12 Tips For Sharing Your Poetry On Instagram
Ever since I started growing a following on Instagram with my poetry account @danica.gim I have been getting a lot of messages with the question on how to go about it. Instagram is a handy tool that, if wielded correctly, can be used to promote your work amongst large audiences. Unfortunately, many people frown upon writers using it because writers gaining instant validation and large amount of followers doesn’t fit the romanticized image they have of a struggling poet. But that hasn’t stopped many young writers from breathing the life back into poetry for the new generations. So, I decided to create a list of tips for you on how to start sharing your writing on Instagram.
1. Create An Account Just For Your Writing
Let’s start with the first step: Creating an account. Make sure to create an account just for your writing. Save the pictures of family dinners or nights out with your friends for a personal account, or post them in your stories! Try to pick a username people will remember. Either the name you use to sign all your poems with or something with ‘poetry’ or ‘writing’ in it so people know instantly what your page is all about.
2. Follow Other Writers
Try to only follow other writers and poets on this account. Follow your friends and family from a personal account. By following other writers you can not only connect with them and get inspired but Instagram will also pick up on the kind of accounts you interact with and suggest new similar accounts to you. More importantly, Instagram will suggest your account to the people who are already following other writers or have shown an interest in poetry!
3. Post Daily
To create a following you have to create content. In my experience the best way to do this is to at least post once a day and max two times a day. Before you start the account you might want to have some writings or poetry lined up so you’re not struggling to find something to post.
4. Make sure people can read your work
Instagram is a visual platform so, you want to post your writing in a way that’s visibly appealing but also in a way people can actually read what you wrote. Try to avoid backgrounds or lettertypes that make your poems difficult to read. Try to think of a theme before you put your posts out there. Do you want to use a certain color scheme? Do you want to use only white backgrounds? Do you want to switch it up with pictures or art? Whatever you do make sure it’s consistent and readable. Also make sure you always use the same font. Using different fonts for different posts will make your profile look very messy.
5. Don’t try to cram an entire poem on one square
There is a reason why micro-poetry became popular on Instagram. People have a very short attention span when scrolling through social-media and short lines look visibly more appealing. However, there are plenty of poets out there who were able to grow a following by posting longer pieces. If you want to post longer pieces make sure to use a white or a light plain colored background so that nothing distracts from your words. Don’t be afraid to use Instagram’s slide option! When using the slide option, you can post multiple pictures within one posts, that way you can split up your longer poem and your readers can swipe to read the whole thing. When doing it this way it remains readable. Another thing you can do is post your favorite and most catchy line from your poem and post that, while putting the rest of the poem in the caption.
6. Use Hashtags
People are not just going to find you. You have to use relevant hashtags to get your work seen. You can use some standard hashtags like ‘poem’ or ‘poetry’ but don’t forget to use the topic of your poem to make sure it gets to the right audience! Is your poem about love and heartbreak? Use that in your hashtags! Is it about self love and empowerment? Use it! You want the people who are going through the same things as the ones you are describing in your poem to be able to find it.
7. Make Genuine Connections
Instagram is a social platform so be social! Connect to other writers! Follow them, read, like and comment on their work. Be supportive of others in the community by showing a genuine interest in what they are creating. Don’t just follow writers in the hope they will follow you back. Follow the ones you truly enjoy and love. You can share your favorite work of others in your story. The writing community is very supportive and once you make genuine friends, they will have your back during your writing journey and support you and your account.
8. Create Original Content
Get inspired by other writers, but still create something that’s completely your own. Your profile doesn’t have to look like that of others. You want your readers to recognize you and not confuse your account with that of someone else. More importantly, post new stuff every day. It’s ok to recycle a favorite poem every now and then but your engagement will drop tremendously if you keep posting your old work. People remember what they have seen and read and they want something new.
9. Do NOT Ask For Follows Or Shout Outs
Whatever you do never, and I mean NEVER, go into the comment section of another writer and ask them or their followers to follow you. No matter how nice you bring it, this is incredibly rude. First of all, a lot of people who do this don’t even follow the writer they are asking for a follow to begin with. Second of all, you are in the comment section of someone else’s work. By asking for follows you are completely ignoring the work and effort they put in and are just there for selfish reasons. Third of all, it’s just lazy. Do you think those writers gained their following going around begging for it? No, they put in the hard work. The same hard work of posting daily, of creating original content and genuinely connecting with others that you are going to have to put in.
Another very important reason not to go around asking for follows and shout outs is that it will get you blocked and Instagram will pick up on this and mark you as an account that spams others. Trust me, you do not want that. Once you have made actual friends and have followed and mutually supported each other over a period of time, you can ask them for a favor as a friend. Not as a stranger trying to use them for personal gain.
11. Interact With Your Followers
Let your followers know you appreciate them! Respond on the comments and messages they leave for you. It will encourage them to keep interacting with your work. Don’t be afraid to use Instagram’s ‘story’ feature to tell your followers in a little more about yourself through pictures and videos. You can host a live feed, a give away, the possibilities are endless. If you wish to remain anonymous you can still use the ‘ask me anything’ option to allow your followers to ask questions about you.
11. Reach Out To General Poetry Pages
There are plenty of general poetry pages out there who exist to share the work of other writers. These pages you can use for promotional gain, because they create a following by posting the work of others. You can tag these pages in your work, use their hashtag, mention them in your caption or simply shoot them a message with the question if they would consider featuring you. The instagram @iampoetryrmagazine is one of these pages!
12. Do Not Plagiarize
You would think this goes without saying. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people out there stealing the work of others, or imitating the work of others. Be original. Not everything has been written yet. Also, if you use the art of other people to accompany your poetry make sure you credit them accordingly by tagging them and mentioning them in the caption.
I hope that you found this helpful! Let us know in the comments below if you did and goodluck on your Instagram writing journey!