Many dog owners share the ins and outs of their pets’ tail-wagging tales in blogs and tweets, as well as on websites and YouTube. Sometimes we see their world through the eyes of pet parents, but other times we can observe life from a dog’s-eye view.
We connected with a few dog parents who use social media for, about and by their dogs. They told us why they created a presence for their four-legged pals -- and how you can start dog blogging too.
The comment, “That dog ought to write a book,” gave Cheryl Lawson the idea to use social media for communicating the adventures of Precious, her Jack Russell Terrier. The blog has become a social media sensation, attracting corporate sponsors and loyal readers from around the globe. Precious also has a Twitter account (@Imajackrussell).
“My dog has 3,500 Twitter followers; that’s more followers than I have!” says Lawson. Her social media experience has been rewarding in more ways than one. “It helps me create a unique platform for my children’s book series, The Adventures of Precious the Dog. It allows me to speak at social media conferences, helping other pet owners and pet-related businesses understand how to use social media. And it allows me to promote animal welfare causes.”
The “Bruno the Brussels” Facebook page and YouTube videos are whimsical anecdotes about a Brussels Griffon. Bruno’s reaction to a giant squirrel statue in Manhattan is one of the funnier featurettes. But Bruno’s owners, Jeff Simmons and Alfonso Quiroz, used their social media presence as a valuable tool when Bruno ran away from a dog walker. “We were frantic in our search and employed every avenue we could to pursue his recovery, including recruiting help through Bruno’s Facebook and Twitter accounts,” says Simmons. “It was amazing how quickly this spread the news and how many new fans this recruited. After Bruno was found, The New York Times and The New Yorker wrote about his adventure, and he developed even more fans.”
Dexter and Peppermint
Puppy love prompted Alana Bjorn to make short videos of Dexter and Peppermint, her two Yorkshire Terriers. Then Bjorn asked herself, “Who wouldn’t love seeing cute puppies on the Internet?” Dexter and Peppermint were soon on YouTube and had their own blog, plus Facebook and Twitter accounts. “People relate to their individual personalities. Dexter is cute and loyal, but also has a very mischievous side,” says Bjorn. The YouTube videos have received more than a million and a half views and are gaining popularity every day. “My main goal is to make people happy,” says Bjorn. “I get emails every day from people thanking me for making them smile, or from someone who recently lost a dog, and my social media sites make them feel a little better.”
Social Media Startup Tips
You can create a social media presence for your dog too. Here are some basic guidelines on dog blogging from our dog blog experts:
- Ask a friend who is experienced in social media to help you get started, or Google instructions online.
- Build followers by connecting with all the pet-lovers you know: friends, family, workmates, dog training clubs and breeders.
- Engage with creative words, pictures and videos. Dogs doing something silly or looking expressive are people-pleasers!
- Post humorous and entertaining anecdotes. People love to laugh.
- Focus on what you love about your dog.
- Update when you have something interesting, unique, helpful or fun to share.
- Don’t over-blog, flood your Facebook page or tweet nonevents every hour. One or two good updates per day are ideal.
- “Like” and “follow” other dogs. They’ll probably return the favor.
- Use the medium correctly: Post short tweets, action-packed videos, adorable pictures and newsworthy blogs.
- Consider purchasing advertising or accepting sponsorship to grow your readership.
You can also learn a lot about dog blogging by attending social media conferences and joining pet-related social media communities. You’ll know you’re doing it right when you start building followers. Keep in mind that those fans are fellow dog lovers, so consider them friends and not just numbers.