In an increasingly digital age, authors and readers can connect more easily than ever before. For indie authors and authors with small presses, cultivating a social media presence becomes more and more important. Twitter is the primary social media for the writing community, but I believe that Instagram, despite being image-based instead of text-based, is a wonderful platform for writers.There is, however, the issue of content. Here are some ideas.
(A quick note before we start–I used to have an Instagram dedicated entirely to my author platform; I have since found it more conducive to combine my personal/author Instagram, which is why you will see some posts from the old account and some from my current one.)
1. Progress updates
This is what an author’s social media is for, obviously. Wordcount updates, details about your story, etc.! Just make sure your feed isn’t too inundated with this stuff. People need more than just progress photos if they’re going to connect with you.
Pick out some of your favorite quotes from books and from authors, on writing and other topics, make them into a pretty graphic, and post! It’s relevant, inspirational, and people in the tag for the figures you quote will be more likely to run across it.
3. Photos of books & supplies
Take a leaf out of the #bookstagram community’s book and try posting some cute aesthetically pleasing photos of books–popular stuff, your current #amreading, or even your own books.
4. Personal photos
The occasional personal photo is absolutely warranted. You basically can’t go wrong with a cute animal or smile child.
5. Excerpts or micro-poems
Instagram hosts many, many successful writers who post almost exclusively micro-poetry and micro-fiction. The trick here is fitting your WIPs into short chunks. Pick the most impactful stuff.
Writing is all about stealing good stuff from other people, right? Writing memes are a lot of fun and a great way to bond with a community. Just remember to credit whomever you got the image from!
7. Workspace photos
There is very little that beats a photo of a computer and a cup of coffee, except for a photo of a computer, a cup of coffee, and a cat. The more photogenic animals you can fit into your photos, the better.
This sort of falls under “photos of books,” but shelfies are their own special kind of awesome.
Basically, anything book- or writing-related is a good bet.
A few other tips:
- Figure out the best hashtags to use for your photos. Analytics tools like SimplyMeasured’s Instagram freebie can help you find which of your tags are most effective (as well as the time of day that gets the most traffic). It’s also worth it to spend some time in generic tags–#books and #writer for example–to find other, more specific tags to add.
- Engage with people! Cruise hashtags and find other writers and readers. Build a community, not a fanbase.
- A filtered photo almost always looks better than an unfiltered one.
- Some apps I use include Instasize (for non-square photos and filtering/adjustments) and Phonto (text graphics), although Canva is just as useful for the latter.
And, of course, for more fun ideas, you can follow me on Instagram. 😉
Happy writing and marketing!