Using Social Media to Promote Indies First and Small Business Saturday

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With this year’s Small Business Saturday (November 29) less than a month away, booksellers are encouraged to spread the word about their upcoming Indies First plans and Upstream partnerships on social media, both to publicize their in-store events and to build consumer awareness of the campaign nationwide.

To supplement the free marketing materials provided by American Express/Shop Small, the American Booksellers Association will be posting co-branded content incorporating the Indies First logo into AmEx’s iconic Shop Small designs on its social media platforms for booksellers to share throughout November. The new image files are also available in the Small Business Saturday section of the Bookseller DIY’s Designs & Downloads.

On Facebook, booksellers are encouraged to Like both the Indies First Facebook Page and the American Booksellers Association Facebook Page to receive notifications of sample Indies First posts in their News Feeds, which can then be shared with customers on their store pages. To tag ABA or Indies First in Facebook posts featuring Upstream or planned in-store events, start writing @AmericanBooksellersAssociation or @IndiesFirst without spaces when composing a status update, then select the desired Page from the suggested dropdown. (Stores must first Like any Business Page they wish to tag in a status update, or it may not come up as a tag suggestion.)

On Twitter, booksellers can follow ABA (@ABAbook) and the new dedicated Indies First (@IndiesFirst) account to view sample tweets on their homepages. In the weeks leading up to November 29, ABA will use the hashtags #IndiesFirst and #SmallBizSat to tweet daily Indies First updates for store staff as well as content that can be retweeted directly to store followers. Booksellers may alter tweets to taste or compose variations that more specifically represent their individual stores by promoting their upcoming Indies First events and letting their own followers — customers, authors, and illustrators alike — know how they can participate in the planned events of the day.

Booksellers who have yet to add their store activities and Upstream partnerships to the Indies First Publicity Map may do so here, and they should follow up on social media by posting or tweeting the map’s URL to let customers in on their local options. Consumers, authors, press, and industry all look to the Indies First Publicity Map — the only public resource that represents scheduled Indies First events across the country — to evaluate the campaign’s nationwide success and popularity at a glance. It is vital that stores participating in Indies First register their event(s) to populate the map so that it can accurately reflect the strength of this growing program.

ABA will share all content posted with the above tags and will circulate relevant posts and tweets from Upstream originator Daniel Handler and Indies First spokespeople Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer. Booksellers may likewise include the handles @IndiesFirst, @amandapalmer, and @neilhimself along with the hashtag #IndiesFirst to be retweeted.

Booksellers are welcome to e-mail with any updates, in addition to tagging ABA on social media with any new Indies First stories. Stay tuned to Bookselling This Week, Facebook, and Twitter for more Indies First updates in the days and weeks leading up to Small Business Saturday.