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If you're on Instagram, how do you connect with readers? I just started an account and I'm kind of clueless. I don't know how to "gram!"  :hiding Haha!

Danette
#1 - November 23, 2015, 09:26 AM
THE TROUBLE WITH HALF A MOON
G.P. Putnam's Sons
SSYRA List 2012-2013

SAVING BABY DOE
G.P. Putnam's Sons

http://Danettevigilante.com

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Please, I don't wanna break Instagram.
#2 - November 24, 2015, 11:13 AM
THE TROUBLE WITH HALF A MOON
G.P. Putnam's Sons
SSYRA List 2012-2013

SAVING BABY DOE
G.P. Putnam's Sons

http://Danettevigilante.com

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I'm clueless, too! But my 10-yr-old daughter just got an account. Seems to me you just post interesting photos/videos and then people like them and follow you. Seems similar to Pinterest to me. Maybe try following some people in the industry (librarians, etc.?) after you have a few posts up?

But hopefully someone more knowledgeable than me will chime in. :)
#3 - November 24, 2015, 02:39 PM
NED THE KNITTING PIRATE, GRIMELDA series,
CITY SHAPES, DORIS THE BOOKASAURUS, ONE SNOWY DAY, PIZZA PIG, and more...
http://www.dianamurray.com

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Hi Danette,

I personally am not on Instagram (I can't keep up with more than one social media site), but maybe you'll find something helpful in here?

http://www.thebookdesigner.com/2015/01/top-7-ways-authors-are-using-instagram/

http://blog.instagram.com/post/60276903671/from-pen-to-camera-authors-on-instagram-ever

Best of luck to you!

Laura :)
#4 - November 24, 2015, 04:55 PM
AN EYEBALL IN MY GARDEN, Marshall Cavendish Children's Books
www.LauraWynkoop.com

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Thank you, ladies!!  :yourock  Laura, great resources!

Danette
#5 - November 25, 2015, 07:34 AM
THE TROUBLE WITH HALF A MOON
G.P. Putnam's Sons
SSYRA List 2012-2013

SAVING BABY DOE
G.P. Putnam's Sons

http://Danettevigilante.com

Hi!

In my work life I use instagram professionally so I thought I'd weigh in if you're still looking for thoughts?

I'd say it's all about hashtags and timing for getting people to see your stuff and community for getting followers!

Hashtags are super important initially because it's how people see what you're posting and how you meet new people. A simple way of checking out how popular a hashtag might be is to search for it in the instagram app; the search bar will tell you how many posts exist within a hashtag. Seasonal hashtags tend to be popular but there are book ones too! Unlike on twitter, upwards of five hashtags on instagram is not unusual (or frowned upon!). In general the more the merrier.

Timing is also key. There's two schools of thought around timing on social media: the first is to post when your audience is online and your feed most active, the second (completely opposite) is to post before your audience is online and during slow periods. With the first the advantage is if you post when people are online, they'll probably see it, but the drawback is everyone tends to do this. Feeds on social media get jammed up with everyone posting at once (a popular time is 12 noon) and so your post is lost in a thousand other posts. For the second school of thought, thinking is that if you post before your audience is online or when they're definitely not you'll likely be at the top of their feed and so be the thing they decide to focus on — disadvantage of this is less people will see your post overall. Up to you which one you go for, I'd say what works best is to fiddle around with timings and experiment. In general, a good place to start is 9am/12noon/5pm because that's when people get up/have lunch/commute home. Every audience is different though (especially for younger audiences) and if you have an international audience things get slightly more complicated.

Lastly: community. I think this is the best way grow followers, connect to readers, and reach new people. You could start out joining in other communities, following popular industry instagrams and commenting (very important! people often click across to look at profiles of people who comment and engage). Often the ratio of likes to comments is such that commenting makes you stand out, it gets people interested. Building your own community might be something you want to do at a later time, but all that I mean by that is posting with interaction in mind. Maybe ending a post with a question or tagging other people in a picture or book challenge — that kind of thing.

I've kind of written far more than I had originally intended so I'll stop there for now. This may have been totally not what you were looking for but hopefully maybe I was of some help :)
#6 - November 26, 2015, 10:27 AM

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Thanks, Mia. I appreciate the information. It's hard to keep up with each new thing, and a voice of experience is really helpful.
#7 - November 26, 2015, 01:18 PM

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Mia! Your info is SO helpful! Thank you!!

Danette :moose
#8 - November 26, 2015, 06:56 PM
THE TROUBLE WITH HALF A MOON
G.P. Putnam's Sons
SSYRA List 2012-2013

SAVING BABY DOE
G.P. Putnam's Sons

http://Danettevigilante.com

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Mia--I'm dying to know: what kind of work has you using Instagram professionally?
#9 - November 26, 2015, 08:01 PM

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What Mia said. :)

I'm using Instagram more than blogging because I love it and it fits in my time available to be creative during my toddler's nap (my primary reason for doing it) and also to connect with readers since I write MG/YA. A consistent feed is the MOST important thing I've found. I'm by know means an expert. I have less than 200 followers. However, I've studied the book-loving Instagram accounts (do a search for hashtag #bookstagram or #amreading or #booknerd, for example) with the largest followers and I've seen that they stay consistent. As you look through their first 6-12 images in their feed, you know exactly what you're getting into. Some like darker images, some lighter. Some add a lot of flair. Some stay muted. But almost all focus on finding their OWN twist to a common theme: images of books. Just like blogging, the key is to have new, original, content regularly. And take good photos. Pay attention to composition, lighting, and subject matter. Do some light editing with an app on your phone or PicMonkey on the computer. Just like with blogging, Instagram is no longer just a place to share blurry snapshots of something funny that happened with your friends (save that for a personal Instagram account.)

Quick tip: when using hashtags, don't just do writing-related hashtags for your images. You'll attract other writers. Which isn't bad, as we're all readers, too. But if you want to attract people who are primarily READERS, you will want to use hashtags they're likely to search for, as long as they apply to your image, as well. (Don't just tack on a popular hashtag that has nothing to do with your image.)

I've seen established authors with large fan bases use Instagram as a way to show the behind-the-scenes of their author life, and their fans eat it up (Sarah J. Maas and Lindsay Cummings come to mind). I've also seen up-and-coming writers use their love of books in general to interact with other readers and grow their audience as they work toward publication, which is what I'm hoping to do.

Hope this helps! I haven't been on the Blueboard much since my son was born two years ago, so the Social Media section here is new to me, but as I'm currently excited about this particular method of growing an audience while I write my WIP, I thought I'd chime in with a little of what I've learned so far.

(p.s. Pinterest and a quick Google search will bring up tons of fantastic advice for business owners and bloggers on how to utilize Instagram. I've been reading all I can! I particularly recommend the advice of Caitlin Bacher, a social media coach who blogs regularly about the topic.)
#10 - November 29, 2015, 08:51 PM
« Last Edit: November 29, 2015, 08:54 PM by Andrea B »
www.andreabrame.com  |  Twitter: http://twitter.com/Andrea_Brame  |  Instagram: @andreabrame

Mia--I'm dying to know: what kind of work has you using Instagram professionally?

Anne, Hi! So I work in Marketing as the Social Media Officer for a University. I'm involved in all things social media for the organisation – from advising individuals to running the official accounts and their output. I run their ad campaigns on social media too. It's a full time job and then some! Instagram is a big channel for us because, as I think was said above, a lot of teens are on it and it's good to interact with both our current and future students (I also work with a local tourism centre together to simply promote the area as somewhere to come). It's also somewhere we can build a community and get people talking to each other instead of just to us. Instagram works really well for universities in general, I think (as do Twitter, facebook, and even Vine).

Anyway, that's why I use instagram for my work. :)
#11 - November 30, 2015, 10:12 AM

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Andrea, THANK YOU!!

Danette
#12 - December 03, 2015, 02:09 PM
THE TROUBLE WITH HALF A MOON
G.P. Putnam's Sons
SSYRA List 2012-2013

SAVING BABY DOE
G.P. Putnam's Sons

http://Danettevigilante.com

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Mia -- thanks for explaining!
#13 - December 03, 2015, 03:15 PM

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