Hey Bookish People,
I’ve learned a lot of valuable tricks over the months that I’ve been researching Instagram as a business tool but I’m going to share my absolute favorite today. It helps to eliminate the dread of figuring out what to post and keeps your account on brand. It’s also a tip that plays a large role in planning out and batching Instagram posts ahead of time!
So what is this magical trick?
Picking Instagram categories. These are just the main topics that people will see when they look at your Instagram feed. This will take a little bit of work as we decide what our brands look like and what we value. This is advice that the names I trust in Instagram branding give consistently but I’ve seen between 5-9 categories recommended so pick whatever works for you.
To begin, I would take a look at what you’re already posting, or what dominates your camera roll. Some low hanging fruit:
- Anything fluffy/scaly/feathered
- The city you live in
I have a coffee, dog, and flamingo category on my feed. In any given nine posts on my feed you see coffee, my dogs, and a flamingo. Now, I haven’t actually done any research on this, but I highly suspect that cute dogs on your feed make you more likable. If having your novel characters interact with animals to make them more likable works so well then why wouldn’t featuring your cute furry friends do the same for you?
None of those relate to my writing but they do tell my Instagram followers about me. I’m a serious coffee addict who volunteers at my local zoo caring for flamingos and I have two wonderful rescue dogs.
One category most people wish didn’t exist, but I believe is important, is pictures of yourself. Look, I’m terrible at this myself and I’m convinced all pictures of myself should be burned but I’m working on getting over it because people are curious about other people. Showing your face gives people something to stick your writing name to and makes you more approachable. You want people to make a connection to you and it’s hard for people to connect without a face. Sorry, but humans haven’t evolved enough to accept that there is a person behind the feed without seeing them.
So the category you have to add is…
- Pictures of yourself
I’ll do a post later about the psychology of likability but the one piece of advice I’ll give now is to smile! No smirks. Full smile. Look for that post later!
Now we’ll think about our writing brands. The tough part of having a writer’s Instagram page is that writing isn’t really that visual of a process. I’ve been thinking about it for a while now and instead of letting you hit your head against a table trying to recreate the wheel I’m going to list some options that you can pick and choose from:
- Pen Collection
- Workspace (great if you work in different locations!)
- Writing quotes
- Quotes from your own work
- Quotes from your favorite books
- Work in Progress pictures (notes, story boarding, brain storming, etc).
- Writing tips
- Facts related to your genre (Scifi novel: facts about deep space, etc.)
- Book swag
- Cover reveals
That should get your started and if you think of any additional categories for writers leave me a comment because I’d love to add it!
Now that you have a sufficient number of writing related categories there is another area you should consider: Bookstagram categories. #Bookstagram has a huge following on Instagram and is a place to make connections with avid readers who might become your readers one day. Also, who doesn’t want to share what they’re reading?
- Currently reading (book covers)
- Recommended books
- Reading nook
- Fandom gear and trinkets
I would like to encourage you to explore #Bookstagram and pull some ideas of your own. There is a lot of things going on there and writers should be aware of it. You might even add a few things to your to read pile!
Now that we’ve looked at those, and you’ve dreamt up one or two of your own, you should have 5-9 categories that will serve as a guide when you’re wondering what to post about. Write them down, put them on your calendar, and make sure to take pictures as the opportunity arises so you’ll always have something to post.
If you’d like to take a look at how I batch a months worth of posts in one day then follow the blog and it’ll be up soon! You can also see me in action at this Instagram account @yourbookishbrand where I posted updates throughout the process. You’ll find it in my highlighted stories.
I hope that gave you something to think about and a way to demystify the process of posting!