A few years ago, when I wrote the first series of Social Writer, I loved Facebook and Twitter. Neither Pinterest or Instagram were really my thing. Now, it’s the total opposite. In fact, Instagram might be my favorite social media website as an author now.
I know that over the past few years, Instagram continues to change its algorithm (RIP chronological feed), but I try not to let that distract me. Part of my problem with Instagram over the years was that I lacked any kind of content plan. If you know me, you know I’m a planner. I love my day designer, but I couldn’t make a content plan for Instagram.
Then I found two tools that worked for me – Grum and Trello.
Do you have a strategy?
Time and time again, I’ve talked about why authors should focus on reading in general instead of just promoting your book. While you do want to use social media to promote your own book, you can’t constantly focus on just that. Being an author that highly supports reading of all kinds, my social media strategy is highly based on books!
Every post I have on Instagram has some relation to books. When my birthday was in mid-November, I had a post related to books. Black Friday and Thanksgiving? Oh, look at these books I picked up at Goodwill!
So books are my major theme. Now that I have a theme I use to tie everything together, I get to do my favorite thing – plan.
I use two different tools together – a program called Grum to schedule my posts and Trello to plan out my ideas. Another great program is Planoly, so I’d definitely try that if I were you. I use Grum because I got an awesome Black Friday deal on it last year.Instagram doesn't need to be difficult if you're an author. Learn some ways you can plan your IG strategy. Click To Tweet
I mentioned that I use Trello, which is one of my favorite tools. I use the calendar power-up on my social media calendar board for Laura Teagan. When I started planning my posts, I planned three days a week – Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
Wednesdays were saved for book quotes for my book series but Mondays and Fridays were book related. I love Trello because it allows me to see what I’m looking at before I go in and schedule.
Starting this month, I’m doing 5 days a week. I go in once a month and schedule out all my posts in Grum. I write captions, associate some hashtags with the posts and make sure I have matching Twitter posts. I can share Instagram posts to my Laura Teagan Facebook page, so I don’t have to worry about that part until the post goes live.
On Instagram, I love to follow other people who read books. Crime by the Book is a favorite Instagrammer of mine, and I always love to find new people who love mystery books, too.
While I mainly focus on other books, as I’ve said before, I still need to promote my own books and my mailing list. Like I said a few weeks ago, social media is great but at the end of the day, you want to push your potential readers to your mailing list. Next week, I’ll be talking about mailing list and your options for hosting a mailing list.
Instagram is a visual community like Pinterest is, but still take time to plan your work out on the platform. Take nice pictures. Edit them so they’re aesthetically pleasing. Being an author, especially an indie author, means building your own brand. Social media is a part of the brand now, so don’t just shake it off. Don’t make social media your biggest focus, but have some presence on the platforms.