Social Media Marketing for Publishers Workshop [REPORT]

Annette Rusling
This is a guest post from Annette Rusling, who is Editorial Assistant for Caterpillar books. Excitedly navigating her way through the world of children’s book publishing, Annette’s work allows her to never grow up, while reminding her of her adulthood every time the alarm rings before 7am.
Annette was the winner of BookMachine’s June prize draw,a ticket to Jon Reed’s Social Media Marketing for Publishers Workshop.


Last Friday, courtesy of the good people of BookMachine, I enjoyed a much shorter commute in order to attend a workshop on social media marketing for publishers. The workshop was run by Jon Reed of Publishing Talk, the authority on ‘mashing up publishing and social media’.



We began the day with the usual introductions. I was the only attendee from an editorial background, which was interesting as one of the main concerns expressed during the workshop was how much resource to devote to developing an effective social media presence. One way of getting around this is to share the responsibility between departments. This also has the added advantage of making use of everyone’s skill sets. It was also interesting to note that, despite all the attendees being from publishers of very different material and of very different sizes, most of what we learned was applicable to everyone. Social media’s inclusivity extends to organisations as well as the communities they are trying to reach.


Read the Program

The workshop was divided between looking at social media as a whole and how it can change and complement the way marketing messages are disseminated, examining the specific tools and how to get the best from them, and looking at strategy. We were given some great insight and a few excellent sound bites (from megaphone marketing – shouting your message indiscriminately – to Martini marketing – any time, any place, anywhere. Although, admittedly, any social media marketing might struggle to reach the glamour of the ad campaign the latter refers to!)


Act 1

The day was packed full of information, I would recommend it to anyone who is looking to implement social media marketing from scratch, or looking to make the most of the channels they are already using. One of the key messages I took from the day was to ensure that your social media includes ‘calls to action’. Once you have established connections with your communities of interest, you have to decide what you want them to do. Your call to action could be as simple as getting your audience to sign up to an email distribution list, for example.


Act 2 and the Final Curtain Call

Another important message is to ensure content is appropriate to the channel you are using. People expect to receive sales information in an email, but it can alienate on Twitter. People generally do not want to read blogs that go on and on either, so I think it is time for me to offer my thanks again to BookMachine and say goodbye. To end on a call to action – have look at Publishing Talk and check out the publications on social media marketing that Jon has produced!

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