Connect with Your Readers – How Authors Can Use Instagram by @K8Tilton

By Kate Tilton | Blog

Dec 21
Connect with Your Readers - How Authors Can Use Instagram via BadRedhead Media


Author MJ Kelley asked, “How do writers use Instagram and/or YouTube for their platforms?” Today we’re going to cover how authors can use Instagram, the photo sharing social media platform, to grown their audience.

There are many ways people use Instagram each day. Here are a few ways authors can use Instagram to build their audience:

  • Use Instagram to share picture updates on other social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. Instagram makes it easy for authors to snap pictures of their daily life and share it not only on Instagram but on a number of other social media sites as well. According to Social Media Examiner, adding photos to your tweets can boost retweets by 35% and photos are the most engaging type of content on Facebook. Instagram’s easy sharing options let you post this valuable content on these channels with just a few clicks.
    • Pro tip: Use this recipe from IFTTT to automatically share your Instagram pictures as native Twitter pictures. This is an example of good social media automation because it adds more value to your Twitter account by showing your followers the native picture instead of forcing them to click over to see the photo, which is not user friendly. Just be careful to not get excited about all IFTTT offers, because not all automation is good. (But that is a topic for another article.)
  • Use Instagram to show sneak peaks of your upcoming blog posts. Book Delight, one of the bloggers in Kate Tilton’s Book Bloggers, does a great job of this. Here are a few examples of how she uses Instagram to promote her blog in a fun, non-spammy way.

    A photo posted by Karen (@book_delight) on

    And here’s how I’ve followed suit:

    New post on the blog has me a bit nervous but it is such an important topic. *fingers crossed*

    A photo posted by Kate Tilton, Author Assistant (@k8tilton) on


  • Use Instagram to show sneak peeks of your writing and writing process. Have an excellent view where you are writing? Just typed “The End” on the latest book? These are things you can share on Instagram. These sneak peeks bring your audience closer to what you do and encourage them to engage more.
  • Use Instagram to show what you are currently reading. Authors should not be in competition with one another since no reader reads only one book. Plus with so many other things vying for readers’ limited time, supporting reading is important for all authors. So share with your readers that you too are also a reader. This helps support other authors, encourages reading, and sparks great conversations about books, which helps you connect with your audience.

With all the changes taking place on other social media platforms, maybe it is time for you to break into Instagram and connect with a new audience. Use these tips to get you started on posting and check out these lists to start following your target audience: Authors on Instagram (Master List) and Book Bloggers on Instagram (Master List).


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All content copyrighted unless otherwise specified. © 2016 by Rachel Thompson, author. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to use short quotes provided a link back to this page and proper attribution is given to me as the original author.

About the Author

Kate Tilton has been serving authors since 2010. Founder of Kate Tilton’s Author Services, LLC, Kate works as an author assistant, social media manager, and speaker with the mission of connecting authors and readers. Kate is the creator and host of #K8chat (Thursdays at 9pm Eastern on Twitter) and has appeared on popular media such as Publishers Weekly and Library Journal. You can find Kate on

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(14) comments

MM Jaye December 21, 2014

I’m almost on every social media platform (even joined Tsu recently) but I don’t have an Instagram acct. I always thought that since I can share pics instantly on Twitter and Facebook why bother? Your master lists gave me a good reason. Thanks!

Greetings from Greece!

Maria (MM Jaye)

    Kate Tilton December 24, 2014

    Thank you Maria! There is such a great community on Instagram and it really makes sharing photos fun. I hope to see you there soon!

Martina Boone December 22, 2014

I’m martinaaboone on instagram. Thanks for writing this fabulous post, kate. I admit I’m a total instagram dummy, but doing better there is on my list of New Year’s resolutions!

Thanks for all you do!



Dean M. December 26, 2014

Instagram is a great way to give your followers and readers a little insight into who you are as a person. I enjoy using instagram to share images I snap of things I like, rather than images of myself as a writer. Occasionally though, I will snap something that inspires ideas in my mind for stories I’m working on or stories I may look at in the future but I tend to use Instagram as a tool for enjoyment rather than a strategic tool.

    Kate Tilton December 30, 2014

    Hi Dean, sharing things you like is sharing yourself as a person (writer and all). As a reader I love seeing the person behind the books so I’d say you are on the right track. The lovely thing with social media is that we do not always have to use it to connect with others. I know writers who use Pinterest purely as a way to gather images for their writing, while others use it as a way to let readers in. It’s a really cool thing.

Aleta Kay Dye January 9, 2015

This sounds like very helpful information but I’m 60+ years old and much of this technology is new to me. Would I use my own camera, or the camera on my laptop, or on the cell phone? I don’t use my cell for social media. No hackers getting in there if I can help it. I am also on Twitter, FB, LinkedIn, Tumblr, StumbleUpon, etc., so not completely clueless. LOL. Oh, and Pinterest.

    Rachel Thompson January 10, 2015

    Hi Aleta! good questions. You can use your cell phone camera to upload pictures to you laptop/computer. You can then upload them to the desktop versions of pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, G+, instagram, etc. There are desktop and mobile versions of all social media.

    If you’re ‘on the go’ and want to upload, then mobile apps are easier. To prevent hacking, be sure to password protect not only your phone but also your photos. There are lots of ways to protect your work!

    Hope that helps.

    Kate Tilton January 18, 2015

    Hi Aleta,

    In addition to Rachel’s comment it is important to note that at this time Instagram only allows users to sign up via their mobile app. You must have an iPhone or Anroid phone (I perviously had a Blackberry and was not able to download the app).

    With Instagram you also have to use the mobile app to upload photos. You can access Instragram on your web browser on your destop to leave comments and hearts (similar to Facebook likes), edit your profile, and get the embed code for pictures (so you can share them like I did in this post). But sadly you can’t upload pictures this way, you have to use their app.

    I hope that helps!


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