I used to laugh at people who use Instagram. Actually, scratch that, I still kind of do, but I’m also laughing at myself now.
I got Instagram by accident; I posted a photo on my author page on Facebook and the new fandangled Facebook app asked me if I wanted to post it to Instagram as well. I hit yes and in thirty seconds I had an Instagram account and now I have duplicates of all the photos I post because for some reason when I post them Instagram creates a duplicate, whether I want it to or not, and saves it back onto my camera roll.
Since I have it, I thought it would be a good idea to use it for promotional purposes – why not? It’s just another tool – and quickly ran into some shortcomings. I’m an author (if you hadn’t caught onto that already then you really need to check in with someone because I don’t think I hide that fact in any way shape or form) and authors don’t take a lot of photos of their work. At least I don’t. I post a lot of photos of my cats. They are usually unrelated to my writing unless they’re walking across my keyboard, but they’re far more photogenic than a stack of scribbled notes about character development, pictures of word counts and shelves of blank notebooks.
How do other authors use Instagram? Frankly, I have no idea. I’ve almost given up on it as a medium for literary promotion to be honest, but I feel like I’d be copping out if I didn’t keep trying. I worked out Twitter – sort of – eventually, and that has proved to be, well, not a terrible disappointment. I still don’t really know what I’m doing (much like this blog), but people seem interested in some of the things I’m posting. I think.
Social media is a phenomenon I can understand from an academic point of view. I can understand meme theory and the way in which entertaining information spreads through the system. A celebrity can say something once and have it retweeted or shared hundred of times. Even thousands. This can be for two reasons: either the celebrity said something deeply interesting or funny, or, the celebrity said it. The problem with promotion is that us normal folk have to achieve the first thing. And even then, we have to do it over and over again to get recognition. Hence why I post lots of pictures of my cats; cats are universally loved on the internet and as all pet owners do, I think mine are truly adorable.
I’d love to hear your tips for social media engagement for non-photogenic professions. I know I could google ‘how to do Instagram for authors’ or some such but I hate those articles that tell me how to do it. I don’t want to follow some formula one person found useful. I want to engage the people who are already interested enough to read this article! So. You could comment below, or send a message through my facebook page, or post on my facebook page, whatever tickles your fancy. I would LOVE to hear from you.
Thank you in advance!