I first started using Instagram to promote my blog Writing It Wells and to share my current writing projects last December. I had never used it for business before, and had no idea what I was doing. As an introvert, I cringed thinking about having to come up with a marketing plan to promote myself as a writer, let alone to let more people into my world. Starting a blog requires you to open up, share knowledge, and engage with your audience. For writing, it's a similar game.
Now ten months later, I consider myself to be completely fluent in Instagram and in social media marketing. Of course I'm still learning new things each day and loving every minute of it! But now that I've made over 376 posts and have gained over a thousand followers, I've come across a new challenge- how to keep my feed interesting when it feels like I've done literally every type of post imaginable.
I've shared my Instagram @writingitwells below as an example.
I figured that other writers, especially those who have been on social media longer than me, must be facing the same burn-out, so today I'm bringing you my checklist of ideas for Instagram posts. Hopefully you find it helpful!
Other Instagram tips:
Create highlights so your content lasts longer: Using the highlights feature is great for expanding the lifespan of your posts and content. It allows people to see what you posts indefinitely. You can also use it to further your branding. Create cute covers on Canva, a powerful creative tool to help you design the promotional and creative items of your dreams.
Use the swipe up option once you reach 10k followers: Once you reach 10,000 followers, Instagram will allow you to use the swipe up option, which links your blog or subscription sign-up page directly to Instagram, allowing viewers to reach you without the hassle of links.
Post your feed to your stories: Make sure you're sharing your posts to your stories as well. This tends to get overlooked, especially when we're busy. But sharing your content twice will ensure more people will see it.
Use hashtags wisely: Hashtags are the biggest way to gain followers. You should know that there is a right way to use them though. Choose hashtags with smaller numbers of posts, those that are specific to your niche, and ones that are popular with other writers for the best results.
Make opportunities: Use whatever you can as an Instagram opportunity. Did you just receive a mock-up of your book's cover? Post it! Did you bake cookies that are your main character's favorite kind, write a post. Did you just query your manuscript or receive your first book review? Share it. Whatever is going on in your day, you'll most likely find some shareable tidbit.
Post often/consistently: The more you post, the more material you'll have for people to find. More importantly than that is consistency. Whether you post twice a week or every day, having a schedule that you stick to will help provide your audience with dependability, which will in turn give them a reason to come back.
Don't buy followers: As tempting as it may be, the option to buy followers is a waste of money. You may gain a bunch right away but they aren't real people- mostly fake accounts and spam. It's not about how many followers you have, rather the level of engagement you inspire. Better to have 50 real, loyal followers than thousands of fake accounts that will never buy your book.
Sponsor a post: Another great option to boost visibility is to sponsor a post. By creating sponsored ads, you can reach more people without the hassle of direct engagement. It does cost money though, so this may not be an option for starting out but rather something to grow towards.
Use the trial and error method: When in doubt, try, try again. You never know what is going to work for you and your target audience. Try new things, learn from making mistakes, and grow from the knowledge of what works and what doesn't.
Study and apply knowledge: The best way to succeed is to find others who are currently succeeding. Study what these other users are doing. What are they doing? Why is it working? Once you know the answers to these questions you can begin to mimic their techniques in your own personal style.
Keeping your Instagram feed fresh and interesting can be exhausting! With these 33 ideas and then some, you'll have no trouble coming up with new ideas to keep you and your fans happy.