Stay Engaged With Customers on Social Media During the Holidays

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Now more than ever, booksellers should consider increasing their social media presence to reach customers and cultivate community engagement.

According to Coalition Technologies, which led one of the American Booksellers Association’s recent Marketing Meetups, about 45 percent of the global population utilizes social media networks, and 54 percent of those people use social media to research products. Facebook is the most widely used platform.

The company also shared that overall social media usage has increased during the pandemic, with the average engagement with posts per day increasing across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.

Below is a list of general tips for staying engaged on social media, collected from several recent education sessions, including Marketing Meetups on retaining customers, paid social media advertising, and holiday marketing, in addition to a Children’s Institute education session on store voice. Booksellers are also invited to take advantage of ABA’s holiday marketing campaigns, including #BoxedOut and “November is the new December.”

Here are some ideas for engaging on social media:

  • Strategize posts for optimal user engagement. Cultivate a consistent visual aesthetic on Instagram, and be sure to post stories and highlights.
  • On Facebook, be sure your store’s avatar, cover photo, and profile info are complete and contain up-to-date information.
  • Use Twitter to create a steady stream of content throughout the day.
  • When posting on social media, encourage users to take action by asking questions. Engage in trends, conduct interviews, and share user-generated content. Post often to reach customers as much as possible.
  • Consider using paid social media advertising to reach customers. Boost events on Facebook to drive traffic to your website, and create custom audiences for posts to ensure you’re reaching the right customers.
  • When posting to social media, be sure to cultivate a consistent store voice. Tell your store’s story and don’t be afraid to show personality and passion. Remember to keep your store’s community and interests in mind, too.

Here are some other tips to consider throughout this unique holiday season:

  • For the holiday season, post policies regarding in-store browsing and curbside pickup early and often to manage customer expectations.
  • Consider cross-promoting with other local businesses to increase exposure.
  • Create demand by posting live book recommendations and reviews; right now, especially if your store isn’t open to browsing, customers want to see booksellers and the store.
  • Don’t be afraid to email customers often with newsletters focused on events and book recommendations.
  • Use ABA and regional catalogs to promote titles to customers.
  • Stress the necessity of shopping local this holiday season with customers, and communicate challenges with shipping, too.
  • Feature all marketing campaigns and efforts on social media; consider posting behind-the-scenes pictures of your work in-store.