Ready to jump in and start an Instagram profile? Author coach Shelley Hitz shares five Instagram tips for authors getting started on this visual social media platform.
I’ve been using Instagram since March of 2015, and I’ll admit, I was confused for a while because you can only post to it from your mobile device and not from your computer. On my account, I post quote graphics, selfies, and a few short videos. Now, I want to share with you a few simple Instagram tips for authors (and anyone reading) that I learned as I was first getting acclimated to the platform.
Instagram tips for authors:
Tip #1: Customize your profile
As you can see, I put icons after my name and title of “author coach.” You cannot add these icons from within Instagram, and you can’t add separate lines and spaces from within the Instagram app. What you can do to customize your title and your bio is to create it in a text message first, along with all your icons, and then you copy and paste it into Instagram. Taking a little time to customize your profile will help you to stand out from the crowd a little.
Tip #2: Post a variety of images by identifying content buckets
I’m still getting used to this, but I have a notebook in Evernote called “quotes” and in it I have a note titled, “what to post.” I have different content buckets, or subject headers, to help organize the content.
What to post:
- Inspirational/motivational messages
- Personal (things to help my followers to get to know me better and establish my personal brand)
- Tips on writing/publishing
- Quotes from my book Procrastination to Publication
In addition to this, I’ll occasionally share my free opt-in video series and link back to my website.
Tip #3: Keep a file on your phone that has quotes you can use for your graphics
As I find quotes from eBooks I’ve read or other sources, I copy and paste them into a note in Evernote. This way I always have quotes I can choose from for the quote graphics I make with the Word Swag app.
Tip #4: Use hashtags
I’ve created a note within Evernote that has all my hashtags in it. Then I’ll copy and paste the appropriate hashtags into the comments section of my Instagram posts.
The reason I recommend including your hashtags in your comments is so they don’t clog up your description, but you’re still discoverable on Instagram. People can find you via different hashtags like a search list. It’s working: every day I get several new followers organically, which I attribute to people finding me through my hashtags.
Here is a list of some of the hashtags I use for my niche:
Tip #5: Post your images to your Facebook page when you’re posting to Instagram
Since Facebook owns Instagram, it tends to promote your Facebook posts more when you send them from Instagram. This is another reason I don’t put my hashtags in my Instagram description: I don’t want the giant list of hashtags to show up on my post on Facebook.
As an author, I don’t recommend being on every social media platform. Choose one or two. If you have an audience that is younger or if you have an audience that is very visually oriented, Instagram may be a great place for you. Personally, I like to post my pictures on Instagram as well as my other social media platforms, but you do not need to try to do everything.
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