If there is one type of industry that naturally succeeds on Social Media, it’s the one that has a die-hard fan culture. These are the type of followers who are not only willing to engage with a conversation, but want to contribute to it. However, that doesn’t necessarily make it any easier for those businesses…
Social Media gives a voice to subcultures in a way that traditional Marketing avenues were never able to. It allows businesses to not only market to their specific target audience, but to actually engage with them. It’s also the perfect campaigning tool as far as those fan-fuelled industries are concerned.
Social Media and the Comic Book Industry
Social Media has seriously helped to bolster the comic book industry over the last few years. Throughout 2000 to 2005 it saw something of a downtrend in popularity and for all intents and purposes was in a slump. That all changed soon after. This was all down to the excitement produced by the launch of the Batman movies and Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, boosted by Social Media’s reach and hype-building potential. This boost in interest surrounding the comic genre coupled with the specific targeting that Social Networking lends itself to was the beginning of a new generation of comic book fans – and the industry has seen steady growth ever since.
Social Media has seriously changed the dynamic of the relationship between fans, artists, writers, publishers and stores. While in the past they could only expect to connect with their favourite writers/artists at conventions, Social Networking allows them to communicate in real time and have their opinions heard. These insights aren’t only valuable to the creators, they also help promote a new conversation that can be beneficial to the industry as a whole.
Social Media for Comic Book Stores
While it’s obvious how Social Media can be used by publishers to promote new releases and build their fan base, local independent stores don’t necessarily have it as easy. With the rise of digital publishing a significant proportion of fans now spend their money predominantly on digital downloads through publisher’s apps. Therefore stores need to be using their Social Media pages to build awareness locally and encourage fans to support their store instead of downloading. This way they can look to building and maintaining their own pool of loyal customers.
Social Media can do wonders for comic book stores. Here’s how you should be using it…
- Keep Your Branding Tight
The most successful independent stores have a personality all of their own! The reason that many Social Media Digital Marketing efforts fail is down to businesses being unwilling to spend the time investing in making their pages look appealing. Remember that comics are a graphic medium and fans are stimulated by graphics, so make use of your banners to promote deals, releases and upcoming signings/fan nights.
- Promote Fan Nights
If you host fan nights, these can make for the ultimate Social Media content that will help build some awesome engagement. Nothing fascinates people more than the sight of their hairdresser dressed in a skin-tight Flash costume. Posting pictures of fan nights and tagging those present will help maximise your reach within your local community and hopefully encourage some more potential customers.
- Exclusive Special Offers and New Releases
Make your Facebook and Twitter pages an “exclusive” community for your fans to hang out and discuss new releases on. Offering them first-look news and exclusive offers will encourage them to like and engage with you both on and off-line!
- Play on the Fandom to Increase Engagement and Reach
Comments get a much better reach than normal posts. The good thing about comic book fans is that many of them love to have their voice heard! Craft your posts to begin discussions among your Social Media followers and you reach will blow up as a result.
- Instagram Competitions
It goes right back to that idea of comics being a visual medium. Instagram competitions could be right up your alley, and are a perfect way to get you some user-generated content.
- Get Involved in Conversations
When a new movie is announced Social Media goes crazy with speculation and conversation. Your brand needs to be getting involved with these conversations, as it will help you garner some awesome reach.
- Monitor Engagement on Posts
There’s no doubt about it, unless you’ve got something terribly wrong somewhere you will be posting about comic book characters. By monitoring engagement you can see which franchises are the most popular with your audience – which works as some great customer research too!
- Incentivise your Audience to come down to your Store
The primary aim for your Social Media should be to make your audience want to come in to your store. Reward them for doing so! If they see that you offer a friendly and fun local service that they simply can’t get from downloads, they will come.