I've only recently started using Instagram (JFPennAuthor) but I'm increasingly finding it a fun social media platform to use. I enjoy posting images and seeing where others are traveling too.
But can you use Instagram for book marketing? In today's article, Jose Lopez, author of Instagram Marketing That Sells, shows us how.
Just like the publishing industry changes every single day, so does the marketing aspect.
One of the newest places to market your books that has taken the world by storm is the young social media platform called Instagram. But make no mistake, Instagram may be young, but it is stronger than Tumblr, Pinterest, and Twitter, combined.
Here are the 4 ways you can use Instagram to market your books, using the Point-of-View Method.
This approach is my all-time favorite, for various reasons. However, like the first person point-of-view in a story, it requires some set of social skills to pull off as you will be running a personal/author profile.
Who is it for?
Someone who loves to be social and interact with fans, authors, and bloggers; and isn’t shy about being personal sometimes.
- Much easier to gain a following
- Less hassle to post content
- Higher engagement rates
- Creates personal relationships with essential followers
- Easier and more efficient to sell
All those benefits should be something to take into consideration when you decide what approach you want to go with. The reality is that this approach requires having an excellent social personality since you will need to be interacting with your followers on a regular basis.
If you are not the social type, then this approach probably isn’t the best for you; but keep calm, because there are still three other approaches in the Point-of-View Method available to fit your personality, style, and goals.
- Convert your account to a “business” one on Instagram, and link it to your author page on Facebook. This helps readers know you are an author, and gives more credibility.
- Keep your content in the 80/20 rule. Which means: 80% of your content should be normal writing related, and only 20% be a post meant to sell.
- Content: nothing is better than posting about important milestones in your author journey. Whether they be that you finished outlining your next novel, or that your current one just got a new review. People love to hear about the author journey.
If you aren’t that social, then this approach is probably the best fit for you. In this approach, you will be posting much more content related to your book.
This approach differentiates from the First Person in the content you publish, and how you run your account. Instead of running a personal author profile, you will be running a sort of “book blog” where you will post less personal posts, and more general posts that have to do with writing.
Who is it for?
Those who are natural bloggers and love to post helpful content that your followers can benefit from. This also helps those who are not so comfortable with being transparent about their writing life, but still want to maintain a personal connection with fans, and followers.
- Creates a sense of respect from your followers due to your helpful content
- A way to show followers your vast knowledge
- Creates professional/helpful bonds with followers
Although this approach is mostly used by nonfiction authors, it can still be applied to fiction authors.
While nonfiction authors would use this approach to post helpful tips/tricks that correlate with the books they have for sale; fiction authors can use that same strategy to post about other books in the genre or related posts that would interest your followers.
- Keep your content in the 50/50 rule; where you post as much normal content as you post sales pitches.
- Make sure not to post too often. Bookstagram blogs are only successful when they keep things moderate and do not wear out their followers. Posting 2-3 times a week is perfect.
Third Person Limited
This approach may be considered the least effective in general. However, when used correctly, it can be more efficient than any of the other three methods.
Who is it for?
When you want full anonymity. Say you were writing under a pen name, you could easily use the third person limited approach to remain anonymous. This approach is also best for those who don’t have good social skills or just don’t want to be personal, at all.
This approach is the hardest to understand, and develop an efficient strategy for. The reason it is “limited” is because your content will be only about your books. This requires you to come up with highly creative/elaborate strategies that will help you dominate Instagram, while being limited to your books and its content.
- Create an account for your book, or your pen name.
- Post teasers, quotes, and pictures of scenes in your book.
- Make sure to post at least once every two weeks (minimum).
Third Person Omniscient
You know how the Third Person Limited is non-personal and anonymous? Remember how the Second Person approach is like a “blog,” where you can post helpful/related content? Well, imagine if we joined those two; and that is how you get the Third Person Omniscient.
Who is it for?
Those who want freedom to post whatever they like, but still want to remain anonymous, and non-personal.
- Freedom to post content outside of your books
- Creates meaningful bonds with your followers
- Remains anonymous
- Remains non-personal
One of the most effective strategies to use this approach with is to become an Instagram book reviewer. This helps immensely if you have multiple pen names, yet don’t want people to find out you are behind them all. Having reviews, teasers, and snippets of books you like, can help you market multiple books across multiple genres with different pen names.
The best strategy for this approach is to become a “book reviewer”.
Make sure to keep a weekly schedule when posting. Example: Every Tuesday is #teasertuesday and you post a teaser of a book you liked. Every Friday is #funnyfriday and you post a fun fact, or quote. Etc…
In every post, have a CTA (call to action). Whether it is answering a question, or commenting their thoughts. This will help more than you know.
Have you tried using Instagram as part of your book marketing strategy? Please leave your thoughts below and join the conversation.
Like most millennials, social media has played a large role in Jose Lopez’s life, but he took the time to understand Instagram from its earliest days. Jose has followed every development and tested every idea he could think of. Because of this, in 2016, the CEO of InformeAgricola.com invited him to revamp their Instagram program and, in only a few months, he grew their account from under 500 followers to over 10,000. They continue to use the strategies Jose developed for their SMM program, growing their audience exponentially.
Jose’s mission with the Instagram Marketing That Sells (IMTS) series is to spread the knowledge he has gained so that individuals and businesses alike can succeed with the Instagram platform. This ground-breaking series of SMM guides unveils The Secrets They Don't Want You to Know, then explains How To Go Viral, and ultimately, teaches you How to Turn Your Instagram Followers Into Business Dollars. Learn more at TeenagedAuthor.com