How To Promote Your Books On Instagram: 10 Tips
Instagram has become a wonderful marketing tool in the last few years. I’ve been impressed at the marketing tactics I have seen used, as well as disappointed in the blatant advertising when it could be done in a much better way. Because of things that I have seen done so brilliantly, things that I have seen fail, and my own trials and errors from helping clients, I have come up with some tips to help with marketing via Instagram.
Don’t make every post an advertisement. When you make every photo an advertisement, you will quickly get unfollowed and ignored. You can post advertisements, but be sure to space them out with behind the scenes photos, real life photos, and even include photos of what you are reading. Include photos of your writing process, what inspires you, books in creative photos, and “what you are doing now”. The holidays are a great time to get wonderfully styled photos.
Be sure to like and comment on other photos as well. When you do this, they will most likely return the favor. Make sure you are following other authors and readers too.
Cross-Promote. You can share your Instagram posts on Facebook, Twitter, your blog, website, and other places. Instagram makes this easy with share buttons and easily embedded codes. Why not take advantage of this and have a great visual on other social profiles as well.
Take your time and take quality photos. Make sure the lighting is right, there are no unsightly items in the background, and that you have complimentary items in the photo.
Follow other authors for inspiration, as long as readers of your books and other avid readers. Especially if you are new to instagram, seeing their photos can inspire you to create your own beautiful photos and even help you find your own style.
Work on your bio. Make sure your bio is worded the way you want and that you link to your website. If you do not have a website (you need one), you can link to a place that people can easily find your books.
Spark growth: This is much easier than it sounds, I promise. Simply ask your followers to comment and you would be surprised at how many people actually will, just be sure to reply- this will help create loyal customers. You could also ask your followers to tag their friends in the comments: “tag three friends that would like this,” and you have even more people seeing your photos.
Use complimentary apps: Try out different imaging apps to find the ones you like. There are many that can help you create and edit beautiful images with quotes, collages, slide-shows, and more (Some that I have tried and really liked are: Word Dreams, Photogrid, Vidstitch, Layout for Instagram, TextGram, Flipagram, Insta Square, Fotor, A Beautiful Mess, and there are so many more). Using screen shots from your phone is also a great way that books, websites, and more can be shared.
Don’t Overwhelm: Be careful of how much you post. You should post enough to stay relevant, but not overwhelm your audience. You should space your posts out throughout the day. There is no magic number that you should posts, but I would start with two a day, then work up to more as your audience desires it. One thing to be careful of is posting multiple times within the hour. Sometimes, it is a must, but warn your audience ahead of time and consider making slide-shows or collages of events, holidays, and conferences. This would help keep your audience from being overwhelmed.
Hashtag it!: Create an interactive hashtag and encourage your followers to use it. One tip I have for this is to make is easy to remember and unique, be sure to make it relevant to your books as well. You want it to attract new followers. For instance, you create a hashtag, encourage your followers to use it, they use it with a photo, their followers see it, get curious, search it, and eventually follow you and use it themselves. Another thing you can do is repost photos with the hashtag, being sure to tag that follower. Then, they will see that you share follower photos and more will use the hashtag and you have more content. What could be better?
Instagram can be a very powerful tool for promoting your websites, books, and events, just make sure you do it right and don’t forget about Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, your blog, and other tools you want to implement.