Pets are real Instagram celebs now. Think of how many times you see a cute dog or a cat while scrolling your feed! But there’s always hard work behind the scenes. Pet parents spend hours a day creating funny content and managing their furry friends’ social media profiles. And it actually pays them off!

We spoke with humans behind popular influencers - Mikkel, the owner of @missenell, and Sam, @tinkerbellethedog's pet parent, to find out how to get a pet viral on Instagram.

How did you decide to start your pet’s Instagram account?

Mikkel: Well, I decided to make an Instagram for Nelly (the first cat, that is also why their profile name is @missenell) because I thought it could be funny and I had heard about other people making a profile for their pets :)

Sam: Tinkerbelle The Dog was on a print shoot and the stylist asked her handle to follow her. I replied "she's a dog and doesn't have one". The stylist at the end of the shoot came up to me and handed me a paper and said: "Here is her username and password - keep up on it".

How long did it take to get so much followers?

Mikkel (750k+ followers): When I first created the profile it was hard, I mean extremely hard. I also had to take a break for 6 months. Then I came back and reached around 60,000 followers in December 2017. In June I had 190,000 followers and then Instagram noticed our profile and made a post to their official profile with 250,000,000 followers and we got nearly 50,000 new followers. So in a little over a year we have gotten 500,000 followers :) And the profile grows with 7-2,000 followers every day.

Sam (270k followers): About 6 years.

How much time a day do you spend on running the profile?

Mikkel: WAY TO MUCH TIME. I use around 3-4 hours in the app responding to comments, preparing the post, checking DMs and so on.

Sam: 24/7. Posting daily and then checking comments, etc. throughout the entire day.

Where do you get ideas for content from?

Mikkel: Well, I actually have a little notebook where I write all my ideas down. And if I get a funny phrase I can use in video subtitles I write it down as well and try to build up the video around it, as subtitles make people interact way more.

Sam: Content comes from ideas. For example, I see a location and think of great photos that could happen there. I have a brain that is constantly thinking of ideas - crazy or not - and a dog that is willing to go with my ideas very easily.

What makes for a successful Instagram post?

Mikkel: It needs to be catchy, it NEEDS to wake up people’s emotions so they wanna interact with your post, it needs to be unique.

Sam: I think sometimes that I have a great post - and it doesn't get that many comments. Then I think “well this post is just ok” and it gets 500 comments. So I wish I could figure out the secret of successful posts. I have no idea why some of them are successful and others aren't.

How do you monetize your profile and select brands to partner with?

Mikkel: I actually don't promote anything on my profile. I haven't done that since I participated in a campaign from Huawei. I earn through their merchandise/clothing line and through ad-breaks on Facebook. I try to keep my profile clean.

Sam: I monetize Tinkerbelle's platform by partnering with brands that I really like and will honestly use. I don't partner with products/brands that are not a good fit. I also do not post any brands/products for free. I receive at least 25 emails a day for product/brand partnerships. But most of them are not a good fit and I pass on the opportunity. If I won't use or give it to Tinkerbelle, then I won't accept the partnership.

What are the top 3 tips you’ve learned about building a good Instagram account for your pet?

Mikkel:

  1. Keep on going even when your posts are doing badly
  2. Be consistent
  3. Make EVERYONE of your followers count. By that I mean you need to spend time on replying, asking them about their opinions, in other words, making them interact.

Sam:

  1. Good quality photos
  2. Hard work! You have to post daily and work 24/7
  3. A pet that is cooperative and willing to do anything you ask.

Where do you see your account in the future and how do you hope to grow your Instagram presence?

Mikkel: Well, I hope that we will continue growing and that our followers will enjoy the content we are creating, cause we are doing it for them. We want to give them a unique insight on our cats’ daily life. And least we really hope that we will be verified on Instagram, so everyone can see the authenticity of the profile :)

Sam: I see Tinkerbelle's account continuing to grow. As her professional resume grows (acting/modeling jobs), her social grows. She continues to work and meet famous people. All of this ties together and makes her social platform continue to grow. I would love to reach 1 million followers!


Being a social media influencer can be really challenging. You have to come up with new ideas every day, constantly create new content, spend a lot of time interacting with the audience and managing partnerships with brands. But if you’re ready to be creative and consistent, your pet absolutely can become the Internet’s next big thing!