Do you use Instagram?
Check out our profile page here: The IWSG on Instagram
A while back, I created a post on using Instagram. I thought I knew so much. I thought I was helpful. Well, I've learned a bit more since then.
Here are my new and revised tips for using Instagram from "how-to" specifics to "what to post" and "how to engage."
How to Create an Instagram Post
Instagram is a Smart-phone based app. On your PC, Instagram can be found online, but it’s impossible to use it fully via computer.
1. Take a picture with your phone and share it via Instagram. (There are three ways to share. I’ll get into those next.) Note that Instagram likes things in the “square” format so you may have to edit your photo.
2. Create an image with an app on your phone – Canva and Textgram are two that I’ve used.
3. Create an image (jpg) with a program on your PC. After creating the image, e-mail it to your phone (hoping you have this capability). Then, share it via Instagram.
4. (Use With GREAT Caution). Take a screenshot of an image you would like to re-share – like the IWSG logo! Then, share it to your Instagram feed. Remember to get permission if you are going to share artwork or photography that is personal to an artist or photographer. Be sure to give a shout-out to the original in your post.
Three Ways to Share on Instagram:1. Feed – this goes directly to your “wall” of your Instagram feed and shows up on the feed of anyone who follows you. Always share the posts you really want people to see here.
2. Stories – this goes to the Story section at the top of the page. Followers have to poke that button to see your current story. You can share fun posts about your daily life, or follow the New York Public Library's recent example and post actual stories you've written. I've experimented recently with both, although I'm just learning on how to post actual fiction and poetry in the right format.
3. Direct – this goes to only the people you choose like a personal email.
What to Post on Instagram
1. Post what you say you're going to post in your profile. Your profile is your preview.
2. Post about your writing - the day to day, the finish moments, the tough moments, the great moments, the actual books you've written.
3. Post about activities or hobbies you have other than your writing: reading, hiking, guitar playing, your cats and dogs.
4. Post what matters to you. Be authentic. If your faith matters to you, go ahead and post it.
5. Post quotes that motivate you.
6. Post about your fandom or about what inspires your writing.
7. Post something. (Empty feeds are sometimes a telltale of Instagram stalkers.)
Using Instagram to Engage Followers
1. Go comment and like other people's posts (especially if they have liked yours).
2. Use hashtags. #writingcommunity #amwriting #theiwsg #writingfantasy or #YA are just some of a few hashtags that get used regularly.
3. Follow hashtags. It can help you find like-minded authors.
4. Have at least one post a week that links to your own content - a blog post, a book review.
5. Share through to Twitter and Facebook. Instagram has buttons for this every time you post.
Finally, don't be afraid to make mistakes! It's okay. Everyone out there who claims to be an expert started out as a beginner and most of the "experts" are still learning.