More and more authors are realizing that in order to build a successful author platform and social media strategy, they need to include Instagram in their book marketing efforts.
There are plenty of great ways authors are using Instagram to promote their books.
Unfortunately, many more authors are making the mistake of using this powerful platform incorrectly. Take a look at this article to see the most common mistakes authors make with their social media strategy for book promotion on Instagram.
As you read through this list, evaluate your own Author Instagram and ask yourself honestly, “Can I do better?”
Common Mistakes Authors Make on Instagram
#1 – Treating Instagram Like It’s Facebook
…or Pinterest, or Tumblr, or Twitter.
Key to any great social media strategy is understanding the core values and tools available on each individual social platform. Different platforms have different pros and cons, uses, and effects on your book promotion.
It’s important that you take the time to learn which strategies and content perform best on the platforms that you choose to use.
Content created without strategy or purpose is not worthy of being posted on your author platform channels.
Too often I see authors on Instagram posting content that belongs on a different platform. Instagram may be owned by Facebook, but as platforms they are extremely different.
Ask Yourself: Do I know the ins and outs of Instagram strategy? Do I feel confident about how best to use this app for book marketing?
#2 – Not Understanding What to Post and Why
Instagram is a platform designed for visual storytelling.
You may know how craft a story on paper, but in order to best promote that physical work you need to understand how to craft a story on social media.
Social media platforms like Instagram are incredible tools you can use to connect with and convert potential readers, tools that are under utilized when an author doesn’t understand the shift to digital content creation.
Ask yourself: Am I posting content with intention? Is my content contributing to my overall goal?
#3 – Using Hashtags Incorrectly
Do you often feel confused about how hashtags work and which ones to use?
If you’re using hashtags that are irrelevant to your subject, without checking their activity, or creating hashtags of your own invention, then you are doing something wrong.
Instead, you need to use hashtags that are relevant, timely, and searchable.
Hashtags are used to create categories on the platform and increase the likelihood of your posts being seen and therefore engaged with. Take a look at the last set of hashtags you used on your Instagram posts.
Are they serving your content well? If not, reconsider your hashtag choices.
Ask Yourself: Do I know how to use hashtags to my best advantage?
#4 – Lack of Audience Targeting & Community Building
Instagram is a platform used by millions of individuals with thousands of different interests and desires which create dedicated niche communities, like readers and book bloggers. The question becomes, how do you reach the niche community that will serve your book marketing best?
How do your reach your target audience on Instagram?
If your content on Instagram isn’t attracting the right users with the right interests, then all of your social media efforts are wasted.
You need to create content with a strategy in mind, content that is relevant to your target audience, their interests and desires.
Ask yourself: Who is my target audience? Am I creating content that interests and attracts them?
#5 – Failed Community Building
One of the biggest benefits of Instagram is the incredible potential for community building.
You can use social media as part of your author platform to build a dedicated following that is not only interested in you and your work, but excited to be a part of it.
Too many authors misuse or misunderstand community building techniques and strategies, failing to build a following that will support the sale of their books time and time again.
Consider this: would you rather have 1,000 followers who never engage on your posts and never show any interest in what you do? OR would you rather have 1,000 followers who are excited to see what you’re working on next, who can’t wait to buy your next book and share it with their friends?
The answer is clear.
If you have a following, but not a community, then something is wrong with your author social media strategy. You have some work to do.
Ask yourself: Are readers engaged on my posts? Are they excited to see what I’m working on? Do they look forward to my thoughts, experiences, and storytelling?
Recognize yourself in any of these common blunders? You’re not alone! Join over 1,600 authors who improved their author platform with our training courses. Visit our courses pages to get started.