~ Bookstagram Tips ~
Interacting with the community
We all know Instagram, and by extension, bookstagram, is a social media platform – and that means it’s a social community! Interacting with the rest of the community is definitely necessary to grow and maintain your account of course, but it’s also a whole heap of fun. In all honesty, I’ve never found a community that is so much fun and so welcoming. Although I don’t really get to meet many bookstagrammers in person (due to living half a world away from most of them) I’ve still ‘met’ some incredible people online and consider so many of them my friends!
There’s never going to be a place where thousands of people congregate online that’s completely drama free, but bookstagram has been far and away the closest I’ve ever come across! (Ive been a part of so many forums and social communities on all different topics and some of them have made me want to punch myself repeatedly in the face. One of the most drama filled?….A chicken forum. I kid you not.)
So, what are some ways to communicate with the rest of the community? How do you do it and what sort of things are considered bad form?
Comment on other people’s posts
Tell people when you like their photo
Answer the questions they’ve asked in their post
Have a conversation.
Keep it nice. You don’t have to agree with their assessment of a book and if you don’t particularly like their style of photography, just keep scrolling!
Comment asking the person to follow you (or follow for follow F4F) P.S. S4S (Shoutout for shoutout) is different. These include a group of people who want to share other people’s accounts with the community to help give them more exposure.
Comment requesting someone visits your account
Comment on people’s Instagram stories
Send a comment when you like something about someone’s story (it will be sent to them as a direct message.)
Interact with people’s story polls etc.
Send a direct message
Reach out to people via direct message and have a conversation!
Remember to check your ‘others’ folder in your direct messages incase you’ve been sent a message by someone you don’t follow.
Send people irrelevant or spammy messages
Send people requests to follow / visit your account
Follow other accounts
Follow accounts you genuinely like.
Follow to unfollow (i.e.: follow an account, then once they follow you, unfollow them). It’s incredibly rude and won’t make you any friends.
Especially don’t continuously follow and unfollow in the hope the person will notice you. Until recently I didn’t realise this was actually a “method” some people employed to gain followers. Whether it works or not, it’s a crappy way to run your account and not at all in the spirit of what bookstagram is about. Most bookstagrammers have apps to show them when someone has unfollowed them, so it might get you noticed, but not in a good way. I don’t know about anyone else, but if someone continuously follows and unfollows me, not only will I never follow them back, I’ll block them for being spammy.
Tag people in fun tags (but just be aware that some people don’t like doing tags or don’t have time. Don’t be offended if they don’t get to them!) If someone lets you know they don’t want to be tagged, then make sure you don’t tag them anymore.
Tag publishers and authors when you share a photo of their book. I’ve chatted to so many lovely authors this way and yes, I absolutely fangirl over getting a comment on my picture from the author of the book!
Randomly tag people in completely irrelevant photos that have nothing to do with them.
Do shoutouts in your story
Love someone’s feed? or their photo? Or want to let everyone know about their giveaway / awesome product?
Take a screenshot and post it in your story! Tag their account in the picture so that other people can easily click on their name and visit their profile. I love when people give other accounts a shoutout – I’ve discovered lots of beautiful bookstagrammers this way!
Share someone’s photo
Please note, if you intend to share / repost someone’s photo, please ASK FIRST. Don’t share someone’s photo without asking, especially without crediting them properly. That is stealing. If the person says no, then the answer is no. The photo belongs to them and they worked hard to produce it.
If the person does give permission, make sure you do the following in your post:
- Explicitly say in the beginning of the post that the photo (and caption, if applicable) belongs to that person. Make sure you mention them by actually tagging their name in the post.
- Also tag them in the photo
- If you are ever asked to take down the photo by the person who owns it, remove it immediately.
Do you have any other tips on interacting with the bookstagram community? How have you found the community in general? Have you made some great friends?
My next post will focus on using Instagram “stories”!
I’ve listed my intended future topics below and will link to each one as I post them. Let me know if there are any others you’d like to see me discuss!
How to get involved as a rep for bookish companies
Gaining more followers and managing expectations