DIY Social Media: Instagram

As a writer, you want your words to paint a picture in the minds of your readers. You want the story that you’re telling to jump up off of the pages and right into their imaginations.


Writing has a wonderful element of interpretation that can forge a connection from person to person. In this day and age, social media does the same. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter have given people from all walks of life, from every corner of the world, a chance to connect.


In today’s blog, we’re focusing on another social media platform: Instagram. If you’re new to the site or unsure what it is, let us explain.


Instagram is a social media app that’s made for sharing photos and videos from a smartphone. It’s a lot like Facebook and Twitter in that users create accounts, they have their own personal profile, and upon login, they can view a newsfeed where content from the people that they follow will populate. For instance, when you post a photo or video to Instagram, that piece of content will be displayed on your profile and on your followers’ newsfeeds, and vice versa.


Now that we’ve given you a brief rundown of Instagram, you might be wondering, “What can a photo and video-sharing social network do for me as an author?”


Each month, Instagram gets more than 300 million visitors. If that number itself isn’t enough to encourage you to try your hand at this social network, let us give you five more reasons.


  • Connect with your target audience. As an author, your goal is to get your book into the hands of as many people as possible. Social media is a wonderful means to connect people, and Instagram can help you connect with bloggers who review books. If you follow enough book bloggers, you increase the likelihood of one of the bloggers discovering and reviewing your book, and posting their feedback to their website and social channels, all of which opens your work up to a whole new audience of people.
  • Become an inspirational figure to your audience. Given the fact that Instagram is photo- and video-centric site, posting images with inspirational quotes or even a picture of the outdoors with a caption that describes your feelings and incorporates a powerful, uplifting message can resonate with your audience. View your Instagram page as a visual diary for your audience to leaf through.
  • Take your followers behind-the-scenes. You’re an author, but you’re also human. Show your followers a glimpse at your life beyond the computer or the pen. Share images that inspire you, your favorite place to read a book, places you’ve traveled, or even what your writing area looks like. You want to add a sense of personality and humanity to your page. Show your users that you are just like them, become relatable and when the time comes for you to promote your work, they will likely be more receptive.
  • Get a feel for what’s buzzing in the industry. As we mentioned earlier, Instagram has the potential to connect you to a larger audience through imagery. To this point, pictures and videos have the wonderful ability to evoke emotion, and that’s exactly what you want to do as an author. You’ll have to roll up your sleeves and do some research, but spend some time working through the site to see what other authors, bloggers and industry thought leaders are posting and what the audience deems engaging. Of course, you never want to outwardly copy someone, but take their ideas and make them your own by adding your personal touch. Social media is all about trial and error to see what works and what doesn’t. But you’ll never know if you don’t try.
  • Use Instagram to promote and market your work. If you have a new book that’s soon to hit the shelves, what better way to promote this than through pictures and videos? Tease the release with pictures of your new book cover, snap a photo of the opening line of your book and pair it with a brief explanation in the caption, or post a video of you explaining the plot of your new book.

There’s a lot of opportunity within Instagram, it just takes creativity and a bit of research to see what works and what doesn’t. Check back in the coming weeks for more Instagram tips and tricks.


Copyright Dorrance Publishing, 2016