So, I’ve been on bookstagram for nearly half a year now, which to me is crazy! Time really does fly. I’ve gotta say, that bookstagram brings me so much joy, everyday. It has sparked in me a love of photography, that I never knew I had. I love to talk about books, and interact with people, and bookstagram has been a great outlet for that.
I like to believe that I’ve acquired quite a bit of wisdom, during my time on bookstagram, but you guys will have to tell me. So, let the tips begin.
1. LEARN HASHTAGS 📱
This is the advice I give to anyone starting Instagram, whether they be interested in fashion, books or travel. Hashtags are essential when posting on Instagram. I’m sure, like me, many of you follow hashtags as it’s an easy way to find people who are interested in the same things you are. You might be wondering: i do use hashtags, but they don’t do anything. Well, when I say use hashtags, you must learn first which hashtags to use. For bookstagram, here are some I learned:
#bookstagram (this encompasses everything bookish related)
These are the biggest ones that I use. They never falter, and always give my posts traction. Just remember – you can only use thirty hashtags per posts, if you use more, Instagram will delete the text of your post. Believe me I’ve learned this the hard way. Another way to find more hashtags is, look at the big people on bookstagram, what hashtags are they using. Don’t be afraid to copy and paste hashtags, don’t worry people don’t own hashtags. You might need to scroll through the comments of some peoples’ posts, as they may be in the comments (having them in the comments, has the same effect – it just clears up your post).
2. FIND AN AESTHETIC 📱
This is so much easier said than done, but it is so important. By aesthetic, I don’t mean theme. You don’t have to stick to a strict theme, your account might be abstract, and that’s your aesthetic. Most people do have a theme (a theme = how most of your pictures look like), but again, it’s not necessary. To find an aesthetic/theme – you can browse Instagram, and combine themes together. Drawing inspiration from people is one of the easiest way to find a theme. You can also browse Pinterest, it houses so much inspiration. You can even draw ideas from non-bookish related images, like home ware for example: they have beautiful images in their section of the gram. To help build your aesthetic, you can buy props. My props consist of flowers, a crown and different fabrics. I’ve seen people use everything and anything. Cards, berries, hats, flags, pens, post-its. The world is your oyster, you just have to go out and decorate it.
3. SUPPORT OTHER BOOKSTAGRAMERS 📱
This is one of the easier ways to build an audience. If you support people, they’ll support you back. Follow people who are interested in content similar to yours. Support starting creators. Building a relationship with other book-obsessed people, is one of the greatest things about bookstagram. If you build a solid audience, through support you’ll have a set of people always coming out and liking your posts and supporting you. I would also recommend going through the bookstagram hashtag, once a day and catching up at least five posts. (Liking and Commenting) Another great place for support is support groups. Look around, post to your story that you’re looking for support groups. Most of them are lovely, and if you’re ever feeling unwelcome in one just instantly leave. They’re not worth it. You may ask: what consists of a support group – basically a support group = you saying new post and everyone in the support group likes and comments, (in some groups, there’s 30+ people, so that’s a 30 likes and comments guaranteed) you will have to catch up with the new posts also. Honestly, it’s an awesome trade. I’m currently in one, and it’s so cool – I’ve made so many awesome friends there!
4. USE YOUR STORIES, A LOT 📱
When I wasn’t very busy, I used stories a lot, and I saw a huge increase in traction to my account. I don’t know why that is, but I think it’s because Instagram likes when you use stories. Stories also give you the opportunity to let your audience get to know you a bit better. You can find fun templates on Instagram, and do them on your story. You can update people on your current read, and let them know what you’re thinking. The feature of highlights lets you save memorable stories straight to your profile, otherwise they delete in 24 hours. Stories are also a great way to do book-birthdays. Celebrating with authors on their new releases, is so much fun. They might even reply to your story, and it’s great when they do – it makes you feel that little bit extra! I found, that finding an aesthetic for stories is also great. It makes it more fun, at least for me. In stories, you can draw, add colours and use gifs. Spice up your next story and ask your followers of what they think.
5. HAVE FUN 📱
This is my biggest piece of advice – all the above advice is irrelevant, if you’re not having fun. You’ll get bored and stop, don’t let boredom stop you. Don’t just post the most popular books – if you’re enjoying the most popular books, good on you – post hidden gems, this will ensure a trust in your audience, and if you want to receive ARCs/Review copies, this is what publishers look for. Do fun Instagram crossovers – talk about books, don’t be afraid to DM authors with questions. Take the leap, meet people – don’t let your anxieties hold you back.
i hope you enjoyed this post, and have jotted down some of these points – thank you guys for reading and I hope it helped! – nick