This is the 7th insights digest from Segmanta’s brand new study, The Big Pet Survey 2020. We surveyed more than 2,000 U.S. pet owners (from July to August 2020) to understand consumer behaviors surrounding their pets, their lifestyle as pet owners, pet-tech usage, social media consumption, and their opinions, emotions, and sentiments as pet owners.
We are all familiar with people’s obsession with cute animals they see on the internet. Hilarious animal GIFs, memes, and videos constantly show up on our devices to brighten our moods. From time to time we find ourselves drawn to this content, which can sometimes lead to procrastination (where the “guilt” in “guilty pleasure” comes from). Watching cat videos might not seem like a serious subject for research, but this fun, light-hearted content can be powerful for pet care brands to leverage.
In order to explore pet owner social media consumption, as well as to decode the secrets on how to reach this audience, Segmanta conducted The Big Pet Survey 2020, where we asked pet owners about their usage and opinions on social media pet content social media.
U.S. Pet Owners On Social Media
Our study found that 71% of pet owners follow animal-themed content on Facebook, while Instagram (32%) and YouTube (23%) are more popular amongst younger generations. In addition to the funny and “aww”-worthy pet content that is widely appreciated by animal lovers, 47% of pet owners follow content containing tips and knowledge about pet ownership. 39% of respondents follow social media content about unlikely animal friendships, content highlighting the nurturing qualities animals have within their same or of a different species. Around a quarter of respondents actively follow pet-related brands and products and 19% follow pet influencers on social media. According to research by OnBuy Pets Suppliers, each social media post from the highest tier of pet influencers can generate up to $32,045, thanks to dedicated followers.
More than half of pet owners are big fans of the animal media brand “The Dodo” and 37% said that they regularly browse through whatever animal content coming up on their social media feeds. When it comes to sharing their own pet content, only 19% of the surveyed pet owners said that they somewhat to very frequently post updates of their own pets. So while U.S. pet owners are active in consuming pet-themed content, they are reluctant to regularly post content containing their own pets.
Emotional Story-telling Animal Content Wins
Women are more likely to follow narrative pet content on social media, such as rescue missions (51%) and adoption stories (49%). This highlights the importance of emotional, touching animal stories that are more likely to resonate with the female audience.
Animals On Social Media Keeps Our Spirit High
Some say that pets reflect the personalities of their owners. Our study suggests that pet owners also have a preference for pet types according to their character. Extroverts appreciate the energy of dogs and the outdoor time spent together while introverts love the indoor companionship from felines.
In the age of COVID-19, the public’s mental health has been shaken. Thanks to the internet, endless adorable animal content is available to keep our spirits high. Scientific evidence suggests that watching cat videos goes beyond pure entertainment, and can actually be therapeutic by chasing away negative moods and boosting energy. Taking a break from studying or work to scroll through a few adorable cat videos can be a mood booster or a short self-care session for today’s busy, stressed humans.
In some countries, China, for example, the craze for internet cats has grown to the next level with new concepts such as “cloud cat-petting”. Because some animal devotees are not able to keep pets in their household due to allergies, house rules, financial situations, and so forth, they turn to the internet to stream (sometimes paid content) other people’s pets’ lives. And thus, the social media monetizing concept – “the cat economy”- was born.
The benefits of not just viewing pet content, but owning a pet may be even greater. According to our study, an astonishing 91% of pet owners say that having pets can significantly reduce their stress, loneliness, and anxiety.
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Cats and dogs claimed fame in the media long before they became internet sensations. As consumers, we are often delighted to see commercials or art designs featuring cute animals. In today’s digital world, marketers can identify viral internet trends of animal content, optimizing the marketing and creative efforts to engage animal lovers. Who knew that our beloved animal friends can one day reshape the economy?