How To Get Followers on Instagram - Author Guide to Bookstagram

How to get Instagram Followers



How to get Instagram Followers 

If you are an author, new, experienced, or aspiring, if you are a writer, if you are a book reviewer, a bookstagrammer, if you sell a product, even if it's not related to books, you need to get a social media following. 

I had an abrupt awakening when I started the process of researching how to query agents. I have been averse to using social media in my own name for years, although I have always been using it with my websites, but the idea of having to actively find followers for my author Instagram account was terrifying. 

As a person of action and a proud life-long learner, getting Instagram followers became a mission. This post is from my author site, so if you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen it before.

How to get Instagram followers? This was the big question, and I spent the first month with my new author account @sineboetheauthor learning how to get Instagram followers and how to best use Instagram as an author.

Having followers on social media such as on Instagram is a way to show agents and publishers that you have an audience to sell to already. Having a social media following will also help with publicity, once you do publish a book, because let's face it, only few people get a book deal with one of the big publishers, and for most authors the publicity budget is minimal.

As authors we also have to think about how to market our book after those few beginning weeks, where the book is new and exciting, and social media can play a huge role in this. 

The below screen shot was taken a month after I started my author account on Instagram. If you want to know how to do the same, keep on reading. 

Author Sine Boe Instagram page

How to Get 2000 Instagram Followers in a Month

By using the steps below, I surpassed my initial goal for getting 500 followers in a month, and I've already surpassed my 3000 followers goal by May 1st. 

Instagram Guide for Authors

Below is an Instagram guide for authors. It explains how I made it to 2000 followers on Instagram in a month, so that you can do it too. 

☆ I set up a public author page on Instagram in my author name Sine Boe the Author.

☆ I began featuring bookish content: Book recommendations, a few reels (short videos), and I added a few posts with a little of my story. 

☆ I identified my ideal reader. 

☆ I looked for "bookish follow trains." These are I follow you, you follow me events. I followed all the hosts. Look for the hashtags #followtrain #bookishfollowtrain #bookfollowtrain, etc. 

☆ Then I began following the commenters, adding a "followed ❤️" in a reply to their comment. Each time I'd like 5 - 10 of their posts just to say, hey I'm here, follow me back. 

☆ I participated in "engagement trains." I like 5 of your posts, you like 5 of mine, etc. Look for #engagegementtrain #engagementloop etc. 

☆ I did sign up to be a co-host on 2 trains, but it didn't help much more than just participating. 

☆ Do follow back when someone follows you. Just screen the accounts before you do, making sure to avoid bitcoin miners and such.

☆ Don't limit yourself to US accounts. Look at Canada, England, Australia and other English-speaking countries as markets, and even Scandinavia, Europe, and Southeast Asia are big market for English literature as English is a necessity for many people in these areas. 

Instagram daily limits

Don't Go to Instagram Jail

There's something called Instagram jail.

It's tempting to just push forward, but don't overdo it, because there's a limit to how often you can like, comment and follow. If you go above these limits, Instagram will start shutting you out, asking you to reset your psssword, limiting the functions in your account etc. You do not want this. 

How to Use Instagram as an Author

Now, the above is a great help in getting the number of followers up, but I want more than just followers. 

~ I want readers 

~ I want newsletter sign ups 

~ I want engagement 

~ I want my followers to feel a connection 

~ I want a supportive network 

~ I want to find book lovers to connect with and to talk books with

☆ I created a linktree for free to put all my links in one link. 

☆ I set up a website and created a free newsletter sign-up with mail chimp. 

☆ I post varied content. 

☆ I post book recommendations that are similar to what I write, and I make sure to link to the authors and publishers. 

☆ Look for #writersfriendschallenge and #authorshelpingauthors for post inspiration. 

☆ After identifying my ideal reader, I began going through the follower list on similar author accounts. 

☆ I follow readers, I think would like my books. 

☆ I go through the comments on similar author pages, again I follow readers I think would like my book. 

☆ I follow readers that have shared something about similar books. 

☆ As I create my spreadsheet of potential agents, I study new book releases in my genres, I follow the authors, I engage on their pages through comments, and I follow commenters and followers, who might like my book. 

☆ I follow book reviewers and podcasts of those who review in my genre. I engage with them. 

How to Become Successful on Social Media

● Engagement is key. 

● A varied content is key. 

● Identifying your ideal reader is key. 

● Reciprocation is key. 

● Showcasing your unique personality is key.

● Creating a community is key.

  • In addition to participating in follow trains and engagement trains, identify your niche. Find your tribe, follow authors and readers similar to yourself. If you write romance, look for romance readers and writers. If you write contemporary ya fiction, look for contemporary young adult authors and readers. If you write women's fiction, look for those who write women's fiction and those who love to read it.
  • Use hashtags in your posts, use hashtags to find your tribe, and reciprocate. I recommend using as close to 30 hashtags as possible, and consider these navigation labels instead of marketing. 
  • Use the free Canva app and others to create catchy content. 
  • To become successful on social media, you MUST engage with others. Like and comment, share other's posts. You have to be selfless in order to be selfish.
  • Hashtags are great on Instagram. Always use them in your posts, use them to find your readers and a network of like-minded authors. 
  • If you engage with others, the social media algorithm will prioritize your content.
  • Always use #bookstagram in your post, this is what sets Bookstagram apart from the regular Instagram. 

How to Promote Your Book on Social Media 

☆ Even if you have already published, do not just post about your books. 

☆ The most successful way to promote your book on Instagram and social media in general is not to be posting about it. 

☆ The best way to promote your book on Instagram is by creating a network - A community - it is by getting people invested in you, so when you do share something about your book ONCE IN A WHILE, your followers want to share it. 

☆ The best way to promote your book on social media is to get others talking about it. Identify a handful of book reviewers in your genre, ask if you can send them a copy of your book.

Creating a social-media following is time consuming, but I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to becoming a successfully published author in this crazy time that we're living in. 

If you are an author, or if you think you might want to publish one day, the time to start your author pages was yesterday. 

I hope this helps some of you aspiring authors and new authors. I'm still so new to this, and I'm sure that I'm missing something. Please add your own tips below and tell me about your experiences. We can all learn from each other. 

Want more tips? Come along as I share the inside scoop from my road to publishing.  Sign up for the Inside Scoop with Sine Boe here.

I have learned a lot more, since I originally wrote this piece, so if you want to know how I got to 3500 followers in less than five months, and if you want some of my not-publicized tips, make sure to sign up for the Florida Authors and Book Lovers newsletter

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