If you’re an internet model, an artist, or a photographer, Instagram is a slam dunk. You’re already creating exactly the sort of content that plays well on the platform.
But as a book author, Instagram can still be a powerful tool to connect with readers, promote your books, and build your brand, even if your business is creating words.
Instagram is one of the biggest and most active social media platforms, making it a great place to showcase your work and engage with your audience.
Writers, follow these strategies to make it to the boss level on Instagram.
Post engaging content
Posting engaging content is key to attracting new followers and keeping your existing ones interested in your work. Share behind-the-scenes glimpses of your writing process, photos of your writing space, and images related to your books. You can also share quotes from your books or reviews from readers. Use hashtags to increase the visibility of your posts and reach new followers.
Instagram is a visual platform, so it’s important to use high-quality visuals to capture your readers’ attention. You can use images of your book cover, bookshelves, writing spaces, and quotes from your book to create visually appealing content.
Joining a service like Adobe Express or Canva to help present dynamic graphics and moving videos will help you stand out among all the visually arresting competitors on Instagram. You’ll be surprised by how easy it is to create quality graphics that look professional and get you attention.
Connect with readers
There are a lot of ways for readers to talk with you on Instagram. Start simply by responding to comments on your posts.
Instagram Live allows you to host Q&A sessions or make announcements about your projects. You may even find that you enjoy getting your face out there and talking directly to the public. Don’t be so quick to dismiss this! It might be awkward at first, but if you stick with it the possible rewards are incredible.
Instagram Stories are vertical posts that only run for a day and can be very effective in bringing engagement. You can ask questions there, or allow others to ask you questions, then you can run their question, and your response as another Story!
Stories are just another style of post, so you can run graphics of your book covers, make announcements about upcoming events, or share other authors’ posts to help build your community.
User-generated content is another tactic to connect with readers. Ask them to write about which of your characters are their favorite, who they would like them to be in a relationship with, or what the next plot of your series should be. You can post that content and respond to them. Not only is that great content, but you make the day of your fans, and you encourage others to engage with you.
Promote your books
Obviously, getting your books out there to a wider audience is the ultimate goal. Instagram is great for that!
Share images of your book covers, excerpts from your books, or sneak peeks of upcoming projects.
You can also host giveaways or offer exclusive discounts to your followers to promote your books and incentivize purchases.
Don’t forget to use hashtags in your posts to help drive traffic. Instagram is the place where hashtags rule, and it legitimately can lead new followers to you. Do some research and see what’s trending on Instagram, or do a little opposition research to find out what other authors are doing.
Hashtags are a great way to get discovered by new readers who are interested in your books. Use relevant hashtags in your captions and comments to increase the visibility of your posts. You can also create your own branded hashtags to promote your book.
Collaborate with other authors
One of the best ways to build your brand is to reach out to other people in your field and help each other out. Find authors who are in your particular niche and share your audience! It will help both of you at the same time.
You can collaborate on events, co-host Instagram Live sessions, create book clubs, or simply cross-promote each other’s work.
Collaborating with other authors is the most effective long-term strategy to finding new niche-specific followers, and getting your work out beyond your limited reach. And, you’ll be helping out others too.
Use Instagram ads
Instagram ads are a great way to promote your books to a targeted audience. They have a robust ad experience that’s also synced with Facebook.
You can choose specific demographics or interests to target, and no one knows their users better than Meta. If you’ve never looked at Instagram ads, you might be surprised by how little they cost for putting you in front of thousands of new people.
Some authors have broken free of the gravity and control of Amazon, just by investing in Instagram and Facebook ads that drive traffic to wherever you want them to go to buy your book. That might lead you to Amazon, or even to your own site where you host your books for sale.
In conclusion, Instagram can be a powerful tool for book authors to connect with readers, promote their books, and build their brand.
By posting engaging content, using Instagram to promote your books, collaborating with other authors, and trying Instagram ads, you’ll be able to grow organically and reach real people who want to read your books.
You might be surprised by how powerful your words are on this visual platform.
Beth A. Freely and Dirk Hooper offers editing, branding, and social media management services for authors, and other creatives, at The Muses Funhouse. Find out more at themusesfunhouse.com.