When was the last time you read a book?
With streaming services and other forms of entertainment competing for our time and attention, it may come as little surprise that literary reading has declined over the years. Three organisations – SparkNotes, HarperCollins and the New York Public Library (NYPL) – have been using social media in interesting ways to educate and encourage people to read again.
Let’s dive right in.
New York Public Library: Insta Novels
This one’s a personal favourite.
Winner of three 2019 Webby Awards, including Best Use of Social Media, NYPL’s Insta Novels campaign took Instagram Stories to literal heights, uploading entire novels onto the platform for everyone to read.
Book covers of classics – including Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven – were given animated redesigns. There’s even music to get you in the appropriate mood.
The challenge for NYPL and their creative partners was to adapt print to digital. This meant finding a way to stay true to the book’s original form while tweaking it to fit the context of Instagram Stories.
They did a great job at finding that balance.
NYPL kept the books in their traditional text-heavy format but introduced interactivity by turning the thumb rest portion of the screen into a mini flipbook that changes according to the story. They also inserted in-app animations to make reading a more engaging experience.
NYPL’s delightfully creative use of Instagram could revolutionise how we read (and possibly how we design e-book interfaces), all while inspiring a new generation to read literature.
Need help translating Shakespeare into English or meme? SparkNotes is here to help.
Known for their study guides and modern English translations of literary texts, SparkNotes is one of the most useful resources for students everywhere.
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In order to connect with students on social media, SparkNotes added a new language to their arsenal – memes. Their entire Twitter and Instagram accounts are dedicated to using popular sitcoms, like The Office and Parks and Recreation, to explain scenes and character dynamics in classic literary works like Hamlet and The Great Gatsby.
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Judging by the number of likes, these posts clearly resonate with their audience.
What can other brands learn from this? In order to connect with your target audience and to engage them on social media, you must speak to them in their language. This requires a deep understanding of what they are like and there’s no better way to gain that understanding than through market research.
As part of a campaign to commemorate their 200th anniversary, HarperCollins Publishers encouraged readers and authors around the world to share their love for reading with the hashtags #WhyIRead and #hc200.
If reading quotes from your favourite authors on why they read and write doesn’t inspire you to pick up a book again, then perhaps nothing will. You can view these quotes on HarperCollins’ website – they are really quite inspiring.
Social media is a great platform to engage your audience in a conversation. Starting conversations are essential to building a community around your brand, a community of avid supporters.
We hope these three brands have inspired you as much as they have inspired us. There are so many ways you can use social media platforms to achieve your goal, whether it’s encouraging people to read or persuading potential customers to buy your product. Remember – you are only limited by your own imagination.