• West Cork Literary Festival 8-15 July 2022

Instagram: Really Useful Links by Lucy O’Callaghan

Writing.ie | Resources | Essential Guides | Links for Writers
Lucy O'Callaghan

Lucy O’Callaghan

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Instagram is a social media platform that is based mainly on images. It has over a billion users every month and is the fastest growing social media platform. Kindlepreneur says that ‘Instagram has a hyper-engaged audience.’ These dedicated users often use this platform on a daily basis. It is especially popular with the under 30’s but an increasing number of under 50’s are also engaging with Instagram.  As a writer, we want to reach out to as many readers as we can, and in using Instagram effectively, we can do just that. I have put together some articles and podcasts that explain how Instagram works and how to make it work as a writer.

  1. https://self-publishingschool.com/instagram-for-authors/

In this post, self-publishing school explains ways to help writers navigate Instagram and grow a following. Creating relevant content, how often to post, posting consistent types of content, and creating strong aesthetics are all discussed, as is the need to just be genuinely yourself.

  1. https://shaylaraquel.com/blog/instagram2020

In this blog, a how-to video for setting up Instagram is provided. Tips and examples of what to include in your bio are given and it discusses choosing an aesthetic, which is the focus of your brand’s personality through photos. Shayla recommends that you curate 30 hashtags to use, and to be sure to do some hashtag research for your audience. Instagram has a book community called bookstagrammers and she explains how they can help you to market your book and brand.

  1. https://kindlepreneur.com/instagram-for-writers-and-authors/

This is a brilliant article on Instagram. With over 60% of Instagram users logging in daily, this platform offers authors great opportunities to grow their following. If you consistently post quality content, people are more likely to read it and engage with you than on other social media sites. Strategies such as following bloggers who review books, connecting with people who follow authors in your genre, and using relevant hashtags, can help to grow your following. Many writers use Instagram to show their followers they are more than just an author, and this article shares three tips for looking like a pro on Instagram.

  1. https://www.janefriedman.com/10-instagram-tips-for-writers/

By using hashtags strategically, posting often, and engaging with readers and other people they follow, you can use Instagram to your benefit. You can run giveaways, make opportunities and ask questions to create interest in your brand.

  1. https://insights.bookbub.com/guide-instagram-writers/

Bookstagrammars and authors with large followings share their tips for creating stronger profiles, taking better pictures, attracting new followers, and getting popular bookstagrammars to feature your books.

  1. https://wildmindcreative.com/bookmarketing/instagram-for-authors

11 top tips to help grow your influence and reach more readers including focusing on your target market, checking out successful authors in your genre, and posting a variety of content. By using Instagram Analytics, you can find out what content is getting the most engagement and click-throughs. Then do more of what is working and eliminate what isn’t.

Podcasts

  1. https://createifwriting.com/instagram-for-authors/

This podcast explains how Instagram works and gives tips on how to make it work for you. It encourages you to engage authentically with what you are actually interested in and the people you like. Over time it pays off in a more organic and authentic way.

  1. https://greenleafbookgroup.com/learning-center/publishing-information/published-podcast-ep-27-building-an-author-brand-through-social-media-with-corporate-communications-and-business-development-manager-kesley-smith

I am sharing this great podcast again this week. Kesley Smith, Greenleaf’s Corporate Communications and Business Development Manager, talks about how authors can grow their brands through social media. She discusses how having a social media presence is a key aspect of an author’s platform. In mentioning the 80/20 rule –  80% of your posts should inform, educate, and entertain your audience, while only 20% should directly promote your business, Kesley says this rule isn’t as relevant as it used to be but it is important to get the ratio right for your author brand. Time consistency is key when establishing workable goals in using social media.

  1. https://www.thecreativepenn.com/2019/05/27/pinterest-instagram-for-writers/

Creative Penn talks to Frances Caballo, author of Social Media Just for Writers, about how writers can avoid time-wasting but still build a community. She talks about the continued importance of visual images on social media and the powerful impact using Instagram Stories can have.

Instagram is a social platform; the more social you are, the more you share and interact with readers, the more connections you’ll form. Consistency is key with Instagram. Don’t get discouraged if your followers don’t increase overnight, it takes time. Try it out, see if this particular type of social media can work for you. To stop it from eating into your precious writing time, try planning and scheduling your social media for the week.

I hope this week’s column has been helpful. I will be back next week with a column about Facebook. As always, if they are any topics, you want me to cover, please get in touch.

(c) Lucy O’Callaghan

Instagram: lucy.ocallaghan.31.

Facebook: @LucyCOCallaghan

Twitter: @LucyCOCallaghan

About the author

Writing since she was a child, Lucy penned her first story with her father called Arthur’s Arm, at the ripe old age of eight. She has been writing ever since. Inspired by her father’s love of the written word and her mother’s encouragement through a constant supply of wonderful stationary, she wrote short stories for her young children, which they subsequently illustrated.
A self-confessed people watcher, stories that happen to real people have always fascinated her and this motivated her move to writing contemporary women’s fiction. Her writing has been described as pacy, human, moving and very real.
Lucy has been part of a local writing group for over ten years and has taken creative writing classes with Paul McVeigh, Jamie O’Connell and Curtis Brown Creative. She truly found her tribe when she joined Writer’s Ink in May 2020. Experienced in beta reading and critiquing, she is currently editing and polishing her debut novel.
Follow her on Instagram: lucy.ocallaghan.31. Facebook and Twitter: @LucyCOCallaghan

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