The Personal Side of Business on Facebook

Last Saturday was California Bookstore Day. To celebrate the event, Gallery Bookshop in Mendocino, CA, invited customers to unload their Bad Book Confessions via a chalkboard, a camera, and social media. All day, customers would write down confessions like “I’ve bought a book just for the cover… and then didn’t read it.” Or “I hate Hemingway but love Skippyjon Jones.”

This was a great social media campaign. It encouraged customer participation, it used a hashtag calling attention to a larger special event (#bookstoreday), and it was downright humorous. What I found bothersome is the fact that I only saw these images because I’m friends with Gallery Bookshop’s owner, Christie Olson Day, on Facebook, and she shared them through her personal profile. I follow Gallery Bookshop on Facebook–I follow a lot of your stores on Facebook–but it’s disturbing that so few of your posts come across my newsfeed.

Facebook is such a large part of small business, but they continue to change their algorithms. (I’ll let Kenton vent on that.) I’m more interested in exploring what bookstores can do through Facebook and other alternatives.

I’ve mentioned this before, but a personal share has more weight than a business share. (Feel free to friend me personally. But be warned: you’ll just learn about the dumb things my kids say.) Encourage your employees to share positive bookstore content with their Facebook friends. Passionate employees are the best link to avid readers in your area, and by encouraging them to share freely, you’ll receive as much, if not more, interaction than your post alone would get.

And tomorrow we’re going to explore Instagram as an alternative. Don’t worry. We’ll tackle it in small bites.


Beth Golay

Beth is a reader, writer, marketer and Books & Whatnot founder. Even though she knows better, she's a sucker for a good book cover and will positively swoon if a book is set in appropriate type. @BethGolay