by Joelle Speranza of Smith Publicity
Writing and publishing a book is just the beginning of an author’s journey; promoting the book is more than half the battle. Something you may not realize as an author is that YOU are a brand. Selling your book isn’t just about sharing an Amazon link, it’s about building yourself as a credible source and creating content for others to interact with and share. With over one billion monthly users, Instagram is one platform in particular that authors should focus on to build their community.
Here are ten ways to optimize your Instagram page and position yourself as an influencer:
1.Follow less people than follow you. Someone is considered an “influencer” if their social media ratio is 40 to 1 (meaning the author follows one person for every 40 people who follow them). If you are following too many people, slowly delete accounts over a few days so that you don’t upset the algorithms.
2. Add a “category” to your account.Instagram allows for users to choose a “category” to be listed on your profile. Choosing the “author” category will immediately signal that you are someone of influence, and might pique followers’ curiosity about your knowledge, your brand, and your book. You’re an author – now make it Instagram-official!
3. Use emojis and boast your accomplishments in your bio. If you’re a “Top 10 Motivational Speaker,” you must include that in your bio. Use emojis for each descriptor – really! Using those punchy little visuals will make your page more appealing and more likely to catch the eye of those scrolling. Also, be sure that the link to purchase your book is the featured URL on your page
4. Only follow people who will interact with you and who you will interact with. Make a secret or private account to follow all your favorite celebrities and brands. This way you can still stay in the loop, but the number of accounts you’re following stays low which, as tip number one states above, is ideal. It’ll also ensure that you cultivate a meaningful community with which you can genuinely engage. Instagram isn’t just about numbers… engagement is important!
5. Use brand colors.Align your Instagram page with the rest of your brand by carrying over the theme of your website on your social media. When you post quotes, be sure to use your brand colors and fonts so everything is uniform. Not only will this be visually pleasing, but followers will be able to pick your page out when they see your unique branding. Anything that makes you stand out from the rest is beneficial.
6. Make your page attractive. Look at many popular Instagram accounts and you’ll see their pages all have photos the same color tone. This is easier to achieve than you think. All you need is the Adobe Lightroom app on your phone. Then, purchase a photo preset package like Light & Airy, choose your favorite filter and edit every photo you post with that filter. Your photos will look professional in no time!
7. Save it for the Stories. Only post content in your newsfeed that goes with the theme of your page. Maybe you have a pattern of posting a photo of yourself, then a quote, then something promotional for your book. If you want to share what you ate for lunch, post it in an Instagram Story instead. Categorize your Stories as highlights on your page (Food, Health, Family, etc.) and be sure to have cover photos that align with your brand.
8. Don’t talk about yourself too much. It’s really not about you; it’s about them (them being your audience, of course).Post about your book once every three posts or so. You don’t want to be too self-promotional. Your goal of social media should be to engage with your audience and also let them get to know you personally. What tips can you share? How can you inspire them?
9. Avoid hashtag overload. Remember, you’re the influencer, so don’t appear desperate for followers by posting 20 hashtags. Use hashtags that are the most relevant and popular to your post and page. Too many hashtags can easily turn followers off.
10. If it’s not the right platform, find another.Instagram isn’t for everyone. If you can’t easily post content that appeals to the Instagram audience, or find you’re having a hard time getting followers, consider another platform like LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook to use as your main social account. Social media accounts take time, so it’s most important that you’re dedicating yours to the platform that makes the most sense for you.
Once you have these ten tips implemented on your page, there’s only one thing you have left to do—have fun! Post what you love and you’ll attract like-minded people who will become invested in you, follow your page, let others know about your brand, and buy your book!