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Upskilling Tips for Instagram

By Amelia Bashford, Misha Manani and Tanvi Jaiswal

The book community on Instagram is huge. This includes publishers, publishing-related companies and bookstagrammers. In fact, #publishing has over one million posts and #bookcommunity has more than four million! There are plenty of people willing to share their advice on Instagram and it is useful for brushing up on your skills and commercial awareness of the platform if you want to pursue a marketing career. We have covered some tips for growing your account, the top accounts to follow and a list of free online courses, so you can be an Instagram pro.

Creating a Marketing Campaign

  1. Set your monthly goals and targets: whether this is increasing book sales by 30%, growing your book blogging community or acquiring more than eighty followers. Make sure you are clear, specific and if you can, quantify. You also need to distinguish what Instagram can offer in comparison to Twitter and Facebook.

  2. Optimise your profile: create a simple and attractive bio that explains who you are and what people can receive from following you. It is important to create value. Include a profile picture and the name of your account which is consistent with other social media platforms.

  3. Understand your audience: who are you targeting? What does your brand stand for? These are important questions to ask. If the audience you aim to attract is quite broad, consider the audience for different types of content instead. This will ensure your marketing strategy and target groups align.

  4. Conduct a SWOT analysis: also known as competitive analysis. Figure out what other publishers, similar side hustlers or bookstagrammers are posting. Evaluate their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, along with your own Instagram account. Understand what they are doing well and the type of posts that receive the most engagements. Research is key!

  5. Start creating content: there are different types of posts in the form of text, images, reels and IGTV which have different purposes. For instance, reels are good for behind the scenes or book cover reveals, whereas IGTV is useful for interviews or book trailers. Typically, posts with graphics and images do better than those with text on Instagram, so be concise.

  6. Analyse your insights: keep track of profile visitors, the number of people who found you through your hashtags to see if they are working, likes, demographic data, etc. Keep track every week on an Excel spreadsheet, so you can see any patterns with certain types of posts and the overall growth.

Top Accounts to Follow

  • @bookmachine: the perfect place to get updated on the many sessions they hold and their self-study course, CAMPUS. They also have an interesting section with useful links to blog posts, audio sessions and videos on editorial, design and production.

  • @thebooknetwork: with 4k followers, this page is the ultimate stop to find books by UK based independent publishers. This comprises reviews of debut indie books by different publishers and readers, giving you a range of opinions from industry professionals to enthusiasts of the genre.

  • @publisherspending: this growing page is run by aspiring publishers to help others in the industry. It focuses on book reviews, industry tips and updates and sharing their journey of jobs in publishing.

  • @thetandemcollective: the Tandem Collective is definitely one to follow as they partner with content creators to bring the latest buzz in publishing. You can also find updates on current titles, their recent podcasts of author interviews, round table chats, and community classes on how to grow your social media reach.

  • @ainchiara: Ain Chiara, an Events Manager at Penguin Random House, has dedicated this page to help publishing hopefuls with plenty of job application tips and sharing her experience.

Online Courses

There are plenty of free courses for you to develop your knowledge and skillset of using Instagram.

  • Instagram for Business: Meta for Business has a great list of Instagram marketing courses. This is a quick beginners introduction to the basics of Instagram which includes increasing outreach, engagement, creating Instagram ads, content creation and analysing your insights.

  • Attract more Followers: this is similar to the one above, however it is more of an intermediate level course through direct message etiquette to build connections, hashtag selection to optimise discovery and top tips to attract more followers.

  • Instagram Training Course: another brilliant option which you can complete in the comfort of your own home. You will learn how to achieve organic growth and create successful marketing strategies. There is also a certification once you have completed the course. Sign up for free today to access this course!

Thanks for reading Issue Forty, the first article in our social media series! Join us again for Issue Forty-One, the second instalment, where we will be covering Upskilling Tips for Twitter.


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