Hey everyone, Lauren from Inkitt here, this week’s video is going to focus on self promotion for authors on two social media platforms: Instagram and Pinterest. I decided to group these two together because they are similar in the fact that they are primarily visually creative mediums, as opposed to text based like the other platforms we have discussed so far. This can be uncharted territory for authors who tend to be focused on written content. The truth of the matter, though, is that there are thousands of users on both of these platforms just waiting to read, pin, and repost your book-ish pics.
So let’s get started:
TIP #1 – CREATE VISUALLY ATTRACTIVE CONTENT
This one is pretty obvious – Pinterest and Instagram both focus on the visual.
For non-designers, there are a couple useful tools to help you make your posts and pins as attractive as possible. To start, use sites like unsplash, pixabay, and pikwizard to find high quality images if you are not comfortable taking your own pictures.
Second, find an online editor that can help you take your posts to the next level. Piktochart and Canva are good options for beginners. With these tools you can add overlays, text, and logos to your images, and size them appropriately to meet platform requirements.
The point here is not to go crazy with different filters, fonts, and colour options. Instead, carefully choose one or two of each to use consistently. Using the same elements and layouts in each of your images will help you to create a recognizable brand to spread and share. You can even create your own author logo or watermark to add to images.
TIP #2 – TAKE TIME CREATING YOUR PROFILE
Choose your name or handle carefully. This name should be consistent across platforms. It should also be relevant. Pinterest uses key words from blog titles, descriptions, and usernames in searches. To make sure yours will popup, include words like author, writer, novelist, or books. Anything that people who would be interested in your content might search for. This will heighten the amount that your posts and pages show up in searches.
TIP #3 – CHOOSE YOUR LINKS CAREFULLY
On Pinterest, each of your pins can link to different pages. Make sure that you choose relevant and precise links. Take advantage of the different areas you can place them too. Bios, board, descriptions, and pins can all be linked to other sources, pages, and platforms. If you have a board about a certain series, link to that series’ page on your site. If it’s a post about your writing process, maybe link to your FAQ.
On Instagram linking is a little trickier. You only have one shot, in your bio, to get users to click through to another page. Make sure that you change and update this link regularly to help direct traffic to different pages, contests, or your newly released work. You can also use your posts to direct to your bio and get them to click through to outside pages.
TIP #4 – ENGAGE WITH THE COMMUNITY
Get started in the community by searching for hashtags or keywords relevant to your work. Follow others who are popular under these terms. Engage with their posts, ask them questions. This should not only be related to other fellow writers. Be sure to interact with book bloggers and readers as well. They are the ones who will create your fanbase and help spread word of your work.
You can tag relevant blogs and people on both platforms to try and get their attention. On Instagram you can add up to thirty different hashtags. Good practice is to put this in a secondary comment, not in the post’s text itself. On Pinterest you can mention another pinner in the description of your pin, and hopefully get their attention.
TIP #5 – ORGANIZE AND SCHEDULE POSTS
Organization and timing are another big part of the visual aspect of these platforms. Your Instagram and Pinterest activity will be much more successful if you use them to create atmosphere. Organize boards into visually stimulating themes and ideas. Don’t repin many things all at once, this will block up your users’ feed. Instead, collect pins on private boards and schedule posts. Make them want to spend time on the pages. Make users feel the experience you hope to invoke in readers when they enjoy your work.
On Instagram, you can post different kinds of posts on a set schedule. Use one sort of image or font to indicate that you have a new blogpost, and share that image each Wednesday morning. Or, share a picture of the book you are currently reading on Mondays, perhaps a quote from your WIP every Friday. Followers will get used to the appearance of each of these posts, learn what they mean, and anticipate seeing them in their feed.
Remember these five tips and you will be well on the way to mastering book promotion on Instagram and Pinterest:
1. Create visually attractive content
2. Take time creating your profile
3. Choose your links carefully
4. Engage with the community
5. Organize and schedule posts
Images are strong tools. Uses them to inspire the audience you want to be in touch with, share the vision and atmosphere you want to create. Make your audience expect and anticipate your content.
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