The Perks of Instagram

Instagram alone has 1 billion active monthly users as of March 2019, and 71% of these users are under the age of 35. It has reached these numbers in less than 20 years, and this hasn’t just happened my chance. Instagram has grown and adapted to what it users want and has contributed to the creation of a culture of social media marketing.

Instagram offers a number of features that can assist you in promoting yours and your work.

Instagram LIVE. Live video gives you a direct window to you followers. Having Q&A sessions live and in real time is very beneficial and shows your followers you’re interested in their feedback. It also gives them a glimpse into your life. LIVE isn’t staged and it’s unedited. It’s more real. This can build and establish a sense of familiarity with your followers.

IGTV. Unlike Instagram LIVE, this video is edited and well put together. They can be saved and shared later, as they are made available for as long as you wish. IGTV is oriented for vertical videos only, which caters greatly to mobile users, which make up the highest percentage of Instagram users. Use keywords in your title so that users can easily find your videos.

Stories. Borrowing the idea from Snapchat, Instagram Stories works in a similar manner. These temporary posts, expiring in 24 hours, appear in chronological order, so users are more likely to find your video. Because of this, it is recommended to post more frequently to your story than your regular posts.

Hashtags. This is going to take a bit of detective work on your part. Identify your target audience, and look what they’re following; what they’re posting. Take a look at the hashtags being used and make a note of the amount of uses. You’ll want to use a mix of commonly used and minimally used as to insure that your posts are reaching users, but not getting drowned out by all the other posts with those hashtags. Be sure to update this list monthly in order to stay current, discontinue the use of obsolete hashtags, and find new hashtags to use in your posts.

Engage. Post on a regular basis. Keep it simple with a post every other day or increase your content by up to two a day. Interact with your followers. Reply to their comments, follow their accounts, like their posts. Take user polls to get the opinions of your followers. Ask questions like “who is your favorite character?” or “which cover art do you prefer?” Make them feel included and valued. Show them that you’re interested in what they think.

Captions. Your a writer. Use that skill and apply to crafting captions for all of your photos. Ask a question, use a quote from your book, provide periodic updates, anything you want! This is your space to interact with your followers.

Take some time and play around with the different features that Instagram has to offer!