Are you that person who floods your connections' news feeds with photos of your cat on social media?
If so, you're not alone! Many pet parents overshare pictures of their fur babies—it's hard not to. Luckily, you can update your family and friends on your cat's antics without overwhelming them: create a social media account just for your cat!
Here are a few social media tips to jump-start your cat's online profile:
First, decide on which social media sites you want to create a profile. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Snapchat are all popular platforms. Facebook is a user-friendly option where you easily can share photos, videos, and links. You can do similar things on Twitter, but the interface and interaction are quite different, and you're limited to 140 characters per post. Instagram is a favorite of many pet owners because it's all photos and videos. On Snapchat, you also share photos and videos, but they are only live for up to 24 hours. YouTube is another popular platform because of the success of cat videos. If your cat is unique in some way, or you are creative and can make her stand out, YouTube is a great channel for your cat. People will spend hours watching funny cat videos, and chances are your cat could be one of them.
You don't have to limit yourself to just one social media site, either. For example, Lil Bub, a sweet cat who shot to fame because of her unique physical features, has Facebook and Twitter accounts as well as her own website.
Familiarize yourself with how each platform works, then decide which ones work best for you and your cat. You can always start with one site and then expand onto another. Note that Instagram easily allows you to share the same post on Twitter and Facebook, and it only takes a few seconds to share a tweet to Facebook.
When creating profiles for pets on social media, come up with a clear, consistent and unique voice, and sprinkle humour into your cat's storytelling. To help establish her online personality, contemplate such questions as: "What would she sound like if she spoke like a human? What would she find funny? What would she want her followers to know?"
Tara Wilkins of Sycamore, Illinois, a self-identified crazy cat lady, recognized right away that the cats she adopted, a mother and daughter, had what it takes to attract a following. She created a Facebook page for Lola and Simone after a friend jokingly suggested it when Wilkins posted "a storm of pictures" to her own page. "I feel that my girls are strong, dignified queens, so that's the tone of the page," Wilkins explains. "They've got a unique look, are quite pretty and they enjoy many of a house cat's life's comforts, so their pictures have a luxurious flair."
Chances are, you already know your cat's personality traits really well. Now, it's time to transform them into clever, cute posts that demonstrate how awesome she is.
Once you've made profiles for your pets on social media, post updates regularly. You don't want to keep her fans waiting! Pick a time of day or night that works best for you and stick to it.
Additionally, share photos of your cat that highlight just how amazing she is. Photographing a cat isn't always easy but a calm atmosphere, a comfortable setting, and good lighting all contribute to getting the best shot. Try not to overdo it because you don't want your cat getting frustrated with you. Keep her feelings in mind as you take photos of her, so it doesn't end up souring your relationship.
To grow your cat's new social media following be sure to follow her profile with your own accounts, as well as ask your friends and family to do the same. Slowly over time, as they share and comment on more and more of her posts, her following will start to grow. The more entertaining or funny the posts, the more likely to build a cult following.
Try not to overshare. It may take some time to find the right balance, but your followers will appreciate the occasional interesting post, rather than an update on her life every 20 minutes. Really think about the things that make your cat stand out from all of the other cats on the internet and try and capture those moments.
And you never know, your cat may achieve stardom! She may become the next internet sensation, and internet fame could be just the start. There are cats that have become true celebrities with movie deals, sponsorships, talk show invitations and even their own line of clothing. Does your cat have what it takes to be a star?
Above all, have fun with your cat's social media account. Sharing your pet parenting experiences on social media is a great way to connect with the important people in your life, and perhaps make new friends, as well!
Christine O'Brien is a writer, mom, and long-time cat parent whose two Russian Blues rule the house. Her work also appears in Care.com, What to Expect, and Fit Pregnancy, where she writes about pets, pregnancy, and family life. Find and follow her on Instagram and Twitter @brovelliobrien.