The Internet loves animals, and people love their pets. So it should come as no surprise that according to a study done by the UK’s Telegraph, 13% of cats have their own Facebook page and 9% of dogs have their own Twitter account. Pets are all over social media, but some are more popular than others. Some of these tech-savvy, adorable little creatures are legitimately internet-famous.
Boo the Dog could be arguably the most popular animal on social media. Khloe Kardashian anointed the fluffy and smiling Pomeranian the title of “cutest dog on the planet.” Boo had a bit of a head start—his owner is a Facebook employee, who created him a Facebook page, naturally. In October 2010, Ke$ha tweeted that Boo was her new boyfriend, with a link to his Facebook page. Since then, Boo has amassed almost 17 million likes on his Facebook page. 17 MILLION. That’s more than many actors, musicians, and companies. However, his fame has lifted him out of just being a viral Internet star. He is also the star of his own set of picture books, was appointed the official spokesdog for Virgin America Airlines, is a fashion model for several popular brands, and has his own product line.
I’m sure you all know about Grumpy Cat, whose unimpressed and permanently grumpy face has skyrocketed her to fame and fortune. Grumpy Cat has feline dwarfism, which gives her a noticeable underbite and an unforgettable face. Tardar Sauce (Grumpy Cat’s real name) got her big break on the social media outlet Reddit. She was swiftly made into a meme and the rest is history. Grumpy Cat has 7.5 million likes on Facebook and 650,000 followers on Instagram. His popularity on social media has also launched his career outside of the social media realm. He is a movie star—starring in his own film, has appeared on many talk shows, American Idol, the Bachelorette, and more. Additionally, he has a series of books and products. It is rumored that he has made over $100 million dollars. $100 MILLION.
Lastly, I would like to introduce you to Marnie, my personal favorite. Marnie is a 12 year- old shih tzu who was rescued from an animal shelter after being abandoned on the streets of Connecticut. When she was first rescued, the animal shelter named her Stinky. Luckily, she was adopted and taken to a loving home. Marnie has Vestibular Syndrome, which could be loosely compared to a stroke. This caused Marnie to lose her sense of balance, which is why Marnie always tilts her head to one side. She is also famous for her long tongue, which always sticks out of her mouth because all of her teeth were removed due to decay. In 2014, Marnie’s Instagram was an unexpected, instant success and she now has 1.2 million followers. Her social media fame has allowed her to be a hit amongst celebrities and she frequently models.
So what makes some pets so famous?
Most importantly, the most popular animals have a personality. Boo is happy. Grumpy Cat is always, well, grumpy. And Marnie is endearingly awkward (which probably explains why I love her so much). Their social media outlets capitalize on their appearances and their personalities help them connect to their fans. For example, Grumpy Cat’s photos are accompanied by sarcastic and cranky captions. Secondly, make sure your pets quirks and unique features are apparent. This will capture the attention of the audience and set them apart from other pets. Also, it creates unique branding opportunities for companies. Lastly, the most famous pets weren’t adopted or brought home with the intent of making a profit for their owners. Their owners love them and wanted to share this over social media so the whole world could love them as well.