A while back, we saw a YouTube video from Gary Vaynerchuk, one of our favorite social media masterminds. In this video, he talks about the ever-changing social landscape. If you’re writing and marketing YA literature, you will find this is an interesting and forward-thinking insight into the focus on visual mobile experiences.
As Harry Potter and The Hunger Games have taught us, YA fiction spans across all ages, from young to old, but most YA fiction is written with teens in mind. And if you’re marketing to teens, you can forget Twitter and Facebook. Right now, all teen eyes are on Vine, Instragram, and SnapChat.
As you know, the most effective marketing happens when you get in front of the eyeballs of your target market, because you get them talking about you and spreading your message virally, as we marketers like to say.
You may be wondering: What do these platforms do, and where do I start? Good questions.
Here are brief descriptions of each platform to get you started:
Instagram is a camera app that allows users to take photos and apply a filter to them that gives them a unique and instant artistic photo finish. Similar to Twitter, Instagram users have a feed and can use the @ callout to tag other users and the hashtag functionality to give a searchable topic to the photo. Instagram can be connected to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, and Foursquare so that users can automatically share across multiple active networks.
Instagram has also recently added a video functionality to compete with Vine, but each has its own value propositions.
Vine is a Twitter service that allows users to create six second looping videos. The most successful Vine videos are usually ones with a humorous twist as exhibited in this compilation of the best Vines of 2013 so far.
SnapChat is a picture-sending platform that is used to send pictures and messages that are deleted from the receiver’s phone within a specified amount of time by the sender. The company touts itself as a way for users to “enjoy the lightness of being!” through being able to send messages that self-destruct in 5…4…3… Well, you get the point.
Now that you know what these platforms do, the question is, can you use these social media platforms to capture the attention of YA Readers?
The answer? Yes, you can, if you’re willing to step up your game and do a little hard work. We’ve come up with a few ideas to start with, so get creative and build on them:
- Set up a feed from a character’s perspective and only post pictures from his or her point of view.
- Set up an account where you post insights into your daily writing routine or people, places, and things that inspire your writing and how you.
- Make videos of yourself and/or friends quoting your favorite scenes of dialog from your works in a dramatized way.
- Interview other writers, or even your own characters.
- Answer fan/reader questions.
Consider how engaged and interested your readers would be if they got a funny or inspirational interaction from you through Vine, Instagram, or SnapChat.
As Gary Vaynerchuk pointed out, using Vine, Instagram, and SnapChat can be rewarding ways to get in front of your intended YA audience. So step up your game and go out and get visual!