On Thursday, July 1, the American Booksellers Association held the first in a five-part social media series (a merging of its Marketing and Technology Meetups), with this session focusing on “Need-to-Knows and Best Practices.”
Guest speakers included:
- Isis Asare, Sistah Scifi (online)
- Christina Ciampa, All She Wrote Books (Somerville, MA)
- Claire Phelan, Third Place Books (locations in Washington)
Here are some of the key points from the session:
- When starting out with social media marketing, set goals for your store. Do you want to build a community online or a more dedicated following? Do you want to use it to boost sales this year? Setting goals can help you come up with content.
- Stay organized with a social media calendar that plans out posts for each specific platform and when you want to run them. Scheduling services like Hootsuite can also streamline the posting process.
- Use each platform to target different audiences. Tailor content to the demographic that engages the most on each specific platform and post on a regular basis.
- Facebook, for example, is useful for reaching local audiences, which makes it an ideal choice for promoting events. Facebook also has a Groups option that allows users to join groups based on specific topics and niches, like book clubs or sci-fi/fantasy books, which can help you foster community online.
- When posting, think of social media as a two-way conversation. Respond to comments, repost from other users, and engage as much as possible.
- Across platforms, tag authors and publishers as much as possible. This will expand your reach and optimize your social media presence.
The session closed with an extensive Q&A about growing a following, crossposting content, and more. Booksellers can view a recording of the session and access handouts on the Education Resources page on BookWeb.org. Handouts include detailed information on each platform as well as top tips from each bookseller.