Goats are all the rage. New York Men’s Fashion Week was kicked off this week by designer Jackson McKeehan’s goat-themed line , aptly tying in with Shareablee’s latest Q&A feature, @goatsofanarchy .
GoatsofAnarchy was started in December 2014, when NYC event planner, Leanne Lauricella, left her career to follow her dreams of raising and advocating for farm animals. On December 23, Instagram featured @goatsofanarchy’s image below and overnight, Leanne saw her follower base grow from less than 3K to over 30K users, with engagement on the account increasing by 106%. Since then, @goatsofanarchy has continued to see massive social growth, recently surpassing 80k followers. Video has been a substantial driver of social actions (likes and comments) for @goatsofanarchy, accounting for 17% of its overall Instagram posts and driving 19% of its total Instagram actions.
- What were your goals in creating @goatsofanarchy? Which Instagram accounts influenced you and why?
In April of 2013, I welcomed two baby Nigerian Dwarf Goats into my life. At the time, I was watching the television series Sons of Anarchy
, so I named them after my two favorite characters, Jax and Opie. As a first time goat owner, I was very surprised at how funny, intelligent and affectionate Jax and Opie were, and decided to share their lives via Instagram. I have since added four additional goats: Tig, Nero, Otto, and Juice. I adopted a mini horse, Romeo, and a mini donkey, Torres. Our livestock guardian dog, Gemma, also joined the gang. Because they were all named after characters from the television series, I acquired many followers from the Sons of Anarchy fan base, as well as from animal lovers in general.
I was inspired by two popular Instagram goat accounts: @goatsofinstagram1
. These two accounts featured many photos of random goats and their antics, but there was nothing personal about them. My intent was to create an account that would encourage followers to become emotionally involved in the lives of these goats. I hope that my followers will acknowledge that farm animals are sentient beings and no longer view them as a food source.
- How frequently do you post, and why?
I usually post about three times a day: morning, afternoon and evening. It seems most Instagram users are following several hundred accounts, and that’s a lot to scroll through, so I try to catch several audiences. With my followers, it appears that many of them check their account when they wake up in the morning and later in the evening. I have had some success with selling t-shirts
and have found that I have the most sales on weekday afternoons and Sundays. I would assume that the weekday success can be attributed to mid-day boredom or lunch breaks at work.
- What constitutes a successful post on @goatsofanarchy?
I consider a successful post to be one with the most comments and tags. When a follower likes a photo and then tags one of their friends, that friend often follows my account. This is how I am gaining new followers.
- Can you offer some key strategies for growing an Instagram presence?
To grow an Instagram presence, you must first identify your audience and stay relatable to them. Users follow @goatsofanarchy to see funny or cute photos and videos of goats. If I post too many photos of the other animals, I see a decline in likes and even lose followers. In April, I started a new Instagram account, @anselandpetal
, for two new baby goats that I adopted from @barnyardsanctuary
. Ansel and Petal were rescued from what is being called “ one of the worst cruelty cases in NJSPCA history
” and their account, which has acquired over 10k followers since April, was created to chronicle their journey of growing and healing, as well as to raise awareness about animal cruelty and the vegan lifestyle.
While I keep @goatsofanarchy lighthearted and entertaining to appeal to a broader audience, I am targeting specific followers with @anselandpetal by addressing issues such as factory farming. You have to consider why people are following your account and what they are expecting to see, and stay true to that.
I try to interact with followers as much as possible by reading and replying to direct messages and responding to some of the comments. I want my followers to feel connected to me and my little farm animal family. Being consistent is important because with a successful Instagram account, you will have followers who are looking forward to your next post. If you are somewhat consistent, they will know when to look for them.
- In your opinion, what is the importance of Instagram as a social platform?
Instagram is simple, personal, and allows users to share their lives creatively. With Instagram, you are able to captivate an audience with a single image, where words get lost with the oversaturation of information in many other social media outlets.