison of the brand’s main page (@warbyparker) to the page that also features pets wearing the brand’s eyewear (@warbybarker):
Interestingly, despite posting more frequently and even publishing videos, their main account, @warbyparker received an engagement rate of 0.52% (the average for brands), while @warbybarker, with no video posts and less frequent posts, garners the average engagement rate of 1.64%.
Moreover, pet accounts with creative content tend to have (on average) better engagement than other influencers. Just take a look at @mayapolarbear:
@mayapolarbear is a mega-influencer who has a staggering 1.6million followers. The average threshold for an influencer of that tier would likely have an engagement rate of 3.61% (via popular chips), but Maya averages out to 15.72%, which is more than quadruple the average mega-influencer. This is because she always has really creative, almost human-like interaction with her ‘hoomans’, such as the one below:
The subtitles to Maya’s thoughts are always on point and its no wonder everyone is continually engaged by such the smortest and goodest (yes, spelling intended) girl. (Here’s more floof just in case one wasn’t satisfactory enough)
Hopefully this article inspires you to get engaging!