Bookstagram – essentially a Book Instagram – is an ever growing platform for book lovers. And while there are a number of brilliant Instagram book accounts, Faroukh from The Guy With the Book – winner of the London Book Fair’s inaugural Bookstagrammer of the Year award – has got to be one of my all time favourites. There’s a wealth of book bloggers on Instagram, many of whom rely on Bookstagram props to make their pictures stand out, but The Guy With the Book has got witty and engaging captions down to a fine art, and has built a legion of loyal fans in the time since he launched his popular Bookstagram account. After winning the London Book Fair award last year, Faroukh has also gone on to launch a fabulous book blog, which is one of my go-to book review sites whenever I’m in need of a new reading recommendation.
When I decided to put a series of blog posts together to help budding book influencers build their online presence ahead of the 2019 London Book Fair Awards, Faroukh was the very first person I thought of when it came for all things Bookstagram. From being consistent with content to the importance of engaging with your followers, read on for The Guy with the Book’s top tips for building a brilliant Bookstagram.
Be consistent with your content
For me, what has worked best is being consistent. I’ve been posting on Instagram every single day for over three years, and somewhere down the line it almost became a daily habit. The fact that I want to be consistent ensures I have content ready well in advance. As of now, I have around 30 unused pictures in my archives which will come in handy if I have a rather busy or uninspiring month. I do not use these pictures unless there is a content emergency. Also, if I’m at a loss for words, or struggling to come up with a caption, I browse through them so I can select which one I feel most like talking about.
Be consistent with your engagement
Another thing that seems to be very important when it comes to growing a popular Instagram account is to be a regular commenter on other peoples posts. There are about 20-30 accounts on whose posts I comment and engage on an almost daily basis. Apart from that, I make sure I at least hit the like button on a daily basis. More importantly, I make sure to reply to all comments on my posts as soon as possible. This level of engagement is vital for building a brilliant Bookstagram account.
Adapt and change your content over time
If you have been on Bookstagram even for a short amount of time, you will notice accounts popping up for a brief period of time who will get amazing engagement and then, although they are still posting equally good content, their engagement may begin to dwindle. I think it’s important to gauge our own content once in a while because even though something might work very well now, over time it can lose its shine for our followers. So, trying new styles and types of pictures can be a really good idea for your account. My most recent change for A Guy with the Book is that I’m trying to incorporate journaling to it. A few months ago, I had a series of smoothie bowl posts. But my consistent companion will always be a cup of coffee, sorry but no engagement related tactic can keep me away from my daily caffeine hit!
Make it easy for people to engage
My favourite tip for growing engagement is to make it easy for people to engage, a lot of times. I noticed that while I might absolutely love a picture or caption I’m sometimes at a loss for what to comment. I do not want to always comment something generic like “that’s a lovely shot!” and I figured that the best way to ensure that others don’t feel like that on my posts too is to ask specific questions. I make sure to ask questions and I usually start the question part of my caption with an emoji so its easier to find for those who don’t have time to read the whole thing; if you follow me you probably already know what I’m talking about. The point being, make your posts easy to engage with and most importantly, have fun and Happy Reading!
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5 comments on “How to Build Your Bookstagram”
Thanks for this, I’m in the process of trying to build my bookstagram in order to support my new blog and this post was really helpful and interesting!
Glad you find it useful Brooklynne! xo
This is really helpful. I recently joined the bookstagram community and thought I was doing fine at slowly building a following and meeting other book lovers. Then last night I had drinks with a neighbor whose grandchildren are the same age as my kids. Turns out her IG feed about her dog Hank has more than 29k followers. So crazy.
Thanks for stopping by Kaitlin. I’m sure you’re doing a great job at building a community; Instagram is a great place for meeting other book lovers. That’s hilarious about your friend’s dog Hank! xo