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What Would You Do? Using Instagram as an author...

JamieRae

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Hello fellow writers! Happy new year to you all.

I use Instagram quite regularly for my drawing (I'm a storyboard artist) and I've been thinking about starting a new account to share my writing journey. Being a visual-first platform, it works great for my drawings but I'm wondering if anybody here uses IG to share their writing journey.

If yes, have you seen much success in connecting with new audiences and fellow writers? If not, do you use another platform such as Twitter, to better effect?

Would love to hear about your experiences!

Thanks,
Jamie
 

Emily

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I am also a visual artist, but follow some writers on Instagram too: the poets tend to post poems, the writers tend to post covers of their books or pictures/photos connected to their work. I stick with the visual art myself :)

I think Twitter is seen as a better vehicle; @Nmlee (I think) uses Twitter a lot? There are a good few Litopians on there.
 

Barbara

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I do both Insta and Twitter. And Facebook.

Two accounts, one per talent, means twice the work.

It probably depends on what you want to promote: yourself, or your art. But I think you can mix both.

I only have an author account but if ever I decide I'll do some acting again, I'll do all the posting on that one. I post all sorts, not just relating to my writing journey (I probably should post more about writing). Even though my content is varied, I still try gearing it to my branding. I might post a cat pic, or I might post about a writing woe, anything really to show who I am (or want to be seen as). I think variety is better (but I don't know if that's correct) because I suspect followers want to see more than one side of you. Personally, I like to follow those people who have variety in their posts. If someone is only about 'book book book' or 'art art art', I tune out because I get bored or I feel I'm being sold to all the time. I want to see the person behind the book/art. So a Twitter / Insta featuring both your writing as well as your artistry plus posts showing who you are, would work, I think. But that might just be my personal taste and a marketing person might tell me otherwise. Many people are doing well concentrating on just the one talent.

I started following Sylvester Stallone on Insta (don't ask) and he posts all sorts, not just movie stuff. He does inspirational clips. Or he talks about horses. Turns out he's quite an interesting guy.

Maybe decide who and what you want to be then tailor it to that.

On our podcast account (which I do with @Jonny) our posts are related to the ... well, the podcast and the characters in the story.

It's hard to judge how effective it all is. Having said that Jonny and myself use Twitter, FB and Insta to promote our podcast, and our listenership is going up and up. But not all our listeners follow us our social media. Weirdly, we seem to have a great ton more listeners than social media followers. Still, I think there is a link between finding new listeners and our social media postings. Listener numbers often go up with our increased social m activity (esp the posts we did around Xmas), and even though the listeners don't necessarily start to follow us on twitter, they still come across to Spotify etc to tune in. I think. But Jonny will be able to tell you more about that.

I've found if I follow other writers, they tend to follow me back. Stallone doesn't though. Tcha!

And supporting other podcasts made a big difference because they help promote us in turn. Like everything in life, it's very much a give and take. Support and help others, and they reciprocate.

Anyway, follow us. We'll follow back.

Twitter

My personal one: @Barbara_author
Pod: @GreenCowsPod

Insta

Personal: barbara_writes_books
Podcast: Green_Cows_Dont_Fly
 
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Jonny

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Yeah, I think social media is a tricky one to get right these days. Back in the days of the cave dwellers, early versions of Twitter and Insta involved scratching your posts about signing into Starbucks and so on onto stone tables then handing them to everyone in your tribe. The result was that everyone who mattered to you saw them.

But now all these platforms are seriously oversubscribed and for anyone to make any headway as an unknown is difficult. There are simply too many folks tweeting, instagramming , snapchatting etc. that to get noticed you have to be known. There is a constant tsunami of social media posts swirling around the globe every second that it's hard to know where to start. Most folks use platforms to follow slebs and other high profile types first and foremost.

Next come their friends and families. They tend not to take a punt on something further down the food chain where they can get the main experience elsewhere - music, radio & TV and podcasts etc. The big Twitter stars like Barak Obama (130 million followers and counting) become pointless inasmuch as their followers may just as well say: "I love Barak" and leave it at that. The initial appeal of Twitter was that the good and the great could be reached directly. Not anymore. Or at least not often.

The flipside is that particularly for writers it's handy to have good social media presence, as in the eyes of publishers and agents good follower numbers mean potential sales. I have direct personal experience of this and know it to be true. It's a chicken and egg thing though and in my case involved a helluva lot of luck.

I would agree that writers are plentiful on Twitter and many will follow you back and happily interact even. But as for Sly... well what can I tell yah? He's a busy guy :)

Oh, I follow that Green Cows one myself. 'sreally good. Maybe they'll get Sly on a guest reader one day.;)
 
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