Off To Work We Dodo: The Social Media Executive

By Fleur Clarke

Posted on August 4, 2014 in Books with tags Life in Publishing, Off To Work We Dodo

Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to work we… dodo!

We’re taking you on a behind-the-scenes tour of Hodderscape HQ – every fortnight a member of the team is giving you an insight into what they do on a daily basis. This week: social media.

My job at Hodder didn’t exist when I was filling in careers questionnaires at school and wondering if there was a job which involved spending an inordinate amount of time either reading or faffing about on the internet. Nor did it exist when I was avoiding awkward careers events at university (mainly through spending an inordinate amount of time reading or faffing around on the internet). But now social media is a big part of marketing books, and I am gainfully employed as a Social Media Executive at Hodder. I work right across our fiction list, both on specific titles and on our communities, planning and creating content for us to share on our digital platforms.

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When you imagine someone working in social media, it may conjure up scenarios such as people taking the word social far too literally or someone taking 45 days to come up with a tweet about Camembert. Unfortunately, I’ve not yet worked on a book about Camembert, but it is true that it takes time and planning to make something stand out among the cat memes, the lists of things that happened in the 90s and, of course, the thousands of updates that we are all supposedly sending about what we’re having for breakfast. With so many readers online, we have a huge opportunity to capture their attention and make sure ours is the next book they read.

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So, what do we do to stop you looking at pictures of chimpanzees on segways and morose cats? As devious marketeer Naomi talks about in her instalment of Off To Work We Dodo, it depends on what kind of book we’re trying to promote and what readers we’re trying to reach. This can involve a competition highlighting a key aspect of the book, an interactive re-read such as The Great Daughter of Smoke and Bone Re-Read, seeding out quotes and teasers, or just trying to be funny.

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We create lots of images and other visual assets such as screen savers and video content. Luckily for everyone involved, our design ninja Linnet is on hand to make the internet more beautiful and turn eyesores such as this…

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…into snazzy images like this:

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Hodder has a very varied list and engaging with all the different audiences this entails is one of the most challenging and exciting parts of my job. In a normal day I can find myself writing a quiz for thriller fans, chatting to YA fanatics about the latest Hunger Games teaser, creating a newsletter for readers of a historical fiction and tweeting about dogs dressed as velociraptors. Because our readers are on a variety of different platforms, I’m fluent in Instagram, Pinterest, Vine and, yes, even Tumblr. You name it, there’s a high chance I’ve posted a picture of a book on it.

I like to think of myself as essentially a professional fangirl. This works out pretty well for me given that I was an unprofessional one for quite a while. It’s a job that combines organisation with creativity, and rewards just a dash of craziness.

 

 

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