Tomo, whom is Davinci’s owner, is a master ‘Instagrammer’ and attracter of followers. Her Instagram account (@davinci_mainecoon) recently passed 100k in followers with no previous form of fame to boost off of. The current most followedInstagram account, @taylorswift, could have developed a following regardless of content and strategy. Tomo was kind enough to share a few key strategies of her success.
Why did you start an Instagram account for your pet?
When I started Da Vinci’s account, it wasn’t because of some grandiose mission. My personal account was overwhelmed with pictures of Da Vinci. When I watched America’s Next Cat Star on Animal Planet, I saw that Sauerkraut and SunglassCat have an Instagram account so I was like… ‘Why not?’ [laughs].
How do you approach hashtags?
When I started, I used a lot of hashtags related to Maine Coons and my other interests. Next I started to notice featured accounts and now use a lot of the hashtags of featured pages and accounts. It’s nice to be featured but at the end of the day, it isn’t everything. I just want to share the lives of my cats.
Do you have a strategy for posting at the right times of day?
I try not to spam everyone’s timeline with my pics! I usually try to wait for at least 2 hours between posts but ‘it all depends!’ I usually try to post minimum 6 pics and videos per day. I always post at least one video per day. It seems like people really enjoy our videos. These days, Instagram seems to focus on the videos more than pics. Once I tried a late night post right before bed, an idea I heard this from another Instagram pet account. I found out that posting late is a great way to reach out to people in the different time zones.
What are some of your favorite accounts to follow?
Oh my! I have so many! I love all my friends but I have to say Beth Stern (@bethostern). I share or tag her posts all the time. She’s inspires me and her posts make me smile every time.
Do you have any sponsored posts? Do you do product reviews?
Yes! My favorite sponsor is Savage Cat Food; they were the first to offer me sponsorship. I think I had about 3000 followers back then. I’ve since had several additional offers but have stuck it out with Savage because I really believe in raw feeding. Sponsors usually tell me to post their product and write the review if I like said product. Needless to say, I don’t review most of the products I receive.
What apps do you use in addition to your base Instagram app? What do you like about each of them?
I use repost app to repost stuff I like. I used to use the Fotogramme app too to check my own personal page but since Instagram now supports multi-logins, Fotogramme is obsolete. I tried using one of those followers apps to see who my most active friends are and the first thing I saw was a warning. I can’t see who is active but I check who has blocked Da Vinci! [laughs] It’s funny. Who blocks pet accounts? [laughs]
Do you use other social media platforms to cross-promote your Instagram profiles?
I have Twitter and Tumblr but I generally just use them to export posts from Instagram. I’m finally having fun with Snapchat! I always tell people snapchat is the mix of my cats and my personal stuff. I use snapchat for less important things. Snapchat is authentic.
Anything you would want to suggest for people who are starting out in the world of Instagram pet accounts?
Enjoy yourself. Don’t get obsessed with amassing followers and likes. I love all my followers and appreciate their comments. I always try to stay active. If someone asks me a question, I always reply. It helps you to build relationship with your followers.\
Also, sadly … it’s Instagram … the pictures matter! You need really good pictures. It’s all about the pictures. Some people don’t even read captions. I usually try to keep my captions short.
What are some cardinal sins for an Instagram account?
Don’t go around commenting the phrase “follow me.” [laughs] Follow-me is a bad word. If you want someone to follow you back, be like me spam them with likes and comments!! [laughs] I also hate f4f (follow for follow) request! Follow me if you like my cats! When I started Da Vinci’s account, I loved and still love Ruby & Jasper’s account (@seriouslyrubylicious
Interview Main Points:
- She does it because she enjoys it, not to get followers.
- She uses hashtags that the featured accounts use.
- Don’t worry too much about when to post as much as what to post.
- Don’t spam your followers’ feeds.
- Be responsive to your followers.
- Pictures matter.
- Don’t comment or message people asking for follows. Earn every follow.
So there you have it. Please comment below and check out the @davinci_mainecoon profile.
Photos by @iamthegreatwent