Social Mediators 9: Promoting a book with social media

Recently, Terry Fallis found both of his novels – the Leacock Award winning The Best Laid Plans and the soon to be published The High Road – in the top five of the iTunes Literature podcasts. In this week’s episode of Social Mediators, Dave Fleet and I talk with Terry about how he and his publisher, McClelland & Stewart, are using social media to find and cultivate a fan base for Terry’s novels.

Also up for discussion this week: Social media adoption still isn’t universal among communicators.

Do you think social media is just a niche expertise or should it be a core skill set for all professional communicators?

  • Chamika Ailapperuma

    The discussion topic looks great. I think that understanding social media should be a core skill set for all professional communicators, but whether or not that view is acknowledged sometimes depends on the organization a person works for.

    I work for the federal government where communication groups are divided into specialized subsets of either PR or marketing or communications or editorial/translation services. There is no real organizational incentive for a media relations/PR professional who’s been in the same position for several years to understand social media. The work description for media relations professionals in the government is often focused on communicating to traditional media outlets, as well as being a spokesperson on television or on the radio. There is no mention in any of job descriptions of communicating using social media.

    I’ve also met several communications professionals outside the federal government who have decided not to invest the time in learning about social media because their particular organization is reluctant to adopt social media as a standard communications practice. When the organization does decide to ‘explore’ social media, they hire specialized consultants to write reports and provide recommendations, as well as run social media campaigns.

    I think that in 10 years social media communications will be a core skill set for all communicators – it’s inevitable given the evolution of online channels and how accessible social media will become as the technology and the Web evolves. Hopefully, more organizations will also rethink how they interact with their stakeholders, which will lead to redefining the role of the professional communicator within the organization.

  • Do you know about any other publishers that succesfully used social media to promote a book?
    social media _is_ expensive, in my view: just sum up all the man-hour you need to correctly promote a work.
    so, what should be the marketing budget to allocate in social media, in % of the actual budget, in your view?
    in particular, for a product like a book, which total production budget is often very limited.