On Thursday, July 8, the American Booksellers Association held the second in a five-part social media series (a merging of its Marketing and Technology Meetups), with this session focusing on making and posting videos.
Guest speakers included:
- Abbigail Glen, Shelves Bookstore (Charlotte, NC)
- Kathy Ellen Davis, Bards Alley and NAIBA (Vienna, VA)
- Kassie King and Stephanie Skees, The Novel Neighbor (Webster Groves, MO)
Here are some key points from the session:
- Platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels make creating video content more accessible and even ideal for stores that might not have a dedicated social media manager.
- That said, it’s also helpful to strategize and devote time to creating strong content, as engagement on these platforms can result in sales.
- Before you start making video content, take a look at what performs well across platforms and what you can add to it.
- It might take time to build up a following/viewership. On the flip side, having a post go viral doesn’t necessarily result in sustainable following. Regardless of the size of your following, focus on creating content on a consistent schedule to build a community that will buy from your store.
- Recording video content can be intimidating. It might help to approach it similarly to how you would recommend books to a customer in-store — be yourself and highlight everything your store has to offer.
- Think of social media as telling your store’s story. It should speak to your mission, your interests, and your community. And don’t feel like you can only post bookish content. Showcase yourself and your booksellers and lean into your individuality.
- If you’re wondering what to record, Glen noted that you can record clips throughout your workday to store on your phone. These can be compiled/used later, either as videos on their own or as clips in other videos.
- Mention your store’s name in videos, too, in case viewers aren’t familiar with who you are.
The session closed with an extensive Q&A about cross-posting, using licensed music, and more. Booksellers can also view a recording of the session and access handouts on the Education Resources page on BookWeb.org. Handouts include detailed information on social media statistics and best practices.