What I Have Learned So Far on Bookstagram; Pt. 3: Tags

Posted June 26, 2020 by Amber in Bookish Things / 0 Comments


Good morning everyone and happy Friday!

Today is part three of my “What I’ve Learned on Bookstagram” series.  As I’ve noted in the previous two posts, I am by no means an Instagram expert.  There are beautiful feeds out there with tens of thousands of followers and I bow to them.  But I do think I’ve found myself in a comfortable groove, and I wanted to share some tips and tricks that I have found helpful.

Today, I want to talk about tagging.  This is different from hashtagging, which is also important and I’ll talk about next week.

There are a few different reasons to tag someone in your bookstagram post.

#1. Linking to your engagement group

Last week, I spoke about how engagement groups had helped in my our bookstagram evolution.  One of the most important things you want to do as part of an engagement group it to make sure you tag that engagedment group.  This assures that your post is easy to find for other members of the group.  Failure to tag means that you’re not technically posting it for that group, so you shouldn’t expect any likes/comments on the post driven by that group.

Of course, as I mentioned last week, it’s important to follow the rules of your engagement group.  You don’t want to tag something that breaks those rules.  For example, this engagement group does not allow S4S posts or rep searches, and asks that every post is related to a book or reading/bookish life in general.  For me, this means when I’m posting my #FunkoFriday photos, I need to make sure it’s a bookish character or that I’m relating the post to books somehow in the caption, otherwise, I shouldn’t be tagging them.

#2. Book Tags

Oh yeah, just like here in the blogosphere, book tags are popular on bookstagram.  These appear in a couple different evolutions – small, quick ones in stories and more in-depth ones in posts.  You can tag people in the caption (like I did here with @bookdragon) or you can tag them more subtly right in the image (as I did with the folks I was tagging).  For those who may not use instagram so often, I do want to assure you that this garish tagging boxes don’t appear on the images unless you tap once (mobile) or click the little person in the bottom right (desktop).

I use the embedded image tagging a lore more than tagging in the caption.  However.  When you are interacting in the community and having a conversation in the comments, instagram auto-inserts that reply tag for you.  Tags are super important to catch someone’s attention.

#3. Linking Back To Creators

I try and always make sure I tag creators and small biz in my posts, when their items appear in the image.  There’s a few reasons for this:

  1. You never know when one of these creators will like your image and repost it on their own feed, giving you a greater audience.  Who knows – it may bring a couple followers your way!
  2. If someone likes the product, it’s nice to know where it came from so they can get their own!
  3. If you like the product, it’s good to give them a little publicity, regardless of whether or not you’re a rep.
  4. If you are a rep, you want the company to see you’re keeping up your side of the agreement.
  5. I’m sure they like to see their products out there in the world.

For the record from the above image – the businesses tagged here (OwlCrate, Flick the Wick, and Ink & Wonder Designs) are all three wonderful companies and I highly recommend all of them.  Also that magnetic is still available in OwlCrate’s shop?  I have mine on my fridge still.

Okay, okay.  Product plugs aside, lets keep going.

#4. Linking Back to Authors and Publishers

This one may not pay off as far as engagement, but it’s a wonderful way of interacting in the community and sometimes you may just get a repost.  And if you’re like me, that’s an exhilarating feelings and I’m always so grateful when it happens.

The above post was shared by Emily X. R. Pan in her stories and it absolutely warmed my heart.  I genuinely loved her book as well as that pre-order goodie art print, so being able to connect with her was lovely.  If you haven’t read The Astonishing Color of After yet, I wholeheartedly recommend it.  Also, she’s one of my favorite authors to follow on Instagram because of her honesty and activism – I recommend giving her a follow.

These are the four types of people and reasons I use tags in my bookstagram posts, and the reasons why I do it.  Tagging wasn’t something that I did when I started out (I actually found a gorgeous unboxing photo when searching for examples in this post and I tagged zero creators, ack!).  I learned to do this in looking at other bookstagram pages – especially those really popular ones – and looking at the sorts of things they did with their posts beyond the picture itself.

So far, for me, tagging has been rewarding, so I recommend it!

Next week, I’m going to talk about hashtags.  I use hashtags shamelessly, so I hope that post is interesting or helpful to folks!


Do you tag people when you post on instagram?  Do you think the tagging is too forward?  Spammy?  Let me know your thoughts about tagging and Instagram in the comments!

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