- A company in London is hiring a “coach” to help pets become social media stars.
- One in six pet owners have social media accounts for their pets.
- A cottage industry of talent agencies and other services has emerged to make your pet go viral.
The bizarre world of social media fame has reached a new level of weirdness.
Petlandia, a London-based company that makes books featuring people’s pets as the star, is looking for the world’s first “social petworking coach” to help people turn their cat, dog, pig, or other animal friend into a social media star.
Sound like a joke? It’s not. According to Petlandia, one in six pet-owners have social media accounts for their pets (even Mark Zuckerberg’s dog Beast has his own Facebook page), and celebrity pets can make enough money from product sponsorships and media appearances to keep their human parents financially afloat.
Job responsibilities for the Petworking coach include creating online webinars for interested humans around the globe, doing private consultations with VIP clients, and mentoring clients on social media best practices and strategies for growing online audiences.
Knowledge of the “pet influencing” world required
The world of pet influencers has spawned an entire industry of its own. The Dog Agency is a talent agency for pet influencers that was started by Loni Edwards, former owner of the wildly popular Chloe the frenchie. On its website, The Dog Agnecy says it have gotten clients “media opportunities” in outlets like the The Wall Street Journal and Buzzfeed, and worked with brands like Google, Barneys and Nikon.
In its job posting, Petlandia says that the ultimate goal for the petworking coach is to “lay the foundations for what could become the world’s first fame school for pets.”
The company’s vision might not be too far off, some pets are already achieving “fame” all on their own. According to Quartz, the “general rule of thumb” is that once a social media star has reached 100,000 followers they can get up to $2,000 for product placements and event appearances.
Take Toast, a King Charles rescue who has no teeth, 378,000 followers on Instagram, and a book called “ToastHampton: How to Summer in Style. Her “puppy PR” is done by owner Katie Sturino, who recently scored when eyewear maker Karen Walker hired Toast to be a spokes model for the brand. In January of 2016, Toast was also the bride in a “wedding” to another furry star and, just like a real celebrity, got to wear a custom Marchesa dress and a $139,000 diamond necklace. The whole spectacle was a promotion for a wedding planning and registry site called Zola.
Petlandia says the pay for the petworking coach is “competitive,” and the desired qualifications include knowledge of the online pet influencing world, basic pet welfare skills, and knowledge of how to grow and manage an audience on social media.
As social media’s influence continues to grow, and new platforms appear, it’s reasonable to assume that job postings like Petlandia’s will become much more common.