For the Love of Books: How 3 Brands Are Using Social Media to Inspire People to Read

May 22, 2019 - Reading Time: 3 minutes
Category: Social Media

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.

Via NYPL Insta Novels

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.

Via NYPL Insta Novels

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.

SparkNotes: Memes

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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here for ya, fam. 🤓💖 #sparknotes

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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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why not both? 😍 #sparknotes

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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.

HarperCollins: #WhyIRead

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.

Via HarperCollins

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.


How to Attract Your Ideal Customers

May 13, 2019 - Reading Time: 3 minutes
Category: Tips & Tricks

Every product is conceived with a problem in mind – a problem which it is meant to solve. That’s all well and good but a business doesn’t succeed solely based on a good idea or product. It matters how the product is marketed and to whom it is marketed to. Your ideal customers are people who would benefit the most from using your product.

Here’s how you can attract them:

1. Ensure that your product works

First things first – your product has to work well. If it doesn’t work as promised, it will be hard to convince customers to stay with you.

Just take a look at Nintendo’s Virtual Boy game console.

Via Techspot

Released in 1995, the Virtual Boy was one of the earlier forays into virtual reality. The Virtual Boy was rushed to market as Nintendo was diverting resources to the development of the Nintendo 64. Consumers were unimpressed with the Virtual Boy and some complained of eye discomfort after playing it for a while. It became Nintendo’s worst-selling product, with less than 1 million units sold. Nintendo ceased distribution and game development for the console in less than year. The Virtual Boy is a cautionary tale for companies looking to cut corners, thinking consumers won’t notice.

A problematic product simply won’t fly, especially in the age of the Internet where news spreads like wildfire. Therefore, it is vital that you ensure your product works well and continues to work well even after it hits the market.

2. Find out what your ideal customers like

In order to connect with your customers, you need to find out what they like. What kind of humour resonates with them? What are their pain points? What do they care about? The answers to these questions will inform the message of your marketing campaign.

3. Find out where your ideal customers are

The only way to reach your audience is to find out where they usually hang out. Are they on social media? Which social media platforms do they use? Do they frequent hipster coffee joints? What about movie theatres?

It’s important to know where your customers are so that you can be there. For example, if you’re organising an event targeting drivers, you might want to put up posters in petrol stations. Direct your resources to platforms that will give you the best reach.

4. Build your relationship with existing customers

You know what they say – out of sight, out of mind. If your customers aren’t reminded of your brand, they will forget you.

Don’t let them.

Build a relationship with your customers; don’t let your interaction end with a transaction. You could keep in touch through notifications on new product launches and promotions. You could also reward returning customers with exclusive discounts or event invites. Like all relationships, this will take work. However, this will build brand loyalty and loyal customers are your brand’s best ambassadors.

In order to turn your product into a success, you need a good understanding of the customers you hope to attract. Take note of these four tips when you’re planning your marketing strategy and watch the sales roll in!