For the first time, Rebus Creative, a Vancouver-based firm specializing in event management, publicity services, and fundraising, is bringing social media marketing into the picture for its annual BC Book Prizes summer auction.
The firm, which also manages the Vancouver event Word On The Street, as well as the Circle Craft Christmas Market and Touchstone Theatre, runs the renowned BC Book Prizes auction every summer to raise money in support of the Prizes themselves (which are literary awards) and to fund the organization's various programs: in particular, their On Tour author tour program.
"[On Tour] brings fantastic prize-nominated authors to schools, libraries, and community events to take part in public readings," Cody Klyne, Fundraising Assistant for BC Book Prizes, told Techvibes recently. Cody says BC Book Prizes, which was founded 25 years ago, has seen a "strong response" to the tour, and hopes for continued growth. To help achieve this growth, Book Prizes has begun implementing social media marketing.
"The BC Book Prizes has a social media presence through our Facebook and Twitter pages," Cody explained. Simple, but a step forward, for it acts as an extra layer of engagement and news sharing: "We use these platforms to update people on the state of the Prizes and our programs."
But, as is common with businesses venturing into this platform of advertisement and consumer engagement, BC Book Prizes is trying to figure out what works best, and what's worthwhile. "I think that for a lot of people who are unfamiliar with how huge things like Facebook and Twitter actually are, social media marketing is still in the process of proving itself as a worthwhile endeavour," Cody said. "More specifically, in the case of Twitter, we're still learning what works and what doesn't. You're forced to cover a lot of information in 140 characters. You have to provide the facts while still crafting a snappy and engaging tweet. It can be a challenge." Still, Cody believes that, overall, it's worth it.
This year, the Book Prizes' auction is giving into the latest craze of ebooks, and has a Kobo eReader up for sale, donated by Indigo Books & Music Inc. (all auction items are by donation). Other items include attractive getaway packages that cleverly combine restaurant gift cards with hotel accommodation and event tickets.