3 Ways Publishers Can Improve Their Social Media Strategy
Yesterday I read a great post by Jane Friedman, advisor to authors on all things publishing, that had some helpful tips for authors trying to attract a wider audience on social media. You can read the full post here, but I thought I'd share some quick takeaways that publishers can use to improve their social media efforts.
I'd also like to note that we'll be addressing some of these social media challenges -- engaging readers on social media in a meaningful way and building a fan base -- at our free event Book Business Live: Executive Summit on Digital Publishing on March 31st in NYC. One of the day's panels will feature executives from Rodale Books, Hachette, and The Perseus Books Group and they will discuss how publishers can successfully implement a variety of direct-to-consumer marketing strategies, social media marketing being one of them.
Contact publisher Matt Steinmetz to secure your spot at this free, invite-only event: firstname.lastname@example.org
Now for the takeaways. . .
1. Be a helpful member of your social community. Friedman writes, "You don't 'own' or control a community, and you don't necessarily build one either. You do participate in one, or engage with one." I couldn't agree more. Publishers need to add something helpful or interesting to social media conversations. On Pinterest, publishers can share book or author quotes in a graphically interesting way. And on Twitter, publishers can promote author account takeovers where authors and readers can chat directly. This type of dialog can help publishers become a valued source of information, inspiration, or entertainment.
2. You already have useful content. Friedman emphasizes that social media is creative work. Content such as news pieces, artwork, and stories all lend themselves to various social networks and publishers have that type of content in abundance. Publishers can share book teasers like cover mock-ups or chapter releases. They can build enthusiasm for a new launch by sharing author interviews, images from a book tour, or the latest book reviews. This type of content marketing is a simple extension of what authors and publishers already do.
3. Having a relationship with your readers is invaluable. Friedman also points out that the more readers authors have in their network, the more freedom they have to contact those readers without the help of a third party. The same is true for publishers. Once readers interact with an author, imprint, or publishing brand, publishers have a direct line to that reader and are less reliant on the Amazon's or Barnes & Noble's of the world to promote their titles. HarperCollins, for example, recently began selling Insurgent via Twitter. This type of initiative works because both HarperCollins and Insurgent are trusted brands with robust social followings. Having the foundation of a strong social media platform unlocks greater sales and marketing opportunities for publishers.
You can gather more marketing tips at the Executive Summit on Digital Publishing, where we'll be hosting an expert panel titled, "Bookselling Reinvented: How Boosting Discoverability, Experimenting with D2C, and Analytics-Driven Marketing Can Drive Sales." Our panelists will share examples of successful digital era marketing campaigns they've launched and provide practical advice for publishers hoping to create similar initiatives. Panelists include Mary Ann Naples, SVP and publisher at Rodale Books, Rick Joyce, CMO at The Perseus Books Group, and Heather Fain, SVP and director of Marketing Strategy at Hachette.