Trade Day 2016 – Interview Series

Next up in our interview series is Kathy Foley of Twitter. We asked Kathy some for her insight on the role of social media ahead of Friday’s panel on social and traditional media.

Kathy Foley, Twitter
Kathy Foley, Twitter

What has been the biggest change you have seen in social media since you began working with Twitter?The huge increase in the use of video, particularly since videos have autoplayed in timelines. This means they play automatically when a user sees them in their feed. People immediately notice videos and are drawn in.

Publishers can use short videos on Twitter to showcase new titles, promote events, share special offers or give an insight into the world of book publishing.

What aspects of social media are underused by publishers and why do think that is?
Video, as mentioned above, particularly live streaming video, which is really easy to do with Periscope. Publishers could use it for all sorts of things, including author Q&As or to stream book launches or signings.
While some big-name publishers invest in high-cost book trailers, you can easily create snappy, effective videos with a mobile phone.

The nature of social media means it’s ok for your content to seem impromptu or a little raw around the edges at times. If anything, it can make your brand seem friendly and relatable.

What kind of content should publishers share through social media in order to draw attention?
Lively, relevant content will help to draw attention, but it’s important to go beyond text alone. Make the most not only of images and video, but also of features such as polls.
In terms of content, the possibilities are endless! Publishers can share excerpts from reviews and positive comments from other readers. For non-fiction titles, they can share tips and facts They should also make the most of their ability to offer exclusive behind-the-scenes content from events such as author readings.

Can social media aid branding for publishers? Why? What is the simplest way to achieve this?
Of course. Ensure you apply your visual branding to your accounts in the cover image, your profile picture and so on. Just as importantly, consider your brand personality and tone of voice, and ensure your Tweets and posts on other media are consistently in that voice and convey that personality.
Audit your social media posts as often you can, perhaps every month or quarter. You can see what works and helps to reinforce your brand, while also identifying any moments where posts veered off-brand so you can avoid it happening again.

What are the risks in publishers overusing social media?
I honestly don’t think I’ve seen publishers overusing social media! The real risk is in using it without a well-thought out strategy and a plan for following it. Twitter is an incredibly effective way of reaching readers and other audiences such as reviewers and authors, but consider it as part of your overall marketing mix and treat it like any other channel. Off-the-cuff Tweets are fine and even welcome, but they should sit within a planned calendar of content.

Many thanks to Kathy for answering our questions. Kathy will be part of a panel on social and traditional media at our Trade Day on Friday at 9:50am.  For more information on our other speakers see our full programme: Reaching Readers

Tickets for our Trade Day are still available here:Reaching Readers Tickets