Instagram and Pinterest can be useful tools for new black authors who are not that visible on the social media scene. Speaking as an undiscovered black author myself, I am always in support of new and aspiring authors, no matter who they are, or what shade they happen to be. But during this year of empowerment for women all over the globe, I especially look for creative ways to support black women like me.
My two novels (”Lights Out at the Moulin Rouge” and “Skipping Childhood”) are as different as night and day. One is a black entertainment novel, based on historical events and the other is a coming-of-age, dark suspense story. Yet both still have all the flavor of a good urban drama. I’m looking forward to connecting with other new female authors of color, who can relate to writing this type of fiction.
So I’m glad I finally got smart this year, and have decided to become more active on social media, and hopefully, more visible. Instead of my usual auto tweet storms on Twitter, I’ve elected to activate and begin posting on both Instagram and Pinterest. The answer I hope to discover is which of the two is better for new authors.
Instagram for Authors
Now that I have a few posts on Instagram and managed to snare a few Followers, readers will be able to find me among the other black authors of Instagram. According to a recent web article in The Writing Cooperative , “In 2018 Instagram announced that user numbers had exceeded 1 billion, over 500 million of whom log into the network daily.” In fact, the article went on to explain the studies that suggest Instagram users are “58 times more likely to comment on, like, or share a post than Facebook users and 120 times more likely than Twitter users. With stats like that (and climbing), there’s no doubt that Instagram is turning into a valuable platform for authors, whether they’re new or just undiscovered. ” Here’s what another source had to say about the use of hashtags on Instagram:
One really notable thing about Instagram is the ability to use as many as 30 hashtags in one post. This is a plus, especially since studies show that having at least 11 or more tags can earn you a much higher rate of engagement. 2019 Instagram features even allow you to add clickable hashtags (and usernames) to your bio! Going forward, I plan to take advantage of this option, and get as much mileage out of this activity as possible. For instance, to locate and FOLLOW Charm Baker on Instagram [#charmdbaker] here are some useful links:
Pinterest for Authors
Up until this week, my Pinterest account (just like my Instagram account), lay dormant and with little to know previous activity. Once I decided to get more vested in other social media sites besides Twitter, I began combing over online advice about Pinterest for authors. Based on the search query that I used to conduct my research, I determined something interesting. The most recent conversations I found about the benefits of Pinterest for authors were written in 2017. I don’t know if this is a true indication of whether the benefits of Pinterest is on the decline for authors or not.
Since my search wasn’t all that detailed, and I still found lots of positive advice about the site, I concluded that Pinterest is still a good option for authors. On one site, I actually downloaded the “Louise Myers Pinterest Basics for Business eCourse” and put it in my follow up later folder. I came across the information when I was searching, trying to determine the best size to use for my pins.
I spent a little time going through some of my photos and potential pins, and resized most of them (600/900) based on Pinterest’s 2-3 ratio, quoted on the Louise Myer site. This information was really useful, in addition to the two common tips that everyone kept mentioning:
- Don’t underestimate the value of adding a “Follow Me” button to your pages.
- Don’t forget to include a “Pin It” button to your website, blog, or content.
Apparently, some Pinners decide to do either, or, when it comes to providing a “Follow Me” or a “Pin It” button. But the experts encourage you to use BOTH. While you definitely want the viewers to Follow you on your other social media platforms, don’t just leave it at that. Take advantage of the potential followers you can get when you make it easy and convenient for others to share your pins with a “Pin It” button. Doing this could really help an author gain a whole lot more visibility.
Social Media Benefits
Whether or not Instagram turns out to be better for this author than Pinterest is, still remains to be seen. Going forward in the coming months, I plan to monitor both sites closely. My goal is to analyze and compare the results from week-to-week, after a full week of posting and engaging with members. Please be sure to return to this site and check out my ongoing progress so you can determine for yourself whether Instagram or Pinterest is better for an author.
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Be sure to share your own views after reading this article and tell us whether you feel Instagram or Pinterest is better for new authors.