Last night, author Hilary Reyl read an excerpt from her new book Lessons In French to a packed room at McNally Jackson Books. The reading itself was a great event but February Media used social media, namely Instagram and related outlets, to really take user experience to the next level.
Pictures and video are a great way to connect with your fans, especially when you’re hosting an event that not everyone can attend. Posting pictures to Instagram, and then cross posting them to Twitter and Facebook, lets readers feel like they are experiencing the reading and signing right along with you, which creates a great connection between you and your readers.
Here are the tricks we used last night to make Hilary’s reading a social media success. Hopefully they help at your next author event!
–Create a personalized hashtag for the event. Last night, we tagged every picture with the hashtag #HilaryReylreading. A personalized hashtag lets readers easily search for pictures from the event.
–Take a variety of pictures. If you’re hosting an author reading, don’t just have someone take pictures of you reading — that gets stale and boring to look at. Check out some of the pictures we took at last night’s event:
These pictures were taken from different perspectives of the room, used different filters, and are of different viewpoints of the event. Giving readers a total view of the event helps them feel more connected to you as a writer and really lets them experience the reading and book signing as a complete event.
–Take advantage of all your social media tools. We didn’t rely only on Instagram. Last night, I was instagramming and tweeting pictures while our wonderful publicist Hillary was manning Facebook. We were also adding commentary to our pictures. The plethora of social media options at your disposal might seem scary at first but it really is a great asset. You have so many ways to connect with fans and you should think of that as exciting, not terrifying. Play around with social media and use it as a way to explore meaningful relationships with readers
–Above all, don’t freak out if things go wrong. We had horribly slow Internet last night and couldn’t properly connect to Facebook for most of the evening. But we made it work. Social media is there to make facilitating a relationship between readers and authors easier, not harder, so just enjoy that connection and have fun with it.