In his book JAB, JAB, JAB, RIGHT HOOK, Gary Vaynerchuk says about Instagram, “Hashtags matter here, maybe even more than they do on Twitter.” He goes on to explain that hashtags are the way people will find your content on Instagram.
I had read this book on the way home from a recent trip to Los Angeles, California. On that trip, I had visited a restaurant which is well known for a reality show featuring its staff. I had posted a photo to Instagram of me with the restaurant manager who is a star on the show, so I pulled up that post and added hashtags for the name of the show and name of the restaurant. Sure enough, a number of people I didn’t know clicked the heart button on Instagram to “like” the photo.
A few days later, back in my home state of Colorado, I posted a picture of a beautiful view in the mountains and added the hashtags #Colorado and #mountains. Again, the post was liked by a few people I wasn’t already connected with. When I clicked on their profiles, I could see that they shared similar interests. For example, one of the Instagrammers who liked this photo had posted numerous photos taken in Colorado – mountains, landscapes and other beautiful views!
It’s hard to go wrong with any tip from Gary Vaynerchuk – he certainly knows his stuff. But this is one tip you must not forget if you plan to use Instagram (successfully) to promote your book.
First of all, your content itself must be good, but then the hashtags you use will help you connect with people who share similar interests. If there are only one or two hashtags you want to include, you can add them to the end of your caption, but if you want to include more hashtags, you can add them as a comment on your photo and it will have the same effect. The more hashtags you use, the more you increase your exposure to people who are searching those particular hashtags.
Some books/genres make take more creativity than others. If you have published a book about gardening, for example, the possibilities for photos and hashtags are nearly endless. If your book is fiction, though, you may have a harder time coming up with ideas, but think about all of the visual pieces from your story that you can put together for your readers. Then start taking those photos and posting them to Instagram along with as many hashtags as you can come up with.
Tomorrow I will share an example of an author who uses Instagram to promote his book.
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