Fashion Sets an Example for Publishers

Expert publishing blog opinions are solely those of the blogger and not necessarily endorsed by DBW.

social-media-fashion-industryPublishers and authors can learn a lot about promotion and consumer engagement from the fashion industry.

Social media strategies that fashion labels and clothing brands use regularly would serve publishers and authors well, according to Cindy Ratzlaff, buzz marketer and social media specialist.*

For instance Vine, the app for sharing six-second videos on Twitter, is quite popular in the fashion industry for showcasing style trends, curating outfit selection, and sharing runway snippets as well as photo shoot extras. Authors can use this same fun app to share book-signing events with their larger community, said Ratzlaff speaking at BookExpo America last week in New York City.

Learn about other digital ways to share book-signing events in Digital Book Signings: A Range Of Technologies And Services.

Particular social media campaigns that the fashion industry is executing well on Twitter include Flock-to-Unlock and Twixclusives. Both of these techniques for consumer engagement present publishers and authors great opportunities to make titles more sharable and get books (digital or print) read by influencers.

Flock-to-Unlock promotions are preplanned flash-mob sales or giveaways, explained Ratzlaff.

A Tweet like this could start the event:

Flock-to-Unlock

Authors could also send out free ARCs to the first several followers who shared a promo Tweet, suggested Ratzlaff.

Twixclusives in the fashion industry usually mean one color of a garment or accessory is uniquely available to a label’s Twitter followers. A product-page link or code to access the item is shared only via Twitter. Ratzlaff recommended that publishers offer an otherwise unpublished prequel for a popular character as a Twixclusive. For nonfiction writers, content that was cut from the final manuscript could be repackaged as a downloadable PDF—“you’re Tweeps will want what your editor didn’t!” said Ratzlaff.

Beyond these lessons from the fashion space, Ratzlaff revealed her own best Twitter practices:

• Preschedule 5 Tweets each day with your ideal reader in mind
• Your own original content in 120 characters is best
• Share photos on Twitter, using Instagram or twitpic
• Use bit.ly, both as a URL shortener and for analytics
• Create automatic daily Tweets with a paper.li or by linking your Facebook page to Twitter (not the other way around)

Ratzlaff’s #1 Tip for Publishing Professionals
• Aggressive Consistency

This includes replying to Tweeps’ DMs and @-mentions as well as including the person’s first name in your response.

For more ideas on how to launch an effective social media campaign, read Publishers Need Social Media.

And remember that the reach of social media goes well beyond your reading consumer. Ratzlaff emphasized that “Twitter is a great way to connect with press!”

* Ratzlaff, founded Brand New Brand You Inc., a consulting firm serving publishers, authors and Fortune 1000 companies. Forbes Woman called her one of the “Most Influential Women Tweeting about Entrepreneurship.” And, she writes frequently for Business Insider on social media and marketing strategy.

Image Credit: fashion industry social media image via Shuterstock

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