In the “United States of Social Media” Instagram is definitely the “Show-Me” state. To be successful on this platform requires some diligence and an affinity for your mobile device. You can stage artistic photos or share pictures as you take them. You can follow others and, with time and a bit of patience, develop a style and a following.
Is it practical for your author marketing? That depends. If you’re using Instagram purely for marketing, obviously it will only be helpful if that’s where your readers are hanging out. Instagram is most popular with women, ages 18-29, but has hundreds of MILLIONS of users, and Instagram photos can be shared simultaneously with your Twitter, Facebook, and even Tumblr fans, providing tons of sharing value.
What to Share on Instagram
This social media platform is super useful for sharing events, such as participating in book fairs, or announcing your book’s release with you holding the book in your hands for the first time. Like Pinterest, you can share scenes from your book. You can document your book signings and share with fans.
When you snap a pic you can add filters (fun!), tag people, and include hashtags. You’ll see LOTS of hashtags used on Instagram photos, typically more than any sort of lengthy descriptions (which won’t share to Twitter anyway). A picture is worth a thousand words after all, so it’s the photo that must convey your message.
If you include links, they won’t be live on Instagram, but when you cross-post on Facebook and Twitter, the URLs you place in your post will take readers to wherever you want them to go. We suggest shortening any links provided with https://bitly.com/ – Joining Bitly before creating links there will also allow you to track how many people are clicking on those links so you can measure your connection success.
Connecting with Others on Instagram
Besides connecting with your readers, you’ll want to follow others. First, see how other authors are using this social media platform. Then, begin looking for other book lovers. This has become a social sharing favorite of many top reviewers; being active yourself and connecting with these amazing influencers will prove helpful when it comes to seeking their blessing.
Bottom line, if you’re willing to get social and explore your visually artistic side, Instagram can be both an engaging and stimulating way of connecting with readers!
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