Good Morning everyone! I have to be honest, I never thought I’d be writing this post. When I started promoting my book and my brand on social media sites, I didn’t use Instagram. Like a lot of authors I’m sure, I thought “How am I supposed to use Instagram as an author? What do I do…..take pictures of myself every day?” I mean, there’s only so many pictures of your books that you can put out there. But recently I started seeing quite a few posts about using Instagram to promote your business so I decided to do some research to see how I could utilize it as an author…and I found that there is a lot that I can do on Instagram! Here are some of the things you can do on Instagram that will help to promote your book and your brand as an author.
The first thing I found that you want to do when using Instagram is to use hashtags. We use hashtags with Twitter of course, and I put them on my blog posts and my Facebook posts. But I honestly wouldn’t have thought to use them on my Instagram posts as well. Make sure you’re using hashtags that will link your specific audience to your photos and videos so you get the most out of your hashtags.
The next thing I learned that would be beneficial is that you can run contests in Instagram. The type that I liked the best was a Like or Comment Contest where you ask Instagram users to either like or comment on an update and they are entered into the contest. You need to make sure you inform Instagram users that the contest is not sponsored or endorsed by Instagram. You should also state how many winners there will be and when the contest starts and ends, but there are no specific Instagram rules for contests like you see in Facebook.
As far as types of content you can share on Instagram, there were quite a few more ideas for an author than I thought possible. You can share posts of happy customers with your book. Pictures and specially videos of other people talking about how much they enjoyed your book will go a long way to promote your work. You can also share posts of vendor events. Show your booth at a book signing, people lined up to buy a copy of your book, or even your marketing materials all set up (bookmarks, postcards, business cards). You can also share books that are in the same genre as yours and cross-promote with other authors. Collaborate with a few authors and schedule posts to promote each other’s works so your books get promoted to a whole new social medial group. Another idea for posts is to show some behind the scenes of your business. This one is a little more tricky for an author, but you can still use it. Show images of your workstation all set up when you go to write, show your inventory of your books, or maybe you have a car magnet promoting your book or your business….why not show posts of that as well? Your audience wants to get to know you personally just as much as getting to know your work and you might be giving other authors ideas on what they can use for promoting themselves that they haven’t tried. Finally, you can show some personal posts about your life. You don’t want to go overboard and make your Instagram overly personal instead of professional, but showing milestones in your life like birthdays and anniversaries and even your family will personalize you more with your audience so they can connect with you better.
As you can see, there’s a lot more that you can do on Instagram as an author than you would think. I hope this inspires you to start using Instagram to promote your books and your brand, and I’d love to hear some of your creative ideas for Instagram as well!
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