Using Stories to Promote Your Book on Instagram

Instagram is a popular social media platform for influencers, including authors and readers. Using every feature the platform has available, including Stories to promote your book, can be very helpful to your campaign. Start by following celebrity and influencer accounts, as well as fellow authors, to get a rounded grasp of how useful Instagram Stories can be for public figures.

Instagram tends to skew young in terms of who is using the platforms, from teenagers to millennials in their mid-30s. As an author, it can be useful to tap into these age groups to cultivate a new audience for your books and/or brand.

How Instagram Stories work is that the photo you post will disappear after 24 hours of your posting of it, unlike regular posts. Instagram feed posts and Reels are there permanently unless deleted by the user. They are good to use for more temporary ideas you have that will not stay on your feed forever.

Using Stories to Your Advantage as an Author:

Use them for exclusive content. Are you in the middle of writing a new book? Insta-story a line from a chapter you just wrote. Are you writing a short story for a new anthology? Snap a photo of yourself with one of the other authors or editor with something along the lines of, “Meeting with so-and-so today. Can’t wait to show you our latest project coming soon!” Creating some mystery and suspense will excite your followers.

A personal glimpse into your life. We all want to know what our favorite celebrities are doing – and posting photos of themselves cooking food, out to dinner, enjoying a concert, or reading a book achieve that aspect of making followers feel like they are included in their lives. You can do the same thing as an author by taking a video of a book you are reading or your new writing desk setup.

Hold a contest. Gain followers on Instagram by holding a contest–they have to follow you to enter and the winner will receive an advanced reader’s copy of your upcoming book, a box set, or a signed copy of your newest release. 

Engage your followers. Try posting a question or hosting a poll. “What are you reading today?” or “What’s coming up on your TBR?” will engage your followers by having them respond in a message. Respond back so that they can feel that you are engaged with them as well and begin to form personal relationships with your readers.

Using Stories to promote your book on Instagram is yet another aspect to using the platform to your full advantage. Start out by posting a few personal things from your week, and see how your readers respond. You may find yourself discovering a new outlet to engage with your followers and potential new readers.

Using Reels to Promote Your Book on Instagram

Over the past few years, it has become clear that Instagram is no longer just a photo sharing platform. Reels are one of the best ways to grow on Instagram, but they can be very overwhelming for those who are not familiar with creating video content. Here are some ideas you can use to promote your book using Reels. 

Following Trends

Did you know that you can follow hashtags? If not, I suggest you do that now, starting with #BookTok and #Bookstagram. Bookstagrammers and authors use these hashtags to showcase content around books and writing. 

Often there are fun and easy Reels trends on these hashtags that require minimal filming and editing. Monitoring the type of content users are enjoying in these bookish spaces and tailoring the content specifically to your book will give you a bit of an edge.

You do not have to dance or point to make a Reel that performs well, but you do need to show up consistently with valuable content.

Check out this one from a fantasy author promoting his book with the use of quotes here.

General Tips and Tricks

Think of Instagram Reels like a business card. The point is to spread the content far and wide, not overloading your viewer with too much information. 

Do not introduce yourself. In the Reels format, you just do not have the time. This also might not hook your viewer. Instead, lead with educational or entertainment value and have an optimized profile to explain who you are to convert viewers to followers. 

Try using stock footage. We get it, you don’t always have the time or energy to film with your face on camera. Did you know you can find faceless stock footage online to use in your Reels? For example, grab a stock video of someone flipping through book pages (make sure you read the fine print and that it’s free use), and put quotes from your book over the footage. Simple!

Include a call to action. A call to action is an essential part of any content you make that has a purpose. People will not always engage with your content in the way you want them to unless you tell them how to do so. If you want people to comment or follow, tell them! For Reels, an excellent call to action in the caption is to comment a specific word, alerting you to DM them a link or a freebie.

Grab our free e-guide to social media marketing for information on all social platforms.

Creating An Effective Instagram Bio

Having an effective Instagram bio is a key factor in growing your audience since it is the first thing profile visitors will see. Potential new followers will see your bio and profile before making a quick decision whether to stick around or click away. Optimizing your bio in 150 characters or less in a way that showcases your brand identity is pivotal but tricky! Here are a few things to keep in mind.

Keep It Short & Sweet

The number one tip when it comes to creating your Instagram bio is to keep it concise while continuing to be informative about your brand and personality. You want to communicate who you are and what you offer as soon as a visitor clicks on your profile. If they don’t know why they should follow you at a quick glance, your bio may not be effective enough. Between users’ short attention spans and the 150 character limit, you must strive to grab visitors’ notice right away.

Use Keywords

Your Instagram bio should contain keywords relevant to you and your brand that describe who you are and what you do as an author. This will increase your visibility online in search results to help new people find you and attract a target audience. For example, you can use words like “author” and “writer,” or more genre specific words like “romance,” or “mystery” to attract the right kind of readers to your page. As a starting point, brainstorm words that your ideal readers may use as search terms on Instagram to find books and authors similar to you. Instagram SEO will help your profile and content to be shown in search results.

Add a Call to Action

A call to action encourages page visitors to do something, whether that be to follow you, click a link, send a message, etc. This is a good way to get people interacting and engaging with you and your content right away. Choose a call to action that aligns with your goals and include it in your bio to optimize your audience’s sense of curiosity. We recommend including a link as your call to action. Try directing users to your own website where they can buy your book online, a newsletter sign up, or even a link in bio tool such as Linktree. A link in bio tool will show all of your most important links at once! Your bio is the first thing Instagram users will see when they visit your page, and these few simple tips are a great way to get started with your optimization. Your main goal is to drive readers into some type of action, such as following you or buying your book. Check out these fun bio ideas for some more inspiration on what to add to your profile and how to have an effective Instagram bio!

3 Ways To Use Reels To Promote Your Book

Instagram Reels are one of the best ways to grow on the platform. However, they can be very overwhelming for those who are not familiar with creating video content. Today, I will share with you three Reels ideas you can use to promote your book/profile on Instagram. 

Trends on #BookTok

Did you know that you can follow hashtags? If not, I suggest you do that now. And I would start with #BookTok. Bookstagrammers and authors use #BookTok to showcase content around books and writing. 

Often there are fun and easy Reels trends on this hashtag that do not require you to show your face (if you don’t want to) and require minimal editing. 

Check out one Kelsey Darragh did here.

Give a Brief Explanation

In 15-30 seconds, explain something interesting about you or your book.

Some examples include: 

  • Why you wrote your book
  • Your writer’s journey
  • Any short explanation about a unique aspect of your book

General Reels Trends

Another great way to use reels to promote your book is to jump on general trends. Applying trends to your brand takes a little creativity, but it should be something fun and different. 

Here are a couple of fun examples: 

  • Take this trend for answering questions and apply them to your book or writers journey
  • “You can’t look good in every picture you take” trend but book covers

Other Tips for Using Reels to Promote Your Book

Think of Instagram Reels like a business card. The point is to spread the content far and wide, not overloading your viewer with too much information. 

Do not introduce yourself. In the Reels format, you just do not have the time. This also might not hook your viewer. Instead, lead with educational or entertainment value and have an optimized profile to explain who you are to convert viewers to followers.

Include a call to action. A call to action is an essential part of any content you make that has a purpose (and if you don’t have a goal for the content, why are you making it?). 

For Reels, an excellent call to action in the video itself is to follow you or to download some sort of freebie. 

More Resources for Growing on Instagram

Instagram Reels: A Beginner’s Guide

Instagram Insights: A Beginner’s Guide

Expanding Your Organic Reach on Instagram: Video Content

3 Tips for Growing Your Personal Brand on Instagram

 

High Quality Reels: A Beginner’s Guide

The head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, recently announced that Instagram is no longer just a photo-sharing platform. This announcement created some confusion, but is no cause for alarm. Since the release of Reels, Instagram has been leaning further towards short form video. Today, I’m going to talk about how to make a high quality Reel. 

What is a Reel?

A Reel is a short-form video on Instagram that is under one minute. They are designed to entertain and have a strong organic reach. 

Three Steps to Make High Quality Reels

Hook your Audience in the First Three Seconds

Attention spans on social media are extremely low. In order for your Reel (or any social media content) to be successful, you have to stop the scroll. This means catching their attention quickly by quickly stating the problem you are going to solve for the watcher. 

Provide Value in Your Video

Although “value” has become a bit of a buzzword, this just means that you are not creating fluff. Share content that entertains, informs, or inspires so your audience can see the value you have to offer. 

Your hook gets people to your video, but the value provided is what makes them stay and consume more of your content. 

Use a Call to Action in Your Reels

People will not engage with your content in the way you want them to unless you tell them how to do so. If you want people to comment, tell them! All of your Reels should have a CTA to maximize your engagement.

Do I Have to Make Video Content?

You do not have to make video content, but you should. Video content has consistently been shown to be more engaging and effective than other types of content on social media. People enjoy consuming short-form video content which is why TikTok has been such a success. 

Pro-tips for High Quality Reels Content

Create a series around something you are passionate about and knowledgeable in. You do not have to dance or point to make a Reel that performs well, you just need to show up consistently with valuable content. 

If you have any questions about how you can use Reels in your social media strategy, please contact us. 

Other Helpful Posts

Instagram Insights: A Beginner’s Guide

Expanding Your Organic Reach on Instagram: Video Content

3 Social Media Metrics That Do Not Matter

Social Media 101: TikTok and Book Promotion