Australian Publishers & Social Media Marketing (Part 1)


Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the Australian Publishers Association Sydney seminar Social Media Marketing: Let’s Get Real. Put together by the APA Marketing Expert Reference Group, Matt Richell the Sales & Marketing Director from Hachette Australia was a brilliant and talented Facilitator. The the speaker line up included  booksellers,  publishers and an ‘Industry Commentator’.

Attended by around 50 people from publishing companies large and small, there was also a book distributor . This event is also being held in Melbourne on 22nd February 2011 although the APA will no doubt be wondering who will fill the hole left by REDGroup Retail who were booked to speak before the sad news about them being placed into voluntary administration was announced.

THE TOOLKIT, where attendees found out the nitty gritty of competitive anaysis, strategy, measures of success

The first half of the day was led by Jason Dooris who is Head of Digital from Razor where he manages the Nike accounts amongst others. He has an impressive CV having worked at Deloittes and Ogilvy & Mather and has spoken on all things digital at various high-profile industry events. Razor have done some great work on Hachette campaigns including TwilightJoe Hunter and short-but-attention-grabbing radio ads for Stephen King short stories.

Firstly I have to admit I am a total NERD when it comes to clear concise planning, a good table or spreadsheet, and knowing what constitutes success or otherwise!  Having worked on various website plans, website launches and then maintaining them AND then planning and getting live a few online apps the whole Software Development Lifecycle (or SDLC) was drummed into me in the late 90’s and early 2000’s – Plan, Analyse, Design, Implement, Maintain and then start the whole cycle again!  It’s interesting though that this is the first time I’ve heard these stages (or variations of them) discussed so often at Publishing events and does illustrate the fact that what was once focussed more in the IT departments of Publishing Houses is now becoming common as various other departments start to work on digital products.

After Dooris established that no one in the room had actually attended a Social Media workshop before he warmed us up with a very funny clip about a ‘so-called’ Social Media Guru (please, language warning before watching!). Dooris gave us a lot of facts and figures but highlighted that Facebook was a deal changer as it was the first online destination where you were yourself versus for instance MySpace where you could take on any persona you wanted.

He stated that 57% of people watch a video or read a review to support a purchase decision. There are now 10M Australian Facebook users, 1M Australian Tweeters and 6.7M Australian YouTube users – and by the way YouTube is now the second largest search browser after Google!

From more entertainment value Dooris also showed a John St case study of organising a kids party as a social media experience. He also emphasised that there are conversations happening all over the place online and you can’t just barge in and try and promote without being rumbled by the community. He likened this to walking into a pub and joining a group of friends and talking about yourself. A better way is to sit, listen, observe and over time build up knowledge of the community and then join in. Members of a community will rumble you if you’re not authentic BUT if you do have something relevant to offer the community then offering this (a free book, information about an author event) will work.

When discussing the work they did on the Twilight campaign they looked at:

A Social Media audit on conversations; Insights into the audience and the culture; What was the essence of the publication (VIP this one!); What opportunities were there; Made a plan; Reported on success!

Dooris also gave a great handout to help attendees plan their Social Media Strategy. Key points included:

Understand Your Objectives! Who are you targeting? What are your online business objectives? How does your audience profile compare to the profile of users of specific social networks and tools? Do analysis of what the competition are doing to reach their key audiences.

Campaign Strategy! Do you understand the roles played by social media in your market sector? Where are you currently? What social media strategies are your competitors running? What are realistic objectives and what channels (ie Blogging; RSS; Social Bookmarks; Social Networks or Content Communities)? How will you measure success? What tools are you using to measure and track your social media strategy

Listening and Monitoring! What search terms ID your social media content and how will you monitor these terms? and how often?

Responding and Engaging: Create clear policies and processes for responding and what platforms? If there is a crisis will you respond using social media?

Campaign Delivery and Workflow! Who is responsible for the social media strategy internally and externally – and are they kept across any changes? Who creates and communicates social media policies internally? Do you need training? Who inside your business will be involved with the strategies and who develops content? What is your content schedule?

Well call me a data nerd but I love all this stuff! I LOVE the idea of having a document which outlines all this and boy, would I have given my eye teeth to have this as a template when stumbling through trying to set things like this up four years ago! Thanks Jason Dooris for sharing this fantastic information with members of the Australian Publishing Industry!

I’ll be adding more to this post over the coming days to report on what was presented by Sally Bateman from Penguin Group Australia, Andrew McDonald from Readings Bookshop, Karin Pfaff from Murdoch, Mark Harding from Shearers Bookshop and Angela Meyer, Book reviewer, tweep and blogger.

Part 2 of my post is available here now!

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