Social media has become a huge part of most Canberrans’ modern lives. Whether you love it or casually engage with it – we all seem to have one thing in common, we adore pet content! Be they pages of cats, dogs, racoons or piglets, we can’t get enough of these accounts – on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, you name it.
Canberra Weekly has spoken to Canberra’s top two pet Instagram influencers to find out a bit more about their lovable animals and how they achieved social media stardom.
Kirrily Humphries’ 14-month-old Bromhund Weimaraner is a happy energetic 27-kilogram dog called Lumen and has a cult following of more than 7,000 fans.
Lumen joined the family when COVID-19 hit in March 2020, soon after Kirrily lost her beloved Rhodesian Ridgeback to lymphoma.
“We were just so heartbroken; our house was so empty. I couldn’t deal, I just needed another puppy,” Kirrily said.
With her family in Newcastle and travel restrictions in place, Kirrily couldn’t introduce Lumen to her loved ones. So, she made Lumen’s Instagram account @ladylulumen purely to serve the purpose of a curated photo album.
“Her account kind of just started growing from there, it was never really my intention, she’s just very cute,” Kirrily said.
“It was such an uncertain time, I thought it was nice to have an account that was super positive and happy, and everyone could have used that in that moment, and I feel people really responded to it”.
Kirrily said she believes if you want a successful social media account, you need to be authentic.
“People respond to things that feel genuine. If you set out to just have fun with it then I think people can pick up on that,” she said.
When Christmas came around, Lumen could finally meet the extended fam in Newcastle, and hit the beaches and made friends with the local dogs.
“She’s very happy, a little bit crazy, but I absolutely love her.”
Canberra’s top cat Instagram page @mimi.the.monstar has more than 10,000 followers, and has also made a name for herself in ACT political sphere.
Since Mimi the cat started her petition, the subject of cat containment is now being considered by the ACT Government including community comments on a draft cat plan.
Mimi’s owner Emerson Riley said when she adopted Mimi from the RSPCA five years ago, she was told she had to be an indoor cat. Living in a one-bedroom apartment, an indoor cat that didn’t roam the streets suited Emerson’s lifestyle to a T.
“When I got home all she wanted to do was cry and get outside. So, I thought I’d try her on a harness, and she just took to it! So, then I had to walk her every day,” Emerson said.
“She just wanted to be outside so badly that she didn’t care how that happened, as long as she was outside. She just loves sniffing things, and rolling in the dirt and grass, and just walking around talking to people”.
Mimi has become Emerson’s little shadow; she joins Emerson at work – but only when Mimi feels like it, of course, and has even gone on holidays all over the NSW from the South Coast to Coonabarabran.
“I don’t like to be away from her, so if I take a holiday, she has to be able to come with me,” Emerson said.
Mimi’s Instagram page started as a bet with Emerson’s boss that Mimi could get more than 10,000 followers within five months. She lost the bet but reached her goal within 11 months.
Emerson said it takes a lot of work to build followers, and that you need to post regularly, continually use hashtags, follow people, and comment and like other social posts.
“I post maybe three times a week, just because she does have so many fans, and I like to send pictures of her,” she said.
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