Provide valuable information that your audience is looking for. In addition to posting positive dog stories on our Facebook page we also share links to articles on our website that share valuable info around dog health & behavior. We want people to have a trusted place to go for the dog information they need and for any questions that pop up for them.

We often use the term “Influencers” to describe people with significant social media followings on platforms like Instagram, Twitter TikTok, Youtube, Linkedin and Facebook. Influencers have become today’s media titans, sought after for everything from product placements to timely trends. What’s the difference between influence and impact? Fans and followers? Sizzle versus staying power?

In this interview series, called, “How To Cultivate Community In A Click to Connect World” we are talking to influencers about how they define success and what we all need to discover about the true nature of influence. As a part of this series I had the pleasure of interviewing Maayan Gordon.

Maayan Gordon is CEO of I Love My Dog So Much, one of the top trusted names in the dog-lovers space where people go for anything they need from feel-good stories, to health information, to product reviews and recommendations. Before leading I Love My Dog So Much Gordon ran a glassblowing business that did more than $1M in retail sales through Instagram, grew her Tiktok audience to 2.3 million followers and has appeared on over 50 podcasts. In addition to cultivating connection and community in everything she does, Gordon is focused on building brands around positive stories and valuable information.

Thank you for making time to visit with us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. How did you discover your career path and what got you to where you are today?

I discovered my love for social media marketing through copywriting while I was still in college and then when I started up my own businesses and began using Instagram to connect with customers and sell products. This then expanded into LinkedIn and Tiktok where I grew an audience of more than 2.3 million followers and now with I Love My Dog So Much to Facebook where we have a community of 5.5 million dog lovers. I also have always loved dogs and have 4 of my own.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned along the way that influences how you operate now?

The most important lesson I’ve learned along the way that influences every single decision I make at I Love My Dog So Much is that compassion and connection are the key human ingredients to success in any business.

We’re all searching for some good news. How are you using your platform to make a positive social impact?

We are using our Facebook page to spread hope and positivity by sharing stories of dogs who were rescued and saved, but also of the people whose hearts were rescued and saved by the special dogs in their lives. We also use the platform to raise money for injured dogs to save their lives and help them avoid being euthanized. Our community is just incredible. We’ve already raised thousands of dollars this year.

Many of our readers are influencers as well. Others have tried and have yet to succeed. What words of advice would you offer to aspiring influencers, knowing what you know now?

For anyone who wants to succeed as an influencer, learning qualities of leadership is crucial. Part of leadership is showing up and being accountable. If you want to be a successful influencer you must do that through consistently posting and engaging with your community. You also have to create a deep bond and emotional connection with your audience. Don’t just post content, post content that matters. At I Love My Dog So Much we pay close attention to how our content performs as an indicator of what matters to our community.

Success is often a matter of perspective. I’ve always resonated with Henry David Thoreau’s quote, “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” How do you see success — or define success — for yourself now?

Personally I define success as living life authentically as myself with pure love and compassion for others. At I Love My Dog So Much we define success in a similar manner, by looking at the impact we make with dog lovers and dogs in a way that is authentic to our brand values of positivity, compassion, resilience, and connection.

What are your strategies to make room for who and what matters most?

My strategies for making room for who and what matters most center around creating a sense of safety in our community for people to express themselves and their feelings about dogs and to share their experiences with the community. Being a dog mom of 4 I know that for any dog owner, their dogs are their family. Family is The Who and the What that we make sure to always create space for.

How do you reduce or mitigate stress?

By spending time with my dogs of course! Seriously though, taking them outside on long walks does magic for reducing stress. I also focus on the positives and don’t get stuck thinking about problems. When I focus on solutions then it takes a lot of stress away from any situation. This is how we’ve been able to grow and make so much positive progress at I Love My Dog So Much. Every time we discover a challenge, obstacle, or problem we immediately start focusing on and implementing solutions.

I’m going to try a few of your tips, and I’m hopeful our readers will, too. Now it’s time for the big reveal — the moment our readers have been anticipating. What are your “five strategies to cultivate a large & engaged social media community?’ Please share a story or example for each.

1. Post content daily.

I Love My Dog So Much posts content to our Facebook page every single day without fail. We want people to know that we will always be here for their dogs and them and we show up every single day supporting and creating value in their lives.

2. Connect through multiple media types and content formats.

Our Facebook page we post written content, share article links, create and post memes and pictures, and we share videos.

3. Join the discussion! Respond to people’s comments.

Sometimes we get a few comments on our posts and sometimes we get hundreds. Oftentimes on the comments people will share a picture or story of their dog. We make sure to encourage and thank them for sharing and participating in our community. We want to make our followers feel truly valued because they mean the world to us.

4. Support a cause that’s greater than yourself.

I Love My Dog So Much has a non-profit foundation set up to raise money for dogs in need. This helps rally our community around something we all truly care about. This past month our community raised $2400 to save the lives of a momma dog and her puppy that got hit by a car on Christmas.

5. Provide valuable information that your audience is looking for.

In addition to posting positive dog stories on our Facebook page we also share links to articles on our website that share valuable info around dog health & behavior. We want people to have a trusted place to go for the dog information they need and for any questions that pop up for them.

What do you do to create a greater sense of connection and community among your fans?

One of the things I’ve done to create a greater sense of connection with our community is share a bit about who I am and what I have in common with them. I’ve posted pictures of my dogs and I so they know the CEO has the same passions and love for dogs as they do. I have also done one or two video posts of me speaking directly to the community. I think showing up through video is really valuable because people can truly feel the passion and authenticity.

As an influencer, you are, by definition, a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

If I could inspire a movement it would be centered around altruism and compassion. Our dogs show us every day their level of love and selflessness and I strive to do the same. I want to love others without boundaries or limits. I want to give without expectation. I want to share the love I feel with others.

Through this love I believe we all become more present to the current moment and feel a deeper sense of gratitude and appreciation for the world we live in and for life itself.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world with whom you’d like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He, she or they might just see this. 🙂

I would love to have a private lunch or dinner with Gary Vaynerchuck because we are clearly both ADHD kids whose minds work in similar ways. We are both working across multiple industries including social media, customer experience, digital technologies, and gaming. But the real reason is that I believe in a single conversation together we could change the world. Not change everything in it, just one small thing that would have a huge impact and domino effect. I believe and have personally experienced that when certain people connect over meaningful conversation that magic happens.

What is the best way for our readers to further follow your work online?

Follow our Facebook page “I Love My Dog” and join our community of dog lovers! You can also connect with me personally through LinkedIn under my name Maayan Gordon

Thank you for these thought provoking insights. Here’s to your continued success!