Social Media Spotlight: Socially Active
Many publishers have launched or are launching social media efforts. But, as time will tell, an effective social media strategy requires more than simply setting up a Twitter account or a Facebook page and waiting for followers and fans to flock. When San Francisco-based Chronicle Books launched its social media strategy in March 2009, it did so with specific goals in mind. "The overriding strategy … was to build our community, build audience, raise our brand awareness of Chronicle Books online and start … driving traffic to our site," says Guinevere de la Mare, Chronicle's community manager, who works with the marketing team to spearhead and sustain social media efforts.
In less than a year, Chronicle has seen measurable results. For example, the number of followers to its Twitter page (Twitter.com/ChronicleBooks) has increased from approximately 200 when Chronicle's social media strategy was officially launched in March 2009 (the page was created, but not actively in use, prior to March) to more than 14,000 at press time. "[We have the] second-largest following of a book publisher [on Twitter, behind Penguin Group] based on the sites that I can track," says de la Mare, noting that over the last three months of 2009, the page's fan base had been growing steadily by about 40 percent. "It's been a huge, huge success for us."
Having a Voice
De la Mare credits the Twitter page's success to the types of information she tweets. "One of the things we wanted to be careful about was not using it as strictly a soapbox, one-way, promotional platform—'buy books, buy books, buy books.' We make a real effort to try to engage in communication with people, to jump into topics that are relevant, and contribute our voice to ongoing discussions," she says. "When you're personifying the online presence of the brand for any company, you really need to have a deep and clear understanding of what that brand is and how it should sound, and the types of things that will really resonate with its customers."