The Top Mistakes Pet Businesses Make On Instagram

The Top Mistakes Pet Businesses Make On Instagram

grow your instagram following

We live in a visual world.

We like to look at pretty things.

Our eyes are drawn to pictures and visuals…and all the social media platforms know this.

As pet business owners, this is exciting because what is more fun than posting pictures of sweet loving pets on Instagram? I mean we have it pretty easy, right?


Or at least I think we have it even tougher than most and I am going to tell you why. Most businesses I see stop at the cute pet face.  That’s it.  That is where they leave it but it does nothing to draw the viewer in other than showing that your company (or you) visits with lots of pets each day or week.

Did you know there are
500 million people on Instagram every day? 

According to Hootsuite here are some very exciting statistics:

71% of users are under 35 years old – hello millennials!
80% increase year over year for videos – stop thinking of Instagram as only pictures.
500 Million people use stories every day – are you using the story feature?
71% of businesses use Instagram – so if you think that your competition isn’t on there, you are wrong. But are they doing it RIGHT is the question? 
80% of users follow at least one business – Following a business on Instagram typically isn’t as intrusive. 
75% of users take action –  this statistic is huge.  How many things have you bought off Instagram? I know I have. They get me every time! 

And here is a statistic you can’t look away from. According to Marketing Dive,

71% of consumers want personalized advertisements and want to engage regularly with brands.

With statistics like this, how can you deny Instagram? Now because I am that fun loving, ever inspiring coach for you – I want to make sure you are not one of the “boring” brands out there. After all, there is no reason for it. I want to make sure you stop the scroll and the attention of the right people…. but before you do that – you gotta STOP doing this.

In no particular order:

Not Getting Local Enough

Every picture you post and every story you publish should always have a local location. It is how you will come up in the searches when people are looking locally. This can happen for your potential clients, your existing clients, other local businesses, and events around town. If nothing else, get in the habit of marking the local dog park on all your posts.

local instagram

You can also tag local people. Perhaps upon the new client sign up you can ask your customers if they are on Instagram and what their handle is. Then, when you upload a picture of their dog, you can tag them in that picture. This works as a notification and if you do it weeks after your service with them, it is a super way to subconsciously get on their radar again.

A pro tip: Most people think you have to physically be at the location in order to mark your location on it. You don’t. I have literally tagged locations in San Diego while posting from my living room in Phoenix, Az.


Not Using The Right Hashtags

I want you to think of hashtags like we did in the early 2000s when we were trying to find the right keywords for our website. Consider each Instagram post or story to be like a micro website or blog post.

Not using enough hashtags

Not using any hashtags won’t do anything for your post.

Using few too many (like three) won’t give you a fighting chance and often times aren’t even local enough to matter

Say you posted a picture of a golden retriever and used #goldenretriever.   Not to sound mean, but who cares? Well, except for that Golden’s parent of course.  That is going to do nothing for your business but if you use hashtags for the local dog park or landmark, or local festival happening that weekend, you stand the chance of getting more eyeballs and that coveted double tap.


instagram hashtags

Using highly competitive hashtags

Don’t make the mistake of using hashtags that only have millions of followers. What that is doing is entering your “lightweight” brand into the “heavyweight” championship. Think about it… if you are competing with millions of other people, what are the chances that your content will be shown?

Slim to none is the answer.

So don’t do it. Or at least don’t ONLY do that. A few hashtags that are hugely popular are okay but it is really important to not just only use those. Pick out some clusters about your business, about your area, and about local events going on.

Not taking the time to plan your content and material and plan it out visually.

Pictures that all look the same or have all the same things just are not going to be visually appealing enough for people to feel like you care. The effort you put into your social media is a direct message to your followers about how much effort you put into your business. Think about it as a consumer. They are judging you… so let’s help make it a good one!

instagram pictures

Not using filters

When you look at an Instagram feed and it just looks like a bunch of noise, you know the creator hasn’t thought out what they were going to post ahead of time and it was all very impulsive. As busy business owners, I know it’s hard to preplan all the time, so simple use of the same filter could also help this be achieved. But when you don’t use filters and you don’t have certain styles for taking pictures it just looks like a scrapbook. Keyword, “scrap”.

Again, we want to give an impressive opinion of our business just like we do on our website so think seriously before you post.

Posting the same thing over and over again.

When all you post is the close selfie shot of a dogs face, the only person who really cares about that is the parent of that dog. If it isn’t my dog, I don’t care.  I don’t ream to sound harsh, but it is the truth. UNLESS… you are telling compelling stories with each post, which many do not. So really think ahead of time about the topics that you want to display on your Instagram feed so when they come up in real life you can snap a picture.

instagram dog

Too much text, graphics, or reshares

Sometimes I see people only post quote after quote of stock photos where it doesn’t actually show anything unique. It is just other people’s words, or pictures, or warnings and again this does nothing for telling the message of the brand.

This screams you have no idea what you are doing. It is generic and doesn’t serve the business. So if you are one of those people who screenshots others graphics and then post them as your own… not only is that illegal but it also isn’t doing much for you.

Okay well maybe there is one exception – it is hilariously laughing out loud funny.


How Should I Plan and Post My Instagram Account?

Now, I wouldn’t be your coach Bella if I didn’t also offer you up a solution….
And today happens to be your lucky day.

My team and I have literally spent hours preparing this for you.  A webinar that normally would have a three digit price ticket on it – but I decided I am just going to GIVE it away to you for free. Here is what I am going to teach  you:

  1. How to create content
  2. How to develop your very own Hashtag Strategy
  3. How to engage with your audience
  4. How to amplify your reach in your neighborhood (without paying for it!)
  5. How to create engaging stories
  6. What Instagram success looks like and more importantly how to measure it!