June 30th in Social Media Day and we’re celebrating by interviewing our very own Marketing and Website Coordinator, Emma Hunter, who handles all of our social media.
How did you get your start in social media?
On a personal level, when I was in high school we were seeing the shift towards social media becoming more prominent. I used blogging platforms like Xanga and Blogspot and used Myspace a little — but by the time I was in eleventh grade Facebook took over and everyone had it. As a teenager I also started to use Tumblr and Twitter and then Instagram a little later on. In my third year of university I started a book blog through Tumblr and Blogspot and that became my gateway to publishing. I started to review books and become involved in the world of books. Through that and my book Twitter I learnt more about the world of books through these platforms. When I eventually started Ryerson’s Publishing Intensive years later, I found that my experience with my book blog had given me skills I use today in my current position, such as writing reviews, providing engaging content and taking book photography. In my internships at Book*hug and HarperCollins Canada I worked in marketing and with my past experience I gravitated towards the social media side, which I also did later on when I worked for Harlequin. Eventually I ended up freelancing with Harlequin for a year, exclusively making digital content for them, such as videos, graphic images and blog posts for their multiple social media accounts. When I was hired for the CCBC in March, I was brought on to do more than just social media but one of everyone’s goals for me from the start was for me to revamp how we present ourselves online.
What do you like about working in social media?
I love how dynamic it is — things like Instagram and Facebook stories didn’t even exist when I started working in publishing. There’s also a lot of room for creativity. I also love the sense of community you can find there, and how as marketers we can directly interact with people instead of just businesses. For the CCBC, the sense of community you see through the engagements on our platforms is amazing.
Do you have a favourite social media platform?
Instagram for sure. You can tell I love it because I currently manage three accounts. Photography is a medium I love and I find the platform as a whole to be a more positive experience than Facebook and Twitter can be at times, just in terms of the type of things people post. Also, I live for aesthetic so it makes sense that I’d love Instagram.
How do you create engaging content for social media?
I have a visual eye so I definitely play to that and make a lot of images. I pay attention to our audience and what type of things they react well to, which in our case is interesting questions about children’s books. I also look at what others are doing and am always brainstorming different things we can do.
I also have a spreadsheet schedule to keep things organized and consistent, and use Hootsuite as well. For the images we share, a lot of them are made using Canva.
What advice would you give to any one struggling with the world of social?
Play to your skills and have fun! There’s something for everyone and many ways to go about using social media. Good at puns? Twitter loves that! Take great photos? Head to Instagram! Have some design skills? Use them on your social. One of the biggest pluses is the sense of community you can find, so I’d definitely recommend engaging with people and starting some conversations. Did you know that #WeNeedDiverseBooks started with a conversation between two authors (Ellen Oh and Malinda Lo) over Twitter? Now WNDB is a not-for profit organization with awards, grants, mentorships programs, an app and more!
A shameless self plug, but if you’re looking to talk about Canadian children’s books, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
And what are you reading?
I’m currently reading Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor.