Are you spending hours taking pictures for your bookstagrams and then hearing crickets when you post them? I have been there and it blows. Big time. When you put tons of work into something and then feel like you’re shouting into the void you feel like you’re colossally wasting your time.
You’ve been asking yourself why. Why is no one liking my bookstagrams?? And how do I get more likes on bookstagram?
You’re not using hashtags.
Hashtags are one of the most powerful features of Instagram and really all social media outlets today. It’s the way people discover you. Hashtags have made social media somewhat of a search engine. It allows us to bring together similar ideas and curate amazing content for people to scroll through.
At the very least you should be using #bookstagram. But I recommend you use around 10 hashtags per photo. I promise it’s not too much and your followers will not be turned off by it. That is a completely normal number of hashtags for Instagram. Some of the most popular hashtags I use regularly are #bookstagram #booklove #bookish #bookstagrammer #bookobsessed and #instabook.
Psst… if you want a full list of the hashtags I use you can download it in this post.
If you’re just posting a picture with no hashtags you are missing out on the potential for hundreds of likes. Yes, I said hundreds. Now, don’t expect to get hundreds of likes the first time you put some hashtags in a photo. These things take time. And there’s more to the bookstagram life than just hashtags. But without them, I can pretty much guarantee you won’t make much traction.
You’re not participating in challenges.
Photo challenges have been key for the growth of my own bookstagram account. A photo challenge (for those new to this) is when an awesome bookstagrammer puts together a set of photo prompts – usually for the entire month – creates a cute hashtag to go with it and posts said prompts to their account. Other people then look at the challenge and post pictures based on the prompts, utilizing the hashtag in their captions. This pulls people together and helps to grow a fun community.
Challenges are how I’ve met many of bookstagramming friends like @bookishventures and @bookswrotemystory. I usually spend some time scrolling through the hashtag on whatever challenge I’m participating in and I have discovered so many amazing accounts this way.
My personal favorite challenge is the #lilbookish challenge hosted by @lisa_lostinlit and @lostinlit_becca. They did it every month and the hashtag just changes to #lilbookish[insert whatever they choose for the month here]. There are tons of participants which makes it a great way to get your name out there and get to know some other bookstagrammers. I highly encourage you to participate.
And it’s always good to find new challenges as well to meet even more bookstagrammers. If you have the time, I would even participate in 2-3 challenges. I did it for a few months and definitely saw a bigger increase in engagement and following, but time is hard to come by so now I just stick to one challenge a month.
You’re not being social.
Instagram is a social media outlet. Social being the keyword here. You can’t just post a picture every day, walk away and expect your account to grow. It doesn’t work that way. You have to work for it! You have to network. It’s just like real life. The best way to get a job in real life or get a promotion is to network. Talk to people. Grab their attention. Make them like you.
It’s the same concept for bookstagram. You get what you give. Browse the hashtag of the challenge you’re participating and start double tapping those photos. I spend about 10 minutes every day (which is pretty much nothing) scrolling through various hashtags and liking photos. I also will look at accounts when a photo really catches my eye. If I like what I see I click that pretty blue follow button.
And guess what? It works. If you’re a blogger, I’m sure you’ve heard that in order to grow your blog and get more comments you need to go visit other blogs and comment. It works the same for bookstagram. If you consistently like and comment on other people’s photos, they will return the favor. And you’ll start to form relationships and make friends which is really what bookstagram is all about isn’t it?
However – don’t follow just for the sake of following. Nothing drives me crazier than comments on my bookstagram posts that just say F4F? Which means follow for follow. Don’t ever fall for that. People who do that will follow a bunch of people for the sake of following and then unfollow everyone about a week later.
You need to be leaving meaningful comments on peoples’ photos. And following people you truly want to follow. My #1 rule for all social media and online presence is to be genuine. Don’t be fake. People will know.
Now you know why no one is liking your bookstagrams. And you can get to work improving your account today. I created a worksheet for you to help you plan out your bookstagrams for the month. You can download it by filling out the form below. Enjoy!
What things have you learned from your bookstagram experience? What works for you and what doesn’t?