I was recently nudged into joining Instagram by a gentleman that I do a bit of pro bono work for. He wanted to expand the base for his audio interview site. So I finally figured it out, and there I was. Kind of like when I first joined LinkedIn - I was standing in the middle of the room, eyes big, wondering what to do next.
I still haven't posted anything referencing the site that nudged me onto Instagram, but I have posted about the book that my co-author Brad Tesh and I just published - Invisible Me. Then I got the idea that I could post about my existing books (including the book that Brad and I previously published). So there really is a reason for me to be on Instagram! (Besides, this way I can follow F1 driver Lewis Hamilton's posts!) And I found a lot of people there that I follow on other social media sites - so of course I followed them on Instagram too!
So what are some of the reasons that it benefits writers to post on Instagram? One reason is the same reason that the gentleman that I work with wanted me to promote his site - that it appeals to a younger crowd (millennials). Also, we have to get over the fact that as writers we use words, not images, to paint the picture of our stories. Instagram has a huge user base, a veritable gift for expanding our reading audience!
How can we best create a solid presence on Instagram? Make sure that our author bio resonates with the audience that we want to attract, and include a link to our author website and/or blog.
How can we best use Instagram to promote ourselves as writers? Another learning curve for me - the judicious use of hashtags. What this does is help our posts be seen by those that are not already following us. Where can we find relevant hashtags? Cheat a bit - check out other writers, and see what they are including in their posts! Make sure that you are not constantly promoting yourself! Make around 25% of your posts promotion, and 75% something interesting to the audience that you want to attract. Like other writers posts, and comment when relevant. (I am a bit old fashioned - I would recommend leaving only positive comments.) Post pictures/images that are interesting. Post several times a week, to keep your name out there. If you want comments, ask questions in your post.
Where can w find writers to follow on Instagram? Here is one site with some excellent suggestions grammerly.com. Another interesting site is paperbackparis.com.
There is a dark side to Instagram. Someone created an account using my name - a fake account. They were not posting anything, but they were contacting my friends, in a way that wasn't me at all. I notified Instagram, and that account was taken down within 24 hours. In my book, Instagram rates high on enforcing rules and follow-through!
Think about using Instagram in your marketing ... and check out what I am doing there!
(c) March 2019 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.