Hi, people of the interwebs!
Bookstagram is without a doubt one of the best things that has happened to me in the past few months. It is without a doubt one of the best book communities out there! Less drama than twitter, definitely. For a small period of time, I have gained a following I did not expect! All I wanted was to take photos of books, make friends, and just generally share my interest and love for books. In the bookstagram community, everyone is kind and welcoming!
Now, I just want to share with you guys what I have done to gain more than 500 followers in three months (or so)! That’s a really short period of time.
A little backstory, I first started bookstagram in 2014 and have been on and off since. I had my less than 200 followers in May 2016. Now it’s September, I have already a good amount of a thousand followers.
Disclaimer: I know that this post may seem pretentious to some but I am not claiming to be a ‘big‘ or a popular bookstagrammer. I just merely want to help out those who are starting off and those who want to increase their follower count. I am far from other accounts, and I am aware that there are tons and tons of bookstagrammers with bigger follower counts than mine! 🙂
On to the tips and what to do!
*Note that these tips are besides posting quality bookish photos.
First and the most important thing is to keep interacting with other bookstagrammers.
Since bookstagram is a community of book lovers, it is important to actually initiate the conversation with other people in the community! Be sure to like and comment on other people’s photos. I know I fail on doing this sometimes, but do your best to connect with other users! Build friendships with other people in the community. I now have friends that I value so much thanks to bookstagram!
Do not forget to post regularly. Post as much as you can, but not too much.
It is good to post every other day, or every three days, as long as you are consistent! There are other people who post every day and that’s perfectly fine as well. Just don’t go too overboard with posting multiple pictures per day. It’s sometimes hard to keep up and your followers will be overwhelmed with the photos you post. You can always pre-plan what picture to post. Remember, quality instead of quantity.
Used hashtags after every post.
Using hashtags is a #majorkey in getting other people to discover your pictures. The same way it’s easier for you to find people to follow. This is also a key where you can get discovered by bookstagrams that actually feature other person’s photos, like igreads, bookstagramfeatures, bookish.features, and more. Most of which already has thousands and thousands of followers, and if you get featured, chances are that you’ll get a follower boost! I got featured by a small bookstagram feature account and I can attest that some of them really do follow you when they see the feat.
some popular ones are #bookstagram, #bookstagramfeature, #igreads, #booknerdigans (I saw this first from Ben of BenjaminofTomes), #bookworm, #bibliophile, #bookaddict, and #books. Just use whatever you want! *Kate from The Bookaholic Blurbs also mentioned this during the Book Blogging 101 Panel in The Philippine Readers & Writers festival!
Lastly, you can ask for a follow back.
What people seem to forget these days, is asking for a followback. No, it doesn’t hurt one’s pride if you want others to follow you! There’s no shame as long as you interact with them (again, #1). There’s always a down-part when you don’t ask for a follow back, because not everyone automatically follows back. *I myself don’t really notice who follows me, so I don’t auto-follow back. I do follow back when people ask me to.
Note: I would like to believe that f4f’s are different from asking people to follow you back. In f4fs, you ask people if they could exchange their follow for your follow. Meaning, they’ll only follow you if you follow them. On the other hand, when you ask someone to follow back, it means that you have already initiated the ‘start’ of the relationship, where as you do not exchange anything in return. There are instances that other people do not follow back, though. In my whole ‘return’ to bookstagram, no one has yet asked for a follow back, although there have been instances where people follow and wait for you to follow back, and when you don’t… they unfollow later *which is rude, by the way. The thing is, never be afraid to ask! 🙂 If they don’t follow you back, that’s okay.This has already happened to me! Just don’t take it too personally.
A bonus key is when people give you shoutouts.
I believe in genuine shoutouts. Okay, so you have already established yourself, and someone (a friend) would want other people to know more about you. The thing is, when a friend you’ve made has a number of followers, then they give you a shoutout telling them why they should follow you, etc etc. Chances are, they (their followers) will take note of that and check out your account. And would probably follow you too. This happened to me once or twice already and it was just heartwarming to receive!
Recently the essence of giving shoutouts has lessened its value due to ‘Shoutout for Shoutout’ also known as S4S. I would like to say that I am not a huge fan of S4S, which is why I don’t recommend it when you’re just starting. You need to build yourself first. Build your feed first. And NO, I am not condemning any person who does this. I know a lot of people who do this and I never call them out, cause you can do what ever you want to! Nothing is wrong with it! My advice though is that do not do shoutout for shoutouts almost every time that your feed is filled with other people’s photos. It sorta is frustrating when people who follow you see nothing but S4S’s!
PS, not everyone reaches the same number of followers at the same pace. Some gain less, some gain more. Your feed’s aesthetic is the biggest contributor to the number of followers you’ll gain along with how many friends you make. I know plenty off accounts that earn more than I do, and it’s because they take really, really gorgeous photos with so much effort! I salute those people cause I get so lazy and tired to shoot pictures. Hahaha!
Hope this has helped! Do you have tips and advice you would like to share? Comment down below!
Thanks for reading. ♡