Hi, so I’ve recently been thinking about Instagram and how it can help the writer with promoting their story. Personally, I’ve been struggling with my own account for a few months now. It seems to be stuck a little above 300 followers and I struggle even more with getting my community involved. I often ask myself what am I doing wrong since I try to post sneak peeks on my page/stories, I share my art, etc. That’s what seems like other authors are doing? And I also know it’s not all about hashtags since Instagram changed its algorithm so let me ask you this:
- What makes you follow an Episode author on Instagram?
- If you follow a given author on Instagram, what would do you like for them to post? (aka, what you find interesting)
Thank you in advance for all your help on that matter I appreciate it!
Hey, I’ve been an author here with an Episode/Writing Instagram for around 2 years so I might be able to help some.
For starters, it’s important to understand that Instagram as a platform is finicky at best. At least for me, the app seems h*ll bent on only showing my posts to certain people, won’t show my posts to most of my audience, and seems to almost “punish” me if I post too little, not enough, too much, etc. It’s all about finding balance I think, and I’m not 100% sure what that balance is.
As for what I post? Usually I post when episodes are out and then I’ll post a sneak peek or two depending on how long it’s taking between episodes (I try to update weekly if I can).
Utilize stories! Use countdowns for episode releases, share your posts there, have q&a sessions, do polls, etc. All that stuff keeps your readers engaged and shows the app you’ve got an active audience.
Hide your likes. This is optional, of course, but I’ve started hiding my likes on posts and it’s made it a lot better to mentally handle. Before if a post flopped for whatever reason it would get to me because it felt like everyone could see I was failing, but now it’s like even if I know a post isn’t doing as well I’m the one who sees it, not everyone else.
- If I really like their story or stories.
- If they mostly post relevant things, I tend to stray from any authors who post a lot of things that are not relevant to their stories or the platform at all like outside products or books they’ve been buying etc.
- They seem neutral or friendly. I’m not going to follow anyone who seems rude or ungrateful.
I don’t really mind if an author doesn’t post a lot or posts frequently. I don’t really factor in their post frequencies into whether I follow or not, but I will less inclined to view their instagram stories if they post/re-post heaps of screenshots of their stories all of the time — I’d rather see a few that are recommendations or important updates etc.
- Important updates.
- Story updates.
- Sneak peeks.
- Insights into future projects.
- Polls, questions.
- Tips, tricks and advice.
- A little bit about themself as a person and author, like where they’re from, what languages they speak etc.
Same! The numbers were always messing with my head and I felt a pressure to perform better and get more likes with every post otherwise I was somehow failing. I know some people don’t like the feature but I love hiding the likes, it’s given me a lot more peace of mind and I can focus on the more important things.
I wouldn’t mind being able to hide my follower count too for even better peace of mind. 🤷🙂
I barely follow any authors on instagram. However, when I do follow them, it’s probably because of this:
• Their account is private, so I have to keep following them for sneak peaks
• I absolutely loved their story and it’s not complete, so I follow them to see the updates
• I’ve seen many interesting screenshots of their story
• Their posts are really interesting, so I follow them even if I don’t read their story
• They have others assets, such as drives with backgrounds, coding tips or any art related things
• Interesting sneak peaks of their story, which makes the story seem more interesting
• Art scenes, they’re a huge encouragement to read a story. I’ve read many because of some artist posted a beautiful cover for that story or because I’ve seen a pretty art scene
• Memes/Jokes. It makes it more fun, specially if the jokes involves your story
• Interaction with the followers. For example, after you post a chapter, you make a discussion post, so I can see others opinion and maybe it even helps me on a story with point system
• Giveaways. These are super important since you obviously gain more followers with it and it’s good for everyone who’s participating, since they may or may not earn a prize
• Tips. Any tips about coding is really interesting, since it helps people
And one more tip: video edits and art drawings of your story is a good way of attracting readers and followers.
It divulges your story! Many people start reading stories because of it. Making trailers of stories may sound useless, but it’s a good source if it’s well edited.
Some years ago, I was in a phase that I barely got any engagement at my instagram. At that time, I asked a friend to make an art scene for my story.
I posted part of the art scene as an sneak peak and it got more than 900 likes and I got a lot of followers and reads. So, making a mystery is also always good.
Don’t stop using hashtags because you think they’re not useful! Whenever I’m looking for a artist, I go to #episodeart on instagram and I’ve found many good artists and for free. Also, I follow episode’s hashtags, so sometimes, some stories appear on my timeline and I add it to my favorites so I can read it later. It’s not the best way, but it stills attracts followers.
Other tip is to use your feed as many as possible. It attracts way more people than on the stories! However, it’s not an important factor when following the author to me, it’s mainly important because it attracts followers
Here’s how I made the post of the art scene:
Instagram is a mixed bag of up and downs just like my following. It goes up and it down constantly, but don’t worry about it as you go on it will find the balance.
I have seen lots of comments on here and on Instagram where people are concerned with “likes!” Don’t be because it’s not just you, if you see some episode accounts have over 10-50k followers but their likes or comments don’t match.
A 10k account will probably have 1k to 2k likes
A 25k account 3k to 4k etc…
So if you have 300 and only 50 likes it’s the balance
Just keep working it, I love to engage with my readers and none readers on my Instagram.
But in all honesty having a huge following doesn’t necessarily make much difference to your story or reads or engagement. Majority like to sit in the background and just watch.
Hi, everyone! Thank you so much for all your comments and help!
I find Instagram very ungrateful towards its users. I post every day - barely any recognition, I post once in blue moon - 10 new followers and +50 likes on past posts. Like, I don’t get it? I feel like they maybe don’t want people to use their app lol
I did hide my likes and while, yes it seems to me that it helped me mentally! Good thing that they added that option. Hope to hide my following next! lol
This. I couldn’t agree more. While I don’t mind occasional personal posts and the content which is not related to Episode, I noticed some authors tend to overdo it? Sometimes I scratch my head at why am I seeing 10+ stories about some random topic? But then again I remember the Episode audience in the majority is very young so prob that’s why. They just have fun, bless them I wish I could do that too #partypooper
I thought about doing it for some time but my account is co-related to my art that I wish people could see while browsing the art-related hashtags. Maybe after some time, I’ll do it because I checked my statistics and it showed me that amount people who engage and visit my account is like 600% higher than the number of my followers.
Tbh I’m scared to make a video edit lol But to be serious, I’m the worst at making them. I neither have the app for it nor the “talent” to do so. It always comes out absolutely atrocious. I envy people who do it so perfectly, omg I wish I could do that too.
That’s so true but it becomes a problem if you have 2 new followers but at the same time you lose 5, so your account is in the decline. Of course, Instagram is not the right tool to determine the “success” of the given author considering some of the most popular ones rarely post stuff there.
I follow people whose story I like or who has an influence in the community like artist, story reviewers, pages that do shout outs etc
I have been in the community for around 5 years maybe 6 now and i managed to grow my insta account to 5k by writing and also doing edits and getting involved in the community in general
I will say the community was different back then seemed a lot easier to make friends and talk to people than it does now! There was always insta group chats, group accounts and editing contests and cover contests etc which I think helped to build followers