Friday, 18 March 2016

Guest post: Authors Navigating Instagram - Hashtags, Sister Apps, and Best Practices, by Jo Michaels

Happy Friday! Jo Michaels here. Before I get going with my guest post, I’d like to take a moment to give Thaddeus a huge shout of thanks for having me on his blog. It’s such an honor to be here and be allowed to share all the things with you. Okay, that done, let’s get into why I’m here in the first place. Today, I’m talking Instagram. We’ll go over some sister apps and why you need them, where to get your hashtags and why they matter, and best practices. Ready? Grab those pens and notebooks, and let’s get going!

If you’re not familiar with Instagram, I urge you to check it out. Unlike Facebook or Twitter, where posts with text are the most important forms of updates, Instagram allows people to communicate via pictures—and images are a universal language. To get the app, go here for Android devices and here for Apple.

Let’s start with the hashtags. There is no other social media site where hashtags are more important (not even Twitter). Instagrammers click photos they like and then through to the hashtag to fill their feed with similar photos or specific user types. Here’s an interesting post on how many hashtags you should use and why. To find the ones that are trending highest, you’ll see a link there that’ll guide you to this site. There, you can actually perform a search on a specific topic to gain insight on which hashtags are the best for your image/user account type (author, artist, photographer, etc…) and gain followers that way.

Sister apps you’ll want to have(I’ll explain why in a moment): Layout Android devices can grab it here Apple devices here and Hyperlapse (not yet available on Android) Apple devices can get this here

Why you need those apps: Instagram allows you to post a single photo from your phone or device’s camera roll, with Layout, you can collage more than one image to make a single post photo you can then put in your feed. Pretty cool, huh? Instagram also lets you post fifteen second videos to your timeline, and this is where Hyperlapse comes in. It can do slow motion films and other cool things to feed your page with content.
Speaking of content, let’s get to best practices, shall we? Instagram is all about the visuals, and people are hungry for them.
  • You should typically post at least once a day (I totally fail at this). Every time you log on, take a look at your feed on the home screen. You’ll notice how massively and quickly it updates. Your pictures will get buried rather quickly if you don’t post them often.
  • Don’t repeat a lot of the same content. People like fresh and new; keep your account’s feed fresh and new.
  • Follow others! Everyone likes to network with the folks in their circles. Grow yours.
  • Take part in monthly challenges. In February, there was the #AuthorLifeMonth challenge. I gained a number of new followers, and I got to know more writers (expanded my circle).
  • Comment. Leave messages for others! It’s just good manners.
  • Click the little heart icon when you really like something. This pushes the image to the trending (when you click on a hashtag, the first ten images or so that pop up) section of the hashtag’s feed, and it’s not difficult to do.

If you’re wanting to sell on Instagram, here’s a post that’ll help you with that.
Now, as a last word, let me throw this out there: Facebook bought Instagram a while back, and you can now set your ad to be placed over there, too. Double the marketing! Food for thought. *grin*
I hope you all learned something useful from me today. I had fun putting this together.
If you’d like to give me a follow on my blog, where I often post tips like the ones above, you can find me at

Thanks for reading, and thanks again to Thaddeus for having me over to entertain you!
Any questions? If so, pop them in the comments, and I’ll be around to answer.
Well, that’s all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!



  1. Thank you so much for hosting my post on your blog :D I'm adding it to my tips page now. YOU ROCK!!!

    1. Not at all. It's a useful guide, but the sort of thing a luddite like me would never write :)