How Can Publishers Successfully Use Social Media to Sell Books?
As an author of Internet-marketing books and the former Web editor for Chelsea Green Publishing, Jesse S. McDougall knows a bit about using the Internet—and specifically, social media marketing—to sell books.
McDougall now runs White River Junction, Vt.-based Catalyst Webworks—a Web production and marketing firm—and much of what the “Start Your Own Blogging Business” author teaches clients is what he helped to pioneer at Chelsea Green.
On Thursday, Oct. 29, McDougall will serve as a panelist on the on-demand webinar, “Social Media Strategies That Sell Books,” part of the Publishing Business Virtual Conference & Expo: Digital Content Day @ Your Desk . Here, he gives Book Business Extra a sneak preview of what virtual conference attendees will learn:
Book Business Extra: Many marketers criticize social media as not having proven, measurable sales results. How can publishers track whether their social media efforts are working?
Jesse S. McDougall: ... When I was with Chelsea Green, what we kept an eye on was the Amazon sales rank for the day. So if we had a promotional effort for one of our books on, let's say, Facebook and Twitter, … we would make a note of the sales rank in the morning and then the sales rank after [the] promotion. Obviously, that's not a perfect indicator, because ... people buy books from a wider range of [retailers].
... We also watched our own Web site's traffic. ... If it was a direct link from Facebook or Twitter or YouTube right back to us, and they purchased the book, we could track that. ... When we would send a link out in any of these promotions, ... the strategy that we had was [that] all this content we promote has a link back to a specific page on our site. And so as this content traveled out through these social media networks, we could track that link and where people were finding it. ... We watched all online channels. ... From the time that [Chelsea Green] launched [its] new social media platform strategy to, I think, something like six to eight months later, we'd seen our Web traffic double. And a year later, we'd seen online sales go up by 30 percent. ... We ... attributed the boost in sales largely to this new social media strategy.