Should I Choose Instagram?

Social network imagesChoosing social media platforms has always been hit and miss with me. Over the years, the two constants have been Twitter and Facebook. I still belong to Goodreads, LinkedIn, and Kindleboards, but no longer take part in group discussions. Frankly, the spamming and contentious attitudes among too many people make discussions less appealing than they once were.

Some writers insist that you need to be everywhere on social media and I can understand their viewpoint. But for me, it’s neither desirable nor practical. There is one I’m considering, though: Instagram. Indeed, I’ve been invited to join by several writers but I can’t make a decision until I’ve visited the site. I know the audience is generally younger, and I do know a gift shop owner who says that it’s really helped raise her store’s profile. People even offer her advice about improving her store window design, etc.

But does a site that focuses on photos really work for a writer? Before I spend a lot of time setting up and sending out photos of my book covers and events and other experiences, I’d like to know what you think. Do you writers out there use Instagram and is it worth your time?

Last week, I read a blog advising writers to stay away from social media period, as it’s become too negative and troll-infested. This person’s argument was that one’s time was better spent on building their business page rather than connecting with people through blogs and group discussions, and suffering abusive and offensive comments.

I’m not attracting enough attention to have that many negative experiences, and maybe never will. I still enjoy FB, Twitter up to a point, and now WordPress, but should I take a closer look at Instagram, or are there other new sites that are useful for writers? I’d be really interested in knowing your thoughts.

Author: debrapurdykong

I'm a British Columbia author who's been writing for over 30 years. My volunteer experiences, criminology diploma, and various jobs, inspired me to write mysteries set in BC’s Lower Mainland. Employment as a campus security patrol and communications officer provide the background for my my Casey Holland transit security novels. I'm also a part-time facilitator in Creative Writing Workshops through Port Moody's Recreation program. Feel free to contact me at dpurdykong@gmail.com

9 thoughts on “Should I Choose Instagram?”

  1. You make some good points. I know lots of folks who use Instagram, some of whom are writers. I don’t know if it helps them with their audience. Personally, I’d rather be writing and researching. I try to keep up my blog and my FB page and I enjoy lots of WordPress blogs. I lost sight of Twitter for several months and now scan it occasionally. There are different people on all these platforms, but I don’t see that any of them have done much for book sales. Of course, maybe I’m doing it wrong.

    And I agree that there are some dangerous discussions happening. One writer friend was devastated by a troll on Goodreads who got her mean girl group to gang up on her. How old are we? Online, we don’t really know do we? Sometimes, I want to go off the grid completely and live deliberately in a cabin in the bush with nothing to distract me from my thoughts but the sound of the wind and the plants and the animals. Bear at the door, mice in the pantry, coons in the closet, that sort of thing;)

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  2. I am on Instagram, but then I am also a travel writer so I post pictures of places I have been. My target audience is on Instagram as well. Like any social media, one must limit the time spent. Not sure if it has helped sales or not.

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  3. I too am experimenting with Instagram, which is owned by Facebook. I’m also experimenting with Pinterest. Both are visual photo/graphic based social media sites and popular with the younger set. You can’t embed links in the images you post on Instagram, but users can access your website link in your profile. With Pinterest, you can embed a link in anything you pin. This means anyone who clicks on your pin will be sent to your website or sales page or anywhere else you choose. From a business perspective, that’s a pretty good feature. In terms of connecting with readers, I’m getting more engagement on Instagram, but that may change as I get better acquainted with Pinterest. Best of luck with your research.

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  4. You pose an interesting question Debra. I think social media is also a question of habit – what suits how you communicate and your lifestyle. I’m new to this, but so far: I like Twitter, it lets me get a sense of what’s happening and what’s current, but I almost never engage in dialogue there and rarely tweet. I think it can be a complete time sink. I don’t like FB, I can envision using it once I’m published and trying to build a community amongst readers, but Facebook as an organization leaves a lot to be desired.

    I like Google + but it has a different audience to other platforms and probably has a smaller user base, that said, I’d more readily use it than FB. I agree with the commentary above that Instagram is a good add to your arsenal. There are folks I know who only use it and FB, and you can’t argue with the power of a visual message to communicate something out quickly.

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