Facebook Fan Drive Spreads the IndieBound Message

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The IndieBound movement is growing ... in bookstores and other independent retailers nationwide, online at IndieBound.org, and now on the social networking site Facebook. The IndieBound Facebook profile provides free and easy marketing to a demographic that's typically hard to reach. And now you can help spread the indie message on Facebook by becoming a fan, and sharing IndieBound with others. Just this week, ABA Chief Marketing Officer Meg Smith and IndieBound Outreach Liaison Paige Poe set a challenge: 10,000 fans by January 1, 2009.

"The IndieBound Facebook page is all about promoting the IB community and website to an audience that may not necessarily discover IndieBound.org on their own," said Paige Poe. "It's a great way to network between groups of friends, people who are fans of other bookstores on Facebook, people who list books or independent bookstores as an interest, and people who are involved in the Independent Booksellers cause, and fans of ABFFE, Friends of Indie Bookstore USA, and IBNYC, among other independent bookstore groups."

Despite Facebook's reputation for being a 20-somethings and under site, the IB Facebook's "primary audience is people in the 25 - 44 age range, and is overwhelmingly female," explained Poe. And fans aren't exclusively booksellers. "We do have fans that are booksellers or in the book industry, but the overwhelming majority are just people who get it, who think IndieBound is cool and support the message," she said. "It's a great way to reach out to new people, especially since the IB.org community offers similar functionality to Facebook with the added benefit of a focus on independent stores."

Many booksellers are already using Facebook in a variety of ways. Bookstores that have created a Facebook profile can link to IB Facebook, post photos of their shops to the Fan Photos section, and write on the IB Facebook Wall (a comments section). When individual stores appear on the Facebook page, it gives them exposure to fans of the movement.

Poe updates the page regularly. She send notes to fans about new features on IB.org, posts new pictures and videos, adds applications that gives fans access to more IB stuff, including Twitter feeds and an RSS feed reader that displays the Indie Next List each month. Also, IB Facebook links to the Indie Bookstore Finder right on the profile, so people can find a bookstore immediately.

"The more fans we have on Facebook, the more people will discover the IndieBound message," Poe said. "Tell everyone you know. It only takes a second, but the impression you make could change someone's shopping habits -- forever."

To create a Facebook profile, visit Facebook.com. To become a fan of IndieBound, visit the IB profile and click "become a fan." --Karen Schechner