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Monday, July 25, 2016

Instagram for Authors

How many of you are on Instagram? Did you know that it can be a very successful way to reach readers?

I recently joined Instagram and after posting a few measly pictures, I decided I needed to learn more about how this form of social media really works and whether or not it would be beneficial to me. I heard about an Instagram for Authors Facebook page and decided to join. That's where I learned that just like bloggers have blog hops to help them connect with other bloggers, Instagramers (is that even a word?) have something similar. They call it challenges.

For example, for the months of June and July, I semi-participated in two different month-long challenges through the VERY popular Instagram account: sammyreadsbooks. Every day I posted (or tried to post) a picture that corresponds with the assignment. The first day was my June TBR books, the second day was book and a beverage, and the third day was yellow/orange books.

My June TBR that I posted on Instagram using the hashtag #sammyreadsJune16
I enjoy doing book related posts because I know that my audience is readers, and what better way to find readers for my own books than to find those who love to read.

By using popular hashtags like #bookstagram or #books or #yabooks (if you write YA), you are putting your post in front of those who LOVE to read and LOVE books.

The biggest difference between Twitter and Instagram (other than the fact that Instagram is all about pictures) is that to have a successful account, and therefore lots of followers, you need to have a theme. Perhaps you love to take pictures of your cat, or reading with your cat—that would be your theme. Perhaps you love to take pictures with books in a variety of settings—that would make a great theme. Or perhaps you like to take pictures of books with props on a white background. Believe it or not, that is a theme.

It's okay to intermix your pictures, or group them in threes (one lifestyle photo, one book with props photo, and then one quote, including quotes from your own books.) Check out some of my favorite Instagram accounts to get a feel for what I mean.

1) https://www.instagram.com/sammyreadsbooks/

2) https://www.instagram.com/taylorreads/

3) https://www.instagram.com/booksugar/

And if you want to have a little fun on Instagram, you can participate in things like #sockSunday where everyone posts pics of their socks and a book they're reading. It's pretty cute!

And if you want to follow me on Instagram, you can find me at kristinsmithwrites. Stop by and say hi!

Does anyone else have tips for building your platform on Instagram?


Liz A. said...

My Instagram account is primarily for my knitting stuff. When I post to it.

Have you seen Hot Dudes Reading? Well, it's kinda book related... ;)

Kristin Smith said...

Lol. No, I haven't seen that one. Although I'm a little nervous about checking it out... Hehe. :)

Unknown said...

I have not ventured into Instagram yet. I'm finally learning to use Pinterest and Twitter effectively so maybe that is next.

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Barely use Instagram in the past but I'm changing that. Nice suggestions and challenges are a great idea.

Anonymous said...

I joined Instagram recently too. I started with posting pictures of my puzzles, but now I post a bit of everything. I guess my theme would be 'my life' =P

Lidy said...

Been on Instagram for a couple of months. I mostly post book quote art from my work in progress novels, my poetr, blog posts and what's going on in my life.