I've heard the term "Instasite" frequent marketing spheres for the last couple of months, and the more I've paid attention to what those look like, the more intrigued I have become about whether or not I should give one a try.
The philosophy is this: Rather than use Instagram the way it's been used historically (to post a series of pretty pictures with captions), adjust your approach so that you're treating it as an extension of your website. Analytics suggest that while TikTok is clearly the most active social media platform as of right now, consumers are still more likely to look figures and businesses up on Instagram first — even before their personal website. So, why not curate an Instagram grid that not only is aesthetically appealing and informative, but that deliberately redirects its viewers to your website, where you're more likely to sell copies of your book? I've been experimenting with Instagram for the last month or so and have found a few things to be true: First and most importantly, Instagram Reels get more engagement and exposure than TikTok videos do now. And as one would expect, Instagram's grid posts and stories are forever neglected by the algorithm. Are they still worth posting? I think so, but only if you're curating grid posts in a way that follows the philosophy of an Instasite — meaning, every grid post should be made to act like a gift that keeps on giving. Because the algorithm no longer favors grid posts, the only time they'll be properly seen is if somebody has the agency to find you on Instagram and scroll independently through those posts. So, what sort of information could you publish there that will be forever applicable? The sort of information that is just as valuable now as it will be in a year? The obvious answer is that any post redirecting readers to your website or newsletter is the sort of post that'll act as a gift that keeps on giving. The cool thing? You really only need ten to twenty of these grid posts in total. To ensure they're always visible to people scrolling your page, keep Reels (which you should be active on as regularly as possible) off your grid page, and therefore out of sight. Whenever one of your ten to twenty Instasite grid posts are all of a sudden relevant, share that via your stories to regain traction on that post. So, for example, let's say that you're looking to promote your newsletter — you'd pull up one of the few posts on your grid that advertise your newsletter and simply share it on your stories (or even delete the original iteration of the post and repost it altogether). I know all of this sounds sort of ridiculous and overcomplicated. Trust me, I get that. But with social media being a necessary evil in our pursuit of success in publishing, these are the sorts of trends that I think are important to at least know about. And hey, what do we have to lose in trying something like this on for size? Especially when this requires less work that posting on your grid daily, pulling captions out of your ass that everybody knows are captions you've pulled out of your ass. I, for one, will be giving this more of a concerted effort — and I'll report back later on if I see any definitive upticks in my website's activity.