Due to the recent Book Week celebrations I discovered that my Cheer Chick Charlie readers are on Instagram. While this shouldn't surprise me, it totally surprised me. I mean, these kid are 8!
Here I was creating an Instagram feed to attract parents into buying the books when all along I should have been creating a feed that allowed the children to get direct access to the author.
Cue "aha moment".
It's taken me a long time to work out how to promote Cheer Chick Charlie effectively.
I've tried Facebook ads, magazine articles, press releases, book reviews. All the things I am meant to do to tug on the adults purse strings.
When all along I had this amazing tool that could reach the kids directly which in turn had them tugging on their parent's purse strings.
I guess I didn't realise just how many children in the Charlie age range were on social media.
Book Week changed all of that. Between the kids and their parents I had photos flying at me from all over Australia of children dressed as Charlie.
By then asking their parent's permission to reshare and make these kids a star for the day my Instagram followers grew by a third in just two weeks. Which in turn has allowed me to share my author life with even more fans. Plus it increased my website sales dramatically.
You see, the key point here is that previously I'd been trying to promote my product to adults. When in actual fact, I should have been promoting myself to the kids.
Fact: Children want to connect with authors.
- It's not the product that elicits engagement. It's the person behind the product.
- It's not the chief financial officer who wants my books. It's their kids.
That all seems straight forward enough, but because my audience is children it's taken me this long to understand it. I finally figured it out.
Fact: Children between the ages of 8 and 12 use Instagram. It's their social media tool of choice. It's the app they use alongside their parents to increase bonds and share a connection with the outside world.
My Instagram following is by no means huge (I'm still under a thousand) but there is growth, increased interest, book sales and (most importantly) ENGAGEMENT.
I have children and their parents contacting me with testimonials, questions and comments. Everything I'd been hoping for via other promotional avenues but failed to achieve.
My Instagram followers are growing daily. Momentum is increasing.
With a bit of luck this interest is now transferring to bookshops to increase book sales on the ground as well.
So now I am revising my Instagram goals, creating all new content, testing new growth tactics and starting to take note of my analytics.
I'm devising competition ideas, creating an "Instagram Stories" schedule, looking at ways to collaborate with others, working on my aesthetics and tapping into as many ideas as possible to keep children interested in my little Cheerleader.
This sudden burst of Instagram energy is exciting. I've finally found a medium which is showing a glimmer of possibility.
If you're a children's book author directing your product at primary aged kids, then look at Instagram. It could well be your new best friend.
As Charlie says: "What may not seem possible today, could be possible tomorrow."
As an author, I think tomorrow is looking bright.
Are you a children's book author?
Are you using Instagram?
Want to be insta-friends?