Nathan the Beach Cat, Winnie and Instagram
Nathan and Winnie become Insta-famous
Over the past few months, since setting up this blog, we are constantly trying to answer all the questions we are asked. Probably the most common question we get, in every language you can think of (thank god for google translate!!) is “How did Nathan and Winnie become Insta-famous”. We first set up our Instagram account for nathan_thebeachcat in September 2017. We had found our little Nathan only a few months before and she was well into the swing of amazing us with her water antics! This has now built up a following of over half a million people and still increasing! But how did it all happen? What are the tricks to building up an Instagram following? The truth is, this all happened fairly passively and it still surprises us to this day! Back in September 2017, Mel initially set up Instagram as a way of showing family and friends our beautiful little Nathan. We were both working at Bundaberg Base Hospital, and our cute little swimming kitten was famous around the Wards and Operating Theatre. We would be asked 10 times a day “how is little Nathan?”, and to show pictures and videos of her swimming and playing at the beach. This also came from both of our families (living interstate). So one day Mel decided to set up an Instagram for Nathan so that everyone could enjoy watching her whenever they want.
Needless to say, we had no idea how this would blow up on social media. All of a sudden Nathan’s Instagram started jumping up thousands of followers per day! We honestly remember very little about the first 100,000 followers because it literally got there almost overnight! This also lead to Nathan now being noticed by TV and news programs. By November our phones were ringing off the hook and we were being inundated with Facebook and Instagram messages requesting interviews, pictures, permission to feature her videos on TV and also to do newspaper shoots. This was not just in Australia but all over the world, and major organisations including – E-News, Entertainment Tonight, Sky News, all the Australian TV Channels, multiple Australian Radio Stations, Scandinavian talk shows and even sites like BuzzFeed and The Dodo. Her pictures and videos were literally everywhere! Nathan became known around the places we took her – we would often have people come up to us at the beach and ask “Is this Nathan?”. We had children and their parents asking if they could take a photo with her (which Nath always obliged!). It was crazy and overwhelming to us! Funniest of all, this beautiful little kitten was getting all this attention and had no idea. All she knew was that she loved a swim when it was hot, as thats what cats do…right? lol!
This rapid increase on Instagram continued until about 300,000 followers over a few months. After that, although we kept gaining followers, the speed really plateaued a little – until Winnie came along! When we picked little Winnie up in July 2018, we hoped she would become besties with Nath (which they are). But with her little personality being so different to Nathan, we never thought she would go near the water – but that was ok, she could come and watch Nath and play in the sand and meet the crabs down the beach! We were wrong…. Her first trip to Elliott Heads Beach we filmed her run into the water and swim straight across, no hesitation at all! Not only that, when she got to the other side, she turned around, hopped straight back into the water and swam across to get Nathan – gorgeous little thing. Guess what? Winnie went viral!
This video of Winnie’s first swim saw our exposure increase and again our numbers have jumped up to over half a million, and climbing! So, the truth is, a lot of increasing Instagram followers is luck! We have found it to be so unpredictable with what videos go viral and on occasions what pictures and videos are well received by Nath and Winnie’s followers. So we definitely do not have the answers and we certainly don’t now any tricks. Its just so flattering to us that so many people enjoy watching our little girls as much as we do.
So how has Insta-fame changed our lives? Well, for the much part it hasn’t. We are certainly busier (as the time it takes to put posts together each day and write blogs etc is enormous!). Having this platform allows us to advocate for animals and donate towards animal welfare, which is very satisfying. However the Social Media presence is something we do on top of our regular lives. We both work demanding full-time jobs in the medical industry (me being a doctor and Mel being a nurse). We still have as much if not more difficulty co-ordinating our time off to fit in with each other AND the weather for that matter, so we can take our little girls out a few times a week to stretch their legs ad enjoy the beautiful outdoors.
So far, we have set up Instagram, Facebook and in the past few months we have launched Nathan and Winnie’s YouTube Channel. Here we are gradually posting all Nath and Winnie’s videos for everyone to enjoy! We will soon be posting a few each week – not just the swimming but more on their personalities and funny things Nathan and Winnie get up too. So make sure you check it out and subscribe!
Love Nathan, Winnie and family