A year or so back, one of the Marketing Eye interns set up an Instagram account for the office dog, Pippa Smith. As interns do, they didn't give us the password and possibly had their own email address attached to it, so we were never able to retrieve it again.

Then a staff member decided that everyone loved her so much, that they wanted to set up an instagram account - and not give me the passwords. It was quite funny at the time, as they dressed her up and took the most adorable pictures. Like a true professional, Pippa Smith just stood there and looked at the camera.
Why people are putting their dogs and kids on Instagram

This wasn't her first brush with fame, having been on television a few times, on billboards, advertising campaigns and brochures. Her adopted mother, me, is in marketing, and many of my friends have agencies too, so when someone needs a dog, she is often asked, particularly if they want a cute furry white thing.

As she hits the "older" side of a dogs life at over 11 years old, I am acutely aware that her good looks and charm may be fading, but when she has a haircut, it appears everyone falls in love with her all over again, including me.

I am biased. When someone says "your dog is so well behaved or so cute" I can't help myself. I say, "I know". Shocking really. Imagine being a mother of a child and saying that - you would be completely and utterly shot down, but this is a dog we are speaking about and somehow people let me get away with it.

Instagram and Facebook for that matter have become ways in which we show the world that we really are in love with our dogs. I remember when finally they disclosed the password to Instagram for @thereal_pippasmith I went crazy. Not only did I teach myself how to get her follower and start conversations, I couldn't put down my phone. I was obsessed with the likes and going from 5 followers to 5000 in a matter of weeks. In the height of her fame, she was over 7000, but the world of Instagram is fickle, and while others buy likes and followers, this is just a play thing for us. I became lazy and stopped posted, and worse still, didn't care what I posted. I found that her fans did not want others in her pictures, and even when Ellie Goulding took a picture of her in the airport (at her request might I add), instantly there was over 110,000 likes. When Ellie Goulding posted a comment to me on Twitter, I found that all of a sudden my account went up by 1000, where I hold a modest 80,000 plus on two accounts. The power of celebrity. I can see why Ellie Goulding, who is an absolutely well mannered lovely young lady, would want a picture with a dog at an airport - she simply loves animals. She is that type of kind, caring person. It worked well for Pippa and her fans, well, they like anything she does because she really is a superstar inside and out.

There have been occasions particularly when Pippa had more followers that people stopped us in the street and asked if she was in fact "the real pippa smith". I proudly beemed "yes". I noticed when Instagram became big, that many people would meet us in dog parks and ask us to follow their dog, and I thought it was absurb, but I kind of get how in love people become with their dog and how infactuated they become with how many people "liking" their pictures.

What I did notice though about the fickle world of real followers on Instagram:

  • If you don't post, they will forget you and disconnect
  • What time you post is everything 
  • The quality of your photographs is everything
  • Whether they tell you that the number of followers has something to do with number of likes, it is not always the case. For instance, on "people" accounts it does, but on business accounts, it doesn't. Marketing Eye has 45,000 followers, but questionable likes. However if you look at views, it is thousands and sometimes tens of thousands. People look at the pictures but don't "like" them. Perhaps this is because it is a business or that many followers are in fact in the same industry.
  • Be cute, adorable, and risque - as the same photo does become boring. Let's face it, a dog only has a few expressions.

Instafamous dogs are now bringing out books - which are quite good for the coffee table. I found myself buying one about a pug, only because the pictures were so good.

@thereal_pippasmith has dropped a few followers and has definitely reduced her likes, but since her casting call last night, I am back on it. Can't have her losing face because her Mom is too lazy to keep her profile a priority now can we?
Mellissah Smith is a serial entrepreneur and business leader with more than 20 years' experience in marketing.
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Mellissah Smith

Mellissah Smith is a marketing expert, author, writer, public speaker and technology innovator. Having worked with more than 300 companies across technology, medical device, professional services, manufacturing, logistics, finance and health industries, Mellissah has a well-established reputation as an experienced marketing professional with more than 20 years experience. As the founder and managing director of Marketing Eye, she has taken the company from startup to a multi-million dollar enterprise with offices in Australia and the US. Mellissah is also the Editor in Chief of Marketing Eye Magazine, a quarterly magazine that cover marketing, entrepreneurship, travel, health and wellbeing. #mellissah #marketingeye

1 comment

  • Luca Podda
    Luca Podda

    That's the proof of how powerful social networks might be! Both for "fun" and especially for businesses!

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