Social media can be intimidating, especially for a new or pre-published author. There are so many options.
So how do we choose?
Typically, LinkedIn is for businesses and professionals, where posts offer information relating to that business. Twitter is a close second, using short posts (150 words or less with only 2-3 hashtags) with or without images. As people respond to a tweet, a link or chain is created so a reader can easily follow the conversation, which Twitter is known for.
Facebook, which began with mostly young people, has now been abandoned by them, leaving it for their parents to carry on. So what’s left?
Instagram, of course! At first, I hated it. You couldn’t link to anything. And the image trumped the text. Certainly not attractive to a writer! But as I got to know IG and how it worked, willing to stay within the restrictive boundaries (even though I described it as having my hands tied), I began to enjoy the challenge: let the single image say it all. Well, if you needed to use a few words to get your point across, then okay.
Below is my grid of images on my IG business account. Can you see how each might tell a story?
Possible Image Ideas
Need ideas for an image to use on INSTAGRAM? Here are my descriptions for the grid of images above: Canva print to celebrate 2021, Winter Wonders, an image created in Canva to describe your post, arrangement of your own personal image with items that reflect the text, sharing your book’s theme with your followers, reminders of childhood, a bookstagram, photo that makes a statement, your book ad (Canva), quirky travel pics tagging businesses, a gorgeous winter sunset!
Steps to IG Sucess
When setting up an IG account, there are a few things to consider:
- Your handle (i.e. @jarmdelbocco) — Unless you have a specific brand name, use your author’s name.
- Private or business — If you want to connect with as many people as possible, choose business.
- Your bio — With only 150 characters, you must be short and sweet. Who are you? Why should someone follow you? What do you have to offer? See my bio below, which is still in transition!
- Choose images — they should reflect your brand and carry a message. Make sure you include a light block in each line, like a checkerboard, which might have a quote or only one word. Also have a few of yourself doing what you do best — write! See gallery above.
- Have a consistent color scheme that reflects your brand. Think of five words to describe your passion, and use those to guide your choices. I’m still working on this.
Tips for the IG Trade
- Post a few times a week — find out the best time for your area using your IG business analytics (another reason to choose a business account.)
- Use appropriate hashtags — and put them in the comments box after you post. You can use around 30! Here are a few examples: #childrensbooks #childrensbookstagram #childrensbookauthor #childrensbooksmatter #kidlit #kidsbookstagram #booksforkids #booksforyoungreaders #booksforkids #booksforchildren #kidsbooks #kidsbookslove #kidsbookstagram #bookskidslove #kidslovebooks #childrensbooks #kidsneedbooks #bookstagram #childrensbookstagram #teachersofinstagram
So, what does a writer post?
How about sharing a favorite author’s book by creating a bookstagram like mine above? Or maybe, you have cute pics of kids holding your book in a unique setting. Or what about posting a photo of your workspace, or a conference you’ve attended. If your WIP is set in a particular location you’ve visited recently, post an image you found fascinating. Or, post something relating to its topic such as sea creatures, fire fighters, or baking bread — any pic that relates to your research. It will pique interest for your future publication.
I hope I have given you some useful tips for using your IG account, or better yet, encouraged you to begin one. When you do, start to follow a few people in your genre who are more advanced, and whose feeds (grid of images) you admire. I would be honored if you followed me. My business account is: @jarmdelboccio
As I continue with my Instagram Makeover course, I will be learning new things each week that I hope will be reflecting on my feed. It is stellar, and packed full of information to apply — and it’s well worth the money! You can find Kat Coroy’s course HERE.
If you would be interested in a more advanced Instagram blogpost in the future, let me know in the comments below!