Author Presence

Instagram For Writers

Instagram is the fastest growing platform, and it has been for the last year or so. It’s one of the reasons Facebook bought Instagram.

The phone-contained app is popular with more than just the high school crowd, and the average user spends 30 minutes in the app.

My first introduction to Instagram came from a group called Adventure Social. This was before they became a “master class” of sorts with paid access and such. They still do videos on FB and talk about the changes that are coming to FB and Instagram.

In one writing group I’m in on FB, the admin posted this post: https://kindlepreneur.com/instagram-for-writers-and-authors/ and asked what people do for their Instagram.

I love Kindlepreneur for various reasons. These are people who are at the peak of their game and will be there for the future.

In the group, discussion blossoming in a back and forth, I thought the info I shared there should be shared here.

Depending on your computer, you may be able to download the Instagram App to your computer. I can on my Dell touchscreen desktop but can’t on my Chromebooks. If you can’t, don’t sweat it. Between scheduling apps and sharing apps, you can craft an Instagram account around you and your niche.

Apps

Later
Later can be used via the phone or the computer. This is an app that lets you schedule posts.
https://app.later.com

Regrann
This app lets you reshare an image that you find on Instagram. You can choose feed, story, or later. If you choose feed, you’ll be able to hold and paste the info from the previous post and the images come with the user’s name in the bottom corner.

If you share stuff, add your own thoughts to the post.
https://regrann.com/

LinkTree
This is like a global URL. Since Instagram doesn’t allow active URLs on posts, you can say “see link in bio” and all the links you want to display can be found there. It acts similar to a Books2Read or Booklinker link with the power of where to go in your hands.
https://linktr.ee/

Layout
Layout allows you to do multiple images in a single image. You’ll find this through your app store (Apple/Android/Google Play Store). Instagram will prompt you to go here if you try to post multiple pics, or it did on me anyway. I rarely use it, but it can come in handy.

Hash Tags
Hashme and Leetags are one of dozens of hashtag generators. I use Hashme over Leetags, and there are a few web-browser ones too.

I’m not sure how useful some of these are but I found them through other blogs and just haven’t finished trying them out.
https://www.all-hashtag.com/hashtag-generator.php
https://influencermarketinghub.com/instagram-hashtag…/ (this one takes photos and tries to find hashtags to match)
https://kicksta.co/instagram-hashtag-generator
http://hashmeapp.com/ (the one I use most often)
https://www.leetags.com/

On top of brand focused hashtags, there are also themed hashtags. These follow days of the week like #WetWednesday, #SharingSunday, #MemeMonday.

This site Tagdef – the Social Media Dictionary allows you to Google hashtags.

Snapseed
This is only on phones. It’s basically an all-in-one photo editor. This one might overload you on just how much stuff there is to do with a photo.

Advice

  • Follow broad hashtags. Common ones for writers include genre codes—PRN = paranormal, ROMCOM = romance comedy—writer, amwriting, writersofinstagram, etc. and reading hashtags like amreading.
  • Look at the posts and authors that you like the most, and see what hashtags you can add to your rotation. This is how you’re going to find new hashtags and how readers are going to find you.
  • Keep a handy list of 30 hashtag groupings on the computer and pair with Later to help schedule posts. Yes, 30 that’s the hashtag limits IG allows in a post, but you can add more in the comments if you really need to. Hashtags don’t have to be at the end of the post either. You can make your posts more decorative with emojis and hashtags sprinkled throughout, breaking up the wall of text, and giving readers a better scrolling experience.
  • Post smartly. This means posting with intent around the time frames people might be scrolling. IG offers Insights, giving you information on when people see your posts, what time of day, what the gender break down is, and various other things. These insights will give you the ability to cultivate what you’re posting and when you are posting.
  • Pay attention to your target reader’s time. If you’re after an American audience, posting at 12pm is a smart move, but if you’re on the west coast, and you post at 12pm, you’re only gaining that time zone. If you look at the country’s breakdown, most of the population resides in the northeast section of the country. To reach the widest audience, posting for 12pm eastern gains you more exposure and the greater chance to find readers with the same amount of work posting at your 12pm would be. The same logic works for all countries. If you’re after Japanese readers, posting on American time zones are pointless as Japan is roughly 14 hours off of American time zones.
  • Reshare things that fit your brand. IE if you write horror, share horror/thriller things including movies, fellow writer books, memes, and add your thoughts to those shares. If you’re sharing romance and you don’t write romance you are after the wrong audience.
    This includes resharing your original content. Throwback Thursday is a popular hashtag, and once you get roughly 60 new content posts, you can begin to cycle your older content into your resharing because newer readers/followers may not have seen the older content.
  • The readers/followers you are after are using hashtags to find new accounts/posts. By adding your thoughts to it, you’re giving them more reason to follow you. A wrong audience means you’re expanding 2 to 3x the energy to capture the same ones that thoughtful posting could get with less effort.
  • Not everything has to be in-your-face fit for your brand. Using National Day hashtags can help flesh out your posting when you don’t know what to post. Here’s a handy blog post by Later with a calendar. Example: National Donut Day. Look at various donut shops, like Voodoo Donuts, and share a photo of theirs that look like something readers would love. National Coffee Day, post a cup/mug with something cute/charming that fits your style/brand.

This works for all marketing. Don’t worry about gaining followers. Put that energy in cultivating your brand by being dedicated to a few things that match you and things your readers will like.

DO NOT DO FOLLOW FOR FOLLOW. IG is owned by FB. If you post something and IG shows that posts to people who followed you because you followed them and they don’t interact, guess what, your posts won’t be shown any more because IG/FB decides that if 10 out of 10 people didn’t like it, you’re not providing content.

Social media doesn’t have to be draining. You don’t have to be on every social media option available. But pick one that you enjoy and do it well.

Don’t forget to like, comment, and subscribe for more WwD content.

This post was edited by ProWritingAid.

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