Should Authors Be On Instagram?

You may have read our post about why you need a professional photo. But have you considered that you can use photography to market your work?

Instagram has 500 million daily users and the engagement rates on Instagram is 15x higher than Facebook. It has an edge on Twitter, too. With that many people, your readers are likely to be using Instagram – and it’s easy to see the potential for more ROI.

When people remember 80% of what they see, it may be time to snap a few shots.

Instagram for everyone?

Yes, most writers can utilize Instagram, no matter what the genre.

Unlike Pinterest, where users prefer certain color schemes and topics, Instagram is a bit broader. Just look at the hashags.

Writing historical fiction? There’s a hashtag for that. There’s also #historicalcostume, #historicalplace, #historical building…you get the idea. Sometimes browsing hashtags can even give you an idea of what to post.

So can location. Taking a trip for a conference and you are writing a non-fiction motivational book? You can promote your work by tying in the conference location and appropriate hashtags.

Some other post ideas include:

  • Quotes from your book
  • Preparing for an upcoming release
  • Launch party photos
  • Conference or book fair photos
  • Travel pictures
  • Stock images (paid or free)
  • Quotes that inspire you
  • Short video readings of your work
  • Book trailers

Tips for Instagram Success

Instagram is fun. We know, because other authors are already enjoying the platform – like K.M. Weiland and Paulo Coelho. Here are some of the best tips and tricks for making great posts:

It’s not all about the pictures

This is great news for writers. Writing an exciting and fun blurb is just as important as collecting hashtags and posting a nice photo. Your post can really shine with an innovative description – and it’s probably the part you will enjoy the most.

Be careful what photos you use

If you haven’t taken the photo yourself, make sure you follow appropriate copyright laws. Some photos online are okay to reuse – but others might require accreditation or payment. Be sure to check the origin of the photo you are using before uploading it to your account.

Engage, engage, engage!

Like other peoples’ posts. Comment. Share. You may even want to collaborate with another author. You can mention other users in a post by using the @ and their username, which will increase your visibility. As the name suggests, you will be more successful on social media if you are social.

Consider accessories

If you discover you love taking pictures, selfies included, you may want to invest a few bucks on accessories. A clip-on light can improve the lighting on your images, and a selfie-stick can help you include all your friends and fans in the next shot.

Complete your bio

Add your professional website or your book’s Amazon link in your bio. And remember that professional picture? Here is a great place to use it. In addition to text, you can add emojis and hashtags into your bio, making it more eye-catching and visible to your target audience.

Should you use Instagram?

No matter what social platform you use, social media marketing is a long-term tactic. Most likely you won’t amass thousands of readers or followers overnight. But you will have the chance to make new friends, and create lasting relationships with your readers.

If you haven’t already, you should give Instagram a chance. It may be a perfect match.