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How to use Instagram as part of your author platform

We’ve talked a lot about the importance of an online presence for indie authors, and how taking part in social media can help you build and engage with your fanbase. Today we’re going to take a look Instagram, which is among the biggest platforms out there and where you’ll find the younger audiences that are largely inactive on Facebook.

What does Instagram have that the others don’t? It’s a quick, visual update that focuses on snapshots of your life rather than lengthy posts or curated links. Most people see Instagram as an intimate glimpse into the lives of the people they follow. You don’t need to be a brilliant photographer or celebrity to use the platform successfully. What followers want is a visual update or sneak peek they won’t be able to get elsewhere.

How do you get started?

First, start by looking at profiles of other successful writers on Instagram to see what works and what doesn’t. Make sure to pay attention to popular hashtags that are relevant to your readership, because these are what you’ll want to use to categorize your own photos.

Next, start following. Building your list works in pretty much the same way it does on Twitter. Follow people who look like they’d like your writing, join in on conversations, and share interesting content that will earn you likes and reposts.

What should you post?

In short, snapshots from what you’re up to.

For a longer list, try out some of these ideas and see what works for you and your audience. Play around with filters, selfies, and video. Try to have fun with it!

  • Conference shots

  • Selfies with you and any other authors you happen to hang out with or meet

  • What you’re reading

  • Travelling shots

  • Snapshots from your hobbies. If you enjoy cooking, share posts of what you made or your recent grocery store haul. If you enjoy the outdoors, share posts of recent excursions.

  • Your process: artwork samples for an upcoming book, snapshots of your workspace, and your piles of notes if you have them.

  • Whatever else you can think of.

As an author, you’re in a unique position where you are your own brand. Let your personality shine through so that your readers can connect with you, not just your writing.
 

Want to learn more about Instagram for authors? Take a look at these posts by other great writing blogs:

5 Ways to Use Instagram as an Author

Top 7 Ways Authors are Using Instagram

Ten Authors and Publishers to Follow on Instagram