Tag: instagram

Flat Design

Flat design, the view from my sun lounger, and the power of colour: tools to revitalise publishing design

Suzanne Kavanagh is a strategic market specialist and programme curator working with BookMachine Works and the BookMachine community. She worked with Sophie O’Rourke, our Editorial Board member to curate the BookMachine Unplugged: Talking Design event.

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Stop trying to go viral

Norah Myers is a freelance publishing consultant for BookMachine. She is currently writing a business book for a marketing company, practising Pilates, and eating too much flourless chocolate cake (and it shows). Her Twitter and Instagram handles are the same: @bookish_norah.

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Using social media to find new clients

How to start?

You have a Twitter account, are active on Facebook, have a LinkedIn presence and a website, but you need these to work for you. We all face the difficult task of finding new clients, but marketing via social media can make selling your services online much easier. Social media can be a great way of backing up how you engage with prospective clients and lead to lively and informative conversations online, if you have a clear and positive online presence.

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Instagram Brand Building for Writers

Carly Watters is a VP and Senior Literary Agent at P.S. Literary. Here she shares her top tips on Instagram brand-building for us to share with authors.

Instagram is the last major social media frontier for many writers. It’s not new by any means; in fact, readers have been posting pictures of authors’ books since the platform’s inception. But where are those authors and why aren’t they engaging with all of those posts? Why haven’t writers joined Instagram as quickly as readers?

Why should writers join Instagram?

Many writers are reluctant to join Instagram for many reasons: 1) it takes time away from writing 2) it’s another platform to learn (when they were just getting the hang of Twitter!) 3) it’s against many writers’ natural instincts i.e. writers think they aren’t great at taking lovely Instagram-worthy pictures because they’re writers!

I’m here to argue that writers, you CAN be good at Instagram if you think of it like the storytelling platform it is. That’s right, successful Instagram users create a narrative that brings followers into their lives. That’s the key to those people that everyone wants to follow. You’re following their daily journey because they control the narrative they’re telling and reveal it in a compelling way (much like a novel, hint hint!).

For example, you can choose the parts of your life that you bring your followers into. Many successful users focus on certain elements: bringing a pet home, cooking and recipes, home renovations, a fitness journey, travel, and other hobbies.

Also, by combining the daily posts with complementary “Stories” (i.e. The Snapchat of Instagram, which are the circle icons at the top of your app), you can make yourself a destination that people want to visit regularly.

Published writers have an additional digital marketing responsibility: finding brand ambassadors

You need to engage with your readers. Sometimes they’ll tag you and sometimes they won’t, but search your hashtags (your name, your book’s name, your publisher’s feed etc.) and comment on readers’ posts, follow them, re-post their lovely pictures (which saves you from having to take your own), and make sure they want to pre-order your next. Early fans can become passionate brand ambassadors. They’re out there reading your work so make sure you welcome them into your fold and authentically appreciate the work they’re doing to spread the word of mouth on social media.

(One thing to avoid: talking too much about a work in progress. Unless you’re a multi-published author with a big fan base that’s craving a sneak peek it’s going to be lost on people. Focus on those tried and true Instagram hobby topics instead.)

What Hashtags Should You Use? Try some of these:

  • #WritersofInstagram
  • #Bookstagram
  • #Booklover
  • #Bookworm
  • #BooksandBeans (for books and coffee)
  • #PupsandBooks (for books and dogs)
  • #Booknerd
  • #VSCObooks
  • #Instareads
  • #IgReads
  • And don’t forget the hashtags of writers you’re reading, publishers, book titles and locations you’re reading in.

Follow Carly on Instagram at @carlywatters.

Snapchat: A summary report for publishers

Sarah Garnham is a Publicity Assistant at Ebury. Here’s her summary report of Snapchat for publishers, looking at the publicity opportunities it offers, and when to use them. 

Statistics

Although a number of these statistics are out of date or estimated (mainly because Snapchat doesn’t often reveal exact figures), it is clear that Snapchat is an incredibly popular app and user platform, particularly with younger target audiences.

Key Areas

Stories

Stories are a really good way of updating our users with new news and updates and the recent addition of an auto-play function means that when they are checking their friends’ everything plays through. This is a delicate balance of making sure the snap is relevant and frequent (but not too frequent). Special events with big lead-ups can be very good if you know you’ll be posting a longer story on a different day as this way you won’t annoy too many people and can build the hype. PRH Careers did this prior to their long “follow me” stories for The Scheme where you got to follow an editor/assistant/manager for a day.

Discover

Discover seems to be a much more costly way of advertising as big companies such as BuzzFeed and The Sun use it. It’s a daily update from either a news/food/entertainment source and tends to contain about 10-30 snaps, videos and challenges.

This function continues to gain in popularity with media outlets and could lend itself really well to publishing; however this would be an expensive task. You can however buy ad space in this feature, the price of which can be negotiated with that particular discover partner. This means that they can earn money back, and you can save money as it could work out much cheaper than advertising in between stories.

Live

Streamed from viral events, including the London location which is likely to be the most likely place where an event might get featured. However advertisers can buy time in between these which might be a possible way to advertise if you wanted to do so (although these can be skipped).

At a larger event e.g. BAFTAs, new stories are created, with fans and those attending able to add images and videos to the story. One idea might be to try and get featured at bigger events e.g. Summer in the City as these will almost definitely have a Live feature or at the very least be included on the London stories function. In combination with a filter, this could be really popular.

Filters

Geofilters are digital graphics that layer on top of images or videos and are specific to a location. Often if enough of these are shared to do with certain events or simply as part of the ‘Our London Story’ function in a single day, then they can get featured and seen by many more people.

There are two main ways in which a Geofilter could be utilised. Firstly is if an artist or designer submitted one and this was chosen by Snapchat. No brand logos are allowed, but this option is free. However this wouldn’t be particularly useful as it is likely that the location would only be the office, so generally used by staff. However visiting authors give it the potential to be seen by more people.

The second way, which would probably be a lot more useful is by temporarily purchasing one for a special event e.g. a launch/reading/signing. These can be approved in one business day and start at $5. They can cover a space between 20,000 square feet and 5 million square feet, so would be able to fit the perimeters of a bookshop or venue. These encourage people to share their images and would be particularly useful at large blogger events. (This article goes through the steps of the process: http://techcrunch.com/2016/02/23/how-to-make-snapchat-geofilter/).

Many brands and locations use these, and particularly well designed ones are likely to be further shared on Facebook or Instagram. As this is being proposed to be used for advertising the classics, you could really utilise the different designs of the sets e.g. birds and bees and they have a fun and bright design.

Lenses

These are graphics that fit over a user’s face, sometimes even available for multiple people in the shot. They follow the movement of the face and are often animated, usually when the user opens their mouth.

A recent popular example includes the Cadbury campaign to push individual chocolate bar brands such as Crunchie, Twirl and Wispa. They launched a featured lens that appeared first in the list (before the popular dog lens) which appeared every Friday to tie in with their Friday Feeling campaign. It featured a gold mask which covered the whole face, music and a feature which rained Crunchie bars across the screen and said either “Give Me That Friday Feeling” or “Obey Your Mouth” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJEGL6Aa3xI).

These are reported to be quite expensive, although they get a lot of traction. The Face Swap lens offers a way of utilising this function for free although you would have to promote it elsewhere.

Instagram Stories

On the 2nd of August, Instagram launched ‘Instagram Stories’, essentially a direct copy of ‘Snapchat Stories’. This allows users to post photos and videos, overlay these with words, emojis and a drawing function. The photos and videos disappear after 24 hours and don’t appear in you feed. If you tap on someone else’s picture you can send them a DM about it and you can also make your story private so no one, not even your followers, can see it. You can see who has viewed your story by opening it and swiping up on the screen, you can see the number and the name and these statistics are private. It also offers an easy way to share a picture/video from your feed into your story using the (…) function. You can also download the images to your phone, much like snapchat.

Pros

  • More things on one channel = build audience.
  • More drawing options e.g. neon and calligraphy pens and custom colour control.
  • You can pause the screen and go back and forth between images.

Cons

  • Missing a lot of Snapchat’s key features e.g. location, lenses, custom sticker emojis
  • Can’t add old content.
  • Can’t see who has screenshotted content.
  • Can’t save a whole day’s content in one go.

Full list of differences and similarities here: https://techcrunch.com/2016/08/02/instagram-stories/

social media

4 tips for growing your social media following

Social media is becoming one of the greatest assets you can use to grow your business. As a social media fiend, I’m particularly fond of using an online platform for recommending books to readers – I am here for great stories and even greater conversations about said stories.

If you’d like to grow your social media presence, here are some tips for doing so:

1) Figure out what you want to give to your audience

Are you going to be promoting your business? Promoting your personal life as a lifestyle blogger? Whatever way you use social media, know who you’re targeting and work with your audience. That’s not to say “give the people what they want!” but it’s more of an “if Instagram works because your product is better received visually, know that your audience is going to be more open to what you’re selling!”

2) Be authentic

I can’t stress this one enough. If you are passionate about what you’re putting out there, it will show and people tend to appreciate honesty and transparency.

3) Be creative

Come up with interesting ideas on how to use your social platforms – I’ve noticed that Twitter is for quick news, Instagram is for aesthetics, and Facebook is for lengthy news. Create content that you can use across all these platforms in unique ways.

4) Interact with your community members

It’s so important to not only have a voice in whatever online community you are joining, but to also listen to other voices in that community. Create conversation, make connections with others, and have fun doing it. Social media is meant to be social – in my case, I’m a book blogger who loves to talk about books, but I’m a reader first. I’m on the same level as all of the other readers who follow me – it’s important to remember that!

Natasha Minoso is a Penguin by day and a book blogger 24/7. She’s here to recommend you hot drinks and hotter reads. You can find her living on Instagram @bookbaristas.

Thanks to Norah Myers for sourcing this guest post.

 

10 things we learned about omnichannel selling at #Quantum16

Matthew Walsh (Retail Membership Manager, IMRG), Kieron Smith (Digital Director, Blackwells) and Matt Haslum (Consumer Marketing Director, Faber and Faber) formed the panel discussing omnichannel selling at the Quantum conference on Monday. Here are our top 10 takeaway points from the talk.

How consumers spend

1) 27% of retail spending goes online.

2) Tracking a single customer’s path to purchase is the holy grail. E.g. being able to track when they browse on their phone or tablet and then make a purchase in store, or vice versa.

3) 32% of online sales are coming from smart phones and 19% from tablets, and sales from tablets are increasing. Beacons in stores register your smart phone, know what you’ve previously searched for, and send you a voucher based on that search when you walk into the shop. Though, this is not something booksellers are currently adopting for their customers.

Channels

4) Each channel has its own strengths and weaknesses, and different customers need different experiences. Better customer service is available in store, but it’s easier to search for products and there are more options online.

5) Because of complex supply chain, the challenge for booksellers is delivery. All channels are currently too slow to meet customer demands.

6) Email is a vital channel for online retailers, accounting for 12% of the revenue. This has doubled over the last four years (from 6% in 2011), which is largely down to smartphones. But effective campaigns rely on having amassed are large number of subscribers from which you can segment and target appropriately.

Social Media

7) Social media contributes less than 1% (0.3%) of a retailer’s revenue. It should be viewed as an additional marketing method, not a revenue stream. Social media is the modern day equivalent of a shop window: just because the consumer may not buy immediately, it doesn’t mean that they won’t return or buy the product elsewhere.

8) Consumers use social media to raise problems and ask questions – it’s a customer service channel and should be viewed as an extension of the bookselling service.

9)Think about your market and the channels they use. For example, students don’t tend to use email anymore and are instead on  Yik Yak, Facebook and WhatsApp.

10) These channels are constantly shifting and you need to be there to reach them. Pinterest is soon to have transaction facilities and Instagram is an increasingly important tool for retailers. While direct revenue is currently minimal, social media is likely to become an effective last click tool.

grow traffic

5 tips for growing traffic and engagement for your content

Getting a new blog or social media platform noticed can be difficult. It is important that you are effective and systematic when you engage with the publishing community. Follow this step by step guide to get you closer to your target audience and increase traffic to, and engagement with, your content.

1) Follow big influences

Image credit: @demelzagriff95

Big names in the publishing world won’t necessarily follow you back but repeated, and meaningful, engagement with their content will eventually get you noticed. You need to get your name and brand out there for people to come to you. Start with @samatlounge, @jobsinbooks @publicitybooks and @SamEades.

2) Network

Finding like-minded bloggers is half the battle, but next you need to engage with them to form relationships. The beauty of the internet is that you can meet new people without even needing to attend industry events. Make sure you follow, like and comment on content written by similar bloggers on your platform. Engagement is what you want, so you need to reach others first. Why not offer to host a guest post to advertise their blog? Many bloggers are happy to reciprocate.

3) Don’t hashtag randomly

Hashtags are one of the best way for similar people to find your account. Whether you’re using Twitter or Instagram, make sure you are taking notice of the official and trending hashtags that the majority of people are using. Don’t exclude yourself from the conversation by simply using the a less popular ones. Both Twitter and Instagram have useful features to highlight the most commonly used hashtags. Instagram can even tell you exactly how many posts have used a certain hashtag.

4) Think outside the box

There are thousands of sub genres of book that your blog or social media platform may cover. Once you’ve followed big names in publishing and started networking with similar bloggers, it’s time to get specific. If you aren’t writing about YA, there isn’t always a well-established community to join. It’s time think creatively. Are you writing about politics? Follow journalists or relevant magazines. Writing about lifestyle books? Follow beauty, health and cookery accounts. Search Facebook for relevant groups and events.

5) Create your own community

If you are still struggling to engage in your online community, there is a chance that there isn’t an established community already online. Why not start your own? Creating a Facebook group or blogging hours on Twitter are a great way to bring like-minded people together.

 

demelza griffithsDemelza Griffiths is an English Literature finalist and social media enthusiast who can’t wait to escape the ivory towers of university to seek a career in book publicity. Her blog, Books feat. Politics covers the latest and greatest in political non-fiction and literary fiction. Find her on Twitter, Instagram and WordPress.

Feature Image Credit: mkhmarketing, CC License

 

The power of visual design: How to make your blog stand out

You’ve got a blog. You’ve got Twitter. You post regularly. But how do you stand out?

Almost everyone in publishing is sharing online content but, without a loyal following, posting blog articles and tweets can feel like shouting into the void.

Luckily, there is one majorly underappreciated weapon in your social media arsenal – visual design.

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Reading via Snapchat? Social media updates you need to know

Social media is always evolving, and that’s why I like it. If you don’t keep up with the latest updates, you’ll get mired in old ways that worked six months ago but have since bit the proverbial dust.

Here are recent changes from 5 of the big players.

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publishing

The impact of Instagrammed selfies on publishing

In the run up to BookMachine Week (23 – 27th February), we have been thinking about images and publishing.

On a typical day you probably gaze over hundreds, perhaps thousands of images. It’s pretty standard to start the day by watching TV, reading a paper or switching on a phone – images are everywhere. They are used to entertain us and inform us, meanwhile clever advertisers use them to turn our intentions into actions which result in purchases.

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Top 5 digital promo tools: Part 4 – Instagram

One of the biggest reasons that Facebook has become such a behemoth was the introduction of a simple feature. The ability to tag your friends in photos and have those tags show up in friend’s news feeds was revelatory. Ask any early Facebook engineer and they will tell you that people literally spent hours just clicking through hundreds or thousands of photos of their friends. Photo sharing is still a hugely popular field – with tons of people competing for your snaps. These guys are making a lot of the headlines at the moment.

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