Scott Manning & Associates
433 Broadway, Suite 433
New York, NY 10013
p. 646-661-6665
20 Main Street, Box 417
Hancock, NH 03449
p. 603.525.4767

scott@scottmanningpr.com
Featured: Rust Belt Boy
Rust Belt Boy bookcover

It’s always fun for us to work with an existing client in a new way. So when our longtime book publicity client Tim Schaffner of Schaffner Press was looking for someone to take over his Facebook and Twitter accounts, we jumped at the chance.

When we first started working on this project, the Twitter account had 362 followers and the Facebook page had 483 likes. When we compared these numbers with other small independent publishers releasing several books a year, we found there was a lot of opportunity for growth. Even more important than the follower numbers, we wanted to be a part of vibrant, funny, intelligent conversations in the book world and send potential readers to the Schaffner Press website to learn more about the books. Our strategy centered around building community with Schaffner Press authors, designers, and anthology contributors, as well as other people in the book and media industry. We wanted not just followers, but followers who love to read.

We wanted to be a part of vibrant, funny, intelligent conversations in the book world

On Facebook, we started out posting every day, frequently sharing from other pages within the book industry to build relationships. Then Facebook’s algorithm shifted to prioritize different kinds of posts, so we adapted by making less-frequent, more engaging posts such as Schaffner Press’s beautiful book jackets, book giveaways, and round-ups that included all Schaffner Press authors’ media hits from the week in one post. We also began to use the Schaffner Press Facebook page to organize event promotion for all our authors. We encouraged everyone in the Schaffner Press community to send us their events so we could add them to the event section of the page. For a few events, we also did some targeted advertising, which brought new people to events as well as new people to like the page. This all resulted in a 20% increase in page likes.

On Twitter, we found an especially active and talkative community of book people

On Twitter, we found an especially active and talkative community of book people, including other publishers, editors, readers, writers, booksellers, and more (as well as people who fit into more than one of those categories). Many of the contributors to the Schaffner Press aphorism anthologies Short Flights and Short Circuits are active on Twitter, and we posted quotes by them and retweeted them to support both these anthologies and the contributors’ other projects. Two Schaffner Press designers, Jordan Wannemacher and Evan Johnston, also become a valued part of our Twitter community. When Jordan posted her beautiful jacket for Children of Grass: A Portrait of Poetry by B.A. Van Sise and Evan gave away some of his fantastic original drawings from Kannjawou: A Novel of Haiti, they sent more followers our way. Since beginning our campaign, we’ve gained 492 Twitter followers, or 135% more.

Recently, we began to emphasize Schaffner Press’s work in translation more on the Facebook and Twitter accounts. Only about 3% of books published in the United States are works in translation, and one of the things that makes Schaffner Press unique is that Tim has published translated books from a variety of languages including Spanish, French, and Haitian Creole. We rewrote the Twitter and Facebook bios to include translation, and look for opportunities to connect with the translation community, whether it’s through retweeting the translators of Schaffner Press books or following translation hashtags like #womenintranslation and #translatedbooks.

Through looking at our analytics, we also discovered that Schaffner Press followers liked dogs just as much as they like books. So when Tim sent us photos of the Schaffner Press office dog or photographer Terrence Moore’s adorable puppy beneath the Schaffner Press table at the book fair, we used them to delight our audience.

Speaking of analytics, Tim recently shared with us that the number of visitors to the Schaffner Press website recently went up 48%. With social media, we think it’s important to keep in mind why we’re there. One big reason is to introduce readers to Schaffner Press titles, so we’re pleased to see results that show that our social media followers want to read our books, too.