Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Pets Take Over Twitter

via MarketWatch - There’s a golden retriever in San Francisco who loves Giants baseball and runs on the beach. An overweight Siamese in Vermont who tried to sell a dog on eBay. And a tabby in Waltham, Mass., who fights with his adopted sister Pennycat. 

No, it’s not some new wacky TV show about pets.

It’s the Twittersphere, where thousands of people are impersonating their pets, some who have been tweeting for a few years now. Some are now even making money at it, while tweeting about their favorite treats and naps on the couch while making fun of their owners.

Some cats, dogs and other pets who tweet also have their own blogs. It has become such the phenomenon that a few pet bloggers got together to form BlogPaws, now a community of more than 700 pet bloggers. BlogPaws helps fellow bloggers make money in social media and even hosts conferences. It recently formed a partnership with BlogHer to create a pets section of the popular women’s blogging network, where pet bloggers will get additional exposure and more opportunities to sell ads on their blogs.

One of the founders of BlogPaws is Caroline Golon, who was working in health-care public relations in 2009 when she started a Twitter account for her cat Romeo as a joke. When a co-worker mused that she was afraid Romeo the cat would get more followers than her on Twitter, Golon decided to take the challenge and offered to donate 5 cents for every follower her cat got on Twitter to the Humane Society. She quickly got thousands of followers, and now @RomeotheCat has more than 11,000 followers.

Golon has raised north of $60,000 in donations for animal rescue and she left her full-time job and started her own company.

“I am now helping companies with their social-media strategy and I write for some pet-related outfits,” said Golon, whose company is called High Paw Media.

Like the huge community of “mommy bloggers,” pet bloggers are starting to have influence among consumers in recommending products, spreading news about product recalls, helping animals get adopted or alerting the media to important stories via Twitter or Facebook, such as the tragic tale of Jack the Cat, the Norwegian forest cat who was lost by American Airlines when being transported to a plane’s cargo compartment.

“The companies that are successful are the ones who are engaging in an authentic way,” said Golon, “and that is just being a pet owner next to the other pet owners, as opposed to being a corporation.”

Read more: http://bit.ly/vn4RwG
Written by Therese Poletti 
Image via Romeothecat