I’m a big fan of Instagram for author and book promotion because it’s such a straightforward platform to use.
Facebook has dozens of features and news stories to compete with; Twitter is insanely fast-paced and not conducive to disappearing for days at a time to meet a writing deadline; Goodreads is fantastic for genre specific book promotion but Instagram…Instagram is that unicorn social media site that helps you build a brand on a very simple premise – captivating visuals and positive vibes – truly.
Instagram is a very positive space to operate in, and while creating visuals can be daunting, it’s a great balance for an author who typically is hyper-focused on the written word. Yes, Instagram images needs captions and hashtags, but those are supporting roles, the visual is the star and this is something that resonates to easily with many of us, so why not capitalize on it?
So here are 8 tips for really making Instagram work for your book promotion. And if you’re not on Instagram yet, I strongly encourage you to go through this list as a way to determine whether or not Instagram is your speed – and if so, it could be the social media site that changes the game for your author brand and book promotion.
1. Understand your audience.
Instagram has demographics like every other social media platform, so for starters you should make sure it’s a good fit for your brand.
That being said, I think Instagram has a lot of potential for most authors, and if you’re really unsure of feeling uninspired, contact me and we can brainstorm ideas.
But like the rest of your book promotion efforts, your Instagram content should be driven by who your audience is. What do they gravitate toward, what’s their online vibe, what needs can you address? And remember, needs are emotional too, so that’s where memes become social media gold.
If you haven’t done an audience profile in awhile please download my free worksheet and get started. This is a great exercise for other book promotion activities as well so it’s a win-win.
2. Share experiences.
Experiences are relatable. And your book promotion efforts should focus on making you more relatable and accessible.
Get in the habit of pulling out your phone or camera and documenting more of your experiences and be sure to turn those images into content that gives followers some additional insight into who you are as a person, because if that intrigues them, you start creating long-term fans that come back and buy every book you publish.
Build loyalty by being someone they can relate to.
3. Offer unique content.
With 4,000+ books being published every single day it’s certainly no easy feat to stand out. But the one book promotion strategy you can use that no one else can – is you. It’s what makes up your brand.
A really useful activity is sitting down and figuring out 10 things that make you stand out from your competition. Maybe it’s something about your characters, your story construction, your new approach to an old problem, or maybe you’ve lived a super interesting life and have some amazing stories to tell that have nothing to do with the genre you write in.
Whatever you can come up for those 10 things, turn those into inspiration for content. How can you take those 10 (or more) things and turn them into images or visuals? Figure that out and you have brand building content on your hands.
For more tips on creating a simple social media plan, check out this recent post.
4. Wear your heart on your sleeve.
When you share images that appeal to your followers’ emotions, you show that you’re more than just another person trying to sell them something.
And this can be as simple as images of your work space, a picture from an inspiring hike you took recently, maybe you bake when you have writer’s block so you can share mouth watering images of your latest creation.
Don’t overthink the emotional aspect because then it’s not genuine, just know that a lot of the most successful posts on Instagram are surprisingly simple, and what makes them work so well is that they’re relatable.
Some of your best book promotion will happen through emotional appeals, not outright selling. Read my latest post on creating a social media plan here.
5. Let your followers help you.
Curating content from followers is a fantastic book promotion strategy that every author should try to tap into.
Fan art is a really cool option, if you’re in a genre that draws a lot of creative individuals. But you can also simply ask fans to submit images of where they’re reading your book, kind of a “where in the world” concept, or ask them to submit images of your book in different locales so the rest of your fans can try and guess where they’re at!
Have some fun with it and milk it for all it’s worth.
6. Tell stories.
I’m a big fan of finding a theme or series to focus on because it makes brainstorming content that much simpler. It also shows your followers that you’re consistent, and it gives them something to look forward to, it’s another strategy that’s designed to keep them coming back for more.
If you write fiction perhaps you’d want to consider doing a series of character introductions, or mic drop worthy quotes. If you write non-fiction a series of tips that speak to a single topic are a slam-dunk.
7. Be relevant.
The more relevant the content, the more engagement it will receive – and engagement leads to more followers.
Your book promotion efforts should aim to tie into culturally relevant events and trending topics or interests as much as possible.
This may sound daunting, but I assure you, if you take this approach to your book promotion you’ll create an environment that supports your book long term, well after you can no longer ride the “new release” wave.
8. Keep the surprises coming.
You can’t always push your products and services, to compete in today’s market you need to do more for your readers than just publish books.
Contests and giveaways are a great way to give back to your followers, and keep them coming back to your profile over and over again. Check out these bonus content and giveaway ideas that your audience will love.
#captionthis is a simple way to encourage engagement with your fans, and prizes don’t have to be extremely complex, signed copies of your books and Amazon gift cards are always a hit.
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Click to Tweet: A picture tells 1000 words. Harness the book promotion power of Instagram and use visuals to build and engage your audience with these 8 tips from @bookgal #bookmarketing #instagram #amwriting https://bit.ly/2TRM6QL