A Case Study in Social Media Marketing

Hey everyone, and welcome back to The Bard & Books! With COVID-19 having the entire world on lockdown, it would be a bit remiss if I didn’t get up another post. I’m at the tail end of my MFA program and wanted to discuss a case study we have been analyzing in my Social Media Marketing course. Fair warning, this is part of an assignment, but I genuinely believe it is beneficial for almost any writer. If you read the post and agree, I would love for you to hit the follow button at the side of the screen. If not, no worries. I’ll look forward to the chance at converting you next time.

As writers, I believe that promotion is one of the critical skills that can determine the financial success of a book, and the prescription eyeglasses brand Warby Parker is an excellent model that authors can use to improve their social media marketing. Starting from a $2,500 seed investment, Warby Parker has grown to employ over 100 individuals and has sold over 500,000 eyeglasses. They have done this entirely through online orders.

Social media was key to the success of Warby Parker’s efforts.

Photo Credit: Marcela Alessandra

Both authors and companies often view their professional social media accounts in a similar perspective to traditional marketing channels. With television, businesses run a one-way message in the form of a commercial. With print, businesses run a one-way message in the form of copy. When they try the same efforts on social media, they fail entirely. They fail because they miss the core concept of social media before they even start.

Social media is not designed to deliver a message but enable communication.

When a business uses social media as if it were any other marketing channel–primarily displaying one-way content–they lose the potential to build a community around their brand. Loyal and consistent user engagement is the lynchpin when it comes to social media success.

Warby Parker was founded in 2010, and at the time, the online sale of prescription eyewear was unheard of. Consumers trusted the process of scheduling an optometry appointment, trying on frames in-person, and allowing their insurance to pay for the majority of the costs. Warby Parker leveraged User-Generated Content on social media to disrupt this business model.

Authors can leverage User-Generated Content in order to promote their own work. It’s 2020. Consumers do not only purchase books from a retail outlet. By actively engaging with the community of people who support your work, you can foster an atmosphere that encourages people to review, comment, and engage with your content in the future. This community can sell books, and calling for readers to post pictures of themselves reading your book is a fantastic way to help build the social validity needed to earn new readers.

Another great tip to improve social media efforts is to steer away from direct promotion posts. By giving value in the form of information–if you have a military thriller novel consider running some interviews with a few servicemembers– then you are able to approach a new audience without them feeling that you have an ulterior motive. Using Warby Parker as our example, they often post YouTube videos explaining various aspects around optometry and their business. The open communication promotes brand loyalty.

Finally, social media allows professionals the ability to cultivate sentiment toward their brand. Social stewardship through charity or goodwill efforts can help increase brand loyalty as consumers want to associate with companies that they feel proud supporting. When it comes to authors, the brand loyalty is key. We want readers to come back every time we release a novel, and that is only done if they are actively following our efforts. Whether the company is Warby Parker or any other successful social media user, a strong social media base can earn us the loyalty needed to survive difficult times.

Thank you for reading! I know this post was a little more business focused than the others, but given the fact that so many of us are writers it seemed like a cool topic to discuss. If you haven’t done so, I would really appreciate if you hit the FOLLOW button on the right side of the screen as well as left a comment below. Thanks, and see you next time on The Bard & Books!

5 thoughts on “A Case Study in Social Media Marketing

  1. Hi this is Sarah Scollay from your SMM class.

    I think your blog was very well written. I liked your discussion on user generated content. Mahoney et al made an assertion about user generated content, “…allow for true participation, where users, individually and collectively, are able to reflect on the social situation and articulate their own disconnect and action” (Mahoney & Tang, 2017). Warby Parker obtained their success by creating user generated content by creating a marketing plan, which consumers showed-off their new Warby Parker glasses on social media by taking pictures with their new glasses on (Mahoney & Tang, 2017). I think that the way Warby Parker set up the user generated marketing campaign was a brilliant way to tap into an emerging market.

    The way Warby Parker utilized user generated content was so successful because it created an electronic word-of-mouth marketing technique. Since consumers are 30 percent more likely to purchase something after a friend gives a word-of-mouth recommendation, it seems fit the company aimed to create an electronic word-of mouth for their online brand.

    Works Cited
    Mahoney, L. M. (2017). Strategic Social Media from Marketing to Social Change. Malden, Ma.: Wiley Blackwell.

    Liked by 2 people

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