Social media for greater connect during the pandemic…

Subhashree Das, DGM, Digital Marketing, HarperCollins India, shares the importance of social media during the pandemic.

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Now more than ever, social media and digital as a whole has played an important part in communicating with the reader. We’ve used it to be topical, build community, provide comfort and micro-target basis genres and imprints so the right book can reach the right reader.

Helping people discover new books…

With everyone being homebound for over a year there has been more time to read – books are an inexpensive way to keep ourselves entertained. And with people having more time to scroll through their feeds, we have used it effectively to help people discover new books. Besides micro-targeting via advertising, we’ve been cognizant of the fact that readers will miss the ‘browse and buy’ experience from a physical bookstore and have been giving more peeks into what the books are about, and for children’s a sense of the content and illustrations, so they are better able to pick what they want to read.

Online events…

We’ve also successfully used it to continue bringing authors and books to readers virtually via online events and lives. We also had authors that are subject matter experts on nutrition, covid or mental health to aid with resources that would be useful to users.

Book recommendations…

Books being deemed as non-essential, so as a result, getting new books to the hands of readers has been a challenge. This has led to a marginal increase in eBooks sales and adoption. The other aspect has been a lot of posts around reading and books being a source of comfort in these trying times. We tried to aid this with daily book recommendations.

Engaging readers…

Right at the beginning of the lockdown, a lot of our focus was on giving users things to do at home as they transitioned to both work and play being homebound, with writing workshops, weekend recipes, lockdown poetry (authors from lockdown read their favourite poem) and especially for kids with activity sheets, boredom busters, audio stories and sessions for skill-building.

Balancing online with offline…

While online sales (in the absence of bookstores being open) has been a mainstay, we’ve made efforts to support indie bookstores both with #supportindiebookstores #VocalForLocal but also through #ShopTalk. Our #ShopTalk series with indie bookstores sends you on a virtual trip to these stores, and you can also hear from their owners about what’s up and coming.

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