Sep 06 Cats Versus Dogs… Of Instagram
Full disclosure, this blog post was fueled entirely by a pro-dog agenda. My wife and I have a bit of a menagerie: 1 dog, 2 permanent cats (1 foster cat), and 3 chickens. As a result, the cute faces of our animals end up on my Instagram channel. Sorry cat people, but I’m 90% a dog person (100% animal lover). With this bias, I post photos of our dog (#adventuresofmork) more frequently and receive a decent number of engagements relative to my following.
Recently; however, I’ve started posting a few more pictures of one of our cats and received what seems like a significantly higher engagement response. Out of curiosity, I formed a hypothesis that photos tagged #catsofinstagram received more engagements than #dogsofinstagram and including cats in my dog photos will help boost engagement. For my methodology, I took a 25% sample from Brandwatch of #catsofinstagram, #dogsofinstagram, and – just for the fun of it – #chickensofinstagram posts that occurred in June and July 2016. Here’s what I found!
1) Post Frequency
My first question is, is #dogsofinstagram is more popular than #catsofinstagram? As it turns out, in the time period, there were over 3x more #dogsofinstagram posts than there were #catsofinstagram. #chickensofinstagram barely hit 1K.
2) Post Engagement
My initial observation was that my #catsofinstagram posts generated more engagements per post than #catsofinstagram. Is there any truth of this outside of my home/mini-farm/zoo?
In this sample of data, dogs do have a winner for engagement with an outlier post which received over 300K engagements. Cats hardly came close with the highest outlier receiving 31K engagements.
3) Hashtag Use
#(Pet)ofinstagram isn’t the only hashtag I use when posting about my animals, a trend that other Instagram users follow as well. What is the hashtag distribution like for these Instagram posts?
Dogs follow the overall pet trend with a bimodal distribution. #dogsofinstagram posts are more likely to have up to 30 hashtags, but for those who aren’t as hashtag crazy, posts will either include hashtags in the comments or between 4 and 10 total hashtags.
4) Animal Combinations
Another thing to consider is the performance of multiple animal hashtags together. Note: posts with “zero” hashtags were removed from the following dataset.
In conclusion, if you post Instagram pictures of your cats with the #catsofinstagram hashtag, you’re more likely to get a higher rate of engagement than if you post pictures of your dog with #dogsofinstagram. If your dog(s) and cat(s) get along, post pictures of them together to get the most-optimized performance. When using additional hashtags with your pet photos, experiment with the number and see if you fit the trend of more hashtags = more engagements.