February Content

As you complete your February content calendars, here are a few dates to keep in mind… a few topics for those days when you feel there’s nothing to share socially:

Sunday, February 1 is Dump Your Significant Jerk Day, because nobody should be with a jerk in February.

Thursday, February 4 is Homemade Soup Day. While you might not want to share the actual recipe, you could certainly talk about your favorite soup recipe from one of your favorite cookbooks. Or propose community gatherings and write about Soup Night: Recipes for Creating Community Around a Pot of Soup by Maggie Stuckey.

Saturday, February 7 is Wave All Your Fingers at Your Neighbors Day (as opposed to just one?) But it’s also Send a Card to a Friend Day, and if you carry greeting cards, I’d probably promote this day instead.

Monday, February 9 provides two days I want to celebrate. Read in the Bathtub Day (because I want to) and Clean Out Your Computer Day (because I need to.)

We all know that Saturday, February 14 is Valentine’s Day. But did you know that it’s also International Book Giving Day?

Tuesday, February 17 is Fat Tuesday. (Love this day.)

Tuesday, February 24 is Single Tasking Day… a day when you intentionally try to not multi-task.

Thursday, February 26 is Tell a Fairy Tale Day. Even if you already host a Story Time, this is an opportunity to add one more… and to raise it up a notch. (Just this once.)

Saturday, February 28 is Floral Design Day. This is the time of year when fair weather gardeners are up to their necks in seed catalogs. This would be a great opportunity to call in a professional to lead a class. You could use The Art of Arranging Flowers by Lynne Branard or The Wreath Recipe Book by Alethea Harampolis and Jill Rizzo as a text. Or you could offer a special on other floral/gardening books.

Data Privacy Day

Today is Data Privacy Day. Since Kenton’s my tech guru, I asked if he had any advice on how to help keep data private.

I’ve shared with you how much Kenton teases me about having multiple tabs open. He also used to tease me about knowing my password. My one password. So I’m sure he was smirking when he wrote, “Have a different password for every online login.”

It’s a good idea to change your passwords often, too. It can be difficult to track multiple passwords, so you might want to use a password manager. I use 1Password, which assigns a random letters-and-numbers password for me. I only have to remember one password for each login.

Kenton also warns, “Be careful about logging in from emails. Phishing is becoming a problem. You receive an email that says ‘log on to your account’ and links you to a page that’s NOT your provider. Check before you type your password and make sure you are where you think you are.”

Customer Perspective: Search and Shop

This week we’re assuming a customer’s perspective to look at the virtual storefront, aka the website. Today’s 300 Second task is for those with commerce sites.

Customers shopping at your site will want access to two major components:

  1. Searching capabilities.
  2. Their shopping cart.

When a customer is shopping in a bricks-and-mortar bookstore, they have access to superhuman booksellers who can deduce book titles based on descriptions like, “the author is a woman… I think.” Online, however, customers have to work a little harder to find a specific title, so the “search” function becomes a trusted friend–if they can find it. Don’t make them search for the search function.

And the shopping cart should be available for viewing at all times, because customers are human. They accidentally hit the buy button more than once. They might have a budget and need access to the running total. Who knows exactly why they want to see what’s in their cart. But if they have access to it, you become a more trusted online retailer.

So look at your site for your search and shopping cart areas. They should be available “above the fold” on not only your home page, but on every page.

Sharon Draper on “Stella by Starlight”

In this video, Sharon Draper speaks about how her grandmother’s journals influenced her newest book, Stella by Starlight.

Customer’s Perspective: The Other Storefront

Last week we looked at our bookstores from a customer’s perspective. We’re going to continue that today, but we’re going to look at your other storefront: your website.

Visitors to your website are primarily looking for quick information. They’re typically searching for your hours, phone number, or address. Others might look for more specific information on events, book clubs, etc. And still others will want to peruse everything you have to offer, looking at every page of staff picks, reviews, and blog.

The goal of the website is to have the general information immediately available so the user does not become frustrated with the search. But then we want our websites to have appealing information and graphics to entice users to linger and peruse… to browse in your online store.

For today’s 300 Seconds, we’re going to make sure the basics are available. Can online users easily find your hours, phone number and address on your homepage?