Over the past year, Instagram has seen tremendous growth in audience engagement, increasing by 100% among US brands from Q1 2014 – Q1 2015. Shareablee is launching a new blog series consisting of Q&As with popular Instagram accounts, both personal and business. We will discuss the goals, key social strategies and best practices that have driven their success, as well as their take on Instagram and its social importance.
Launched in February 2014, the @dogs_ny Instagram account has grown a consistent following by posting images of dogs all over New York City. While still in the early stages of its life on the platform, the account has captured the attention of over 11K followers, and most recently saw growth when Marnie the Dog reposted an image. Shareablee wanted to dive deeper to discover some of the key strategies used to engage @dogs_ny’s social audience. We recently interviewed the curator of the account, who is a writer for The New York Times and graduate from Georgetown University.
- What were your goals in creating @dogs_ny, and what influenced you?
I wanted to connect to New York on a new level. My thought process was : the closer to the ground, the closer I am to New York’s best residents. I was very much inspired by Humans of New York
. I wanted to try and link dogs to humans in a funny, but very realistic way.
- What posting strategies have worked for you?
Well, I post when I see. My camera has Wi-Fi and uploads directly to my phone in real time. I try to edit quickly and post within minutes of seeing the dog. Sometimes, I feel that this hurts more than helps in terms of “branding,” because, ha d I spent more time editing , filtering and curating the post, it may have been neater and attracted a wider audience. However, I hope the “real time” effect lends a sense of natural or real experience to the account.
- Which brands or Instagram personalities have influenced you the most and why?
I was most influenced by Humans of New York
for the concept , JillyHendrix
for witty captioning and Nitch
for finding odd/unexpected facial expressions of the dogs.
- Can you offer some key strategies for brands in growing their Instagram presence?
Have a signature. This has been the most challenging aspect for me, because the dogs are so diverse, and the locations and lighting do not always allow me to filter the same way. My “signature” is based more on the raw/real moments I try to capture on a daily basis. I think it is the opposite of The Dogist
, whose dogs all stare directly into the camera. Rather, I try to capture the moment when dogs are caught off-guard, and I think this largely attributes to why people follow my account.
- Can you comment on the importance of Instagram as a platform in social media?
Today, besides sharing content on Snapchat, I cannot think of a more intimate way to connect — not only to friends, but also to your interests. Instagram is, by far, the most commonly used app during the day, because it allows you to tag your friends and share interests. Furthermore, I can go beyond talking about mutual friends and people, but develop the conversation to the level of common interests and fields; debate topics, etc. Even on a mundane level like FuckJerry
, Instagram is the mirror to life, a visual medium to reflect the daily realities of our lives. I think this is hugely important to our self-absorbed generation in perpetuating the “image,” but also subverting it since we “like” so many posts that make fun of ourselves in doing so.
Shareablee continues to see how social media platforms are consistently growing as main channels to capture real-time moments and events. It is important for brands to implement key strategies to set themselves apart from competitors and grow their share of voice on social to generate audience engagement.