Indigo Books & Music Inc. is the largest book retailer in Canada operating bookstores in all 10 provinces under the names, Indigo, Chapters, World's Biggest Bookstore, and Coles.
Indigo also operates chapters.indigo.ca an online retailer of books, music, movies, and more. Indigo provides consumers with inspiring retail and online environments for books and life enriching products & services.
We launched our online community in September 2007, and have quickly grown to over 170, 000 activated profiles in a little over a year.
Why use social media tools on a retail website?
What we’ve learned by launching our online community is that our customers want to customize and personalize their shopping experience.
The benefit of providing social media tools is to empower the online consumer to create their own ideal experience, and browse through the titles they want – versus what we think they might want.
Social media tools allow authors and customers to connect one-to-one.
What are the benefits of creating a profile within the Chapters Indigo online community?
Our profiles receive top ranking on search engines such as: Google and Yahoo , which optimizes your content and increases your ranking through association.
Connect with your fans and potential fans. Our networking strategy follows the same principles as Kevin Kelly's 1000 True Fans , a business plan for all kinds of creators in the twenty first century.
Network with peers and professionals in the publishing and retailing industry.
Increase sales through a strong online presence.
Remember, it’s about YOU not your products or services.
Social networks are meant to promote YOU, and not your book and/or services.
Always remember to treat online community members like human beings, and not faceless users.
If you treat online community members as though they’re nothing more than opportunities for you to market a product or sell something they’ll most likely ignore you entirely.
The more you share about yourself the more interesting you appear; which will result in online customers willingness to endorse you and your books and/or services.
The challenge is not finding social media sites to use; it is in fact, how to use these sites as tools .
Decide where you like to spend the majority of your time online, ex. your own website or social networking sites.
Focus on driving online traffic to you by linking your online destinations with your online profiles.
Find ways to import and export content to maximize your time and effort.
Network with fans to grow awareness by actively participating online regularly.
Think of participating in multiple online platforms as a mutual fund– there are greater returns when you diversify. If you put all of your assets into a single stock you aren’t as likely to generate as good a return on your initial investment.
Maximize your time and effort using your Chapters Indigo profile.
Once you’ve created your profile, received your Author badge, and fully filled out your profile information including:
Uploading a photo, create a customized shelf of your books and titles, and posted blog entries about your work, upcoming events, sources of inspiration, your website, your hobbies, etc.
You are then ready to connect your profile with other web 2.0 platforms.
RSS: Select ‘RSS’ when viewing your profile posts.
Use the URL of your RSS feed on other sites; such as: Facebook and Blogger to easily export your posts.
How do Authors promote using social media and web 2.0?
There are lots of websites to promote yourself; such as:
MySpace doesn’t have the same import capabilities as Facebook, but if you know a little about programming you are able to import your posts into your MySpace profile.
Alternatively, you can create a post entry using your MySpace profile directing others to your Chapters Indigo profile and related posts. Also, you are able to add applications that link your MySpace profile with other social networking profiles; such as: Places To Find Me and Twitter Sync .
If you use your MySpace blog occasionally, consider listing it as a favourite website on your Chapters Indigo profile.
Twitter, is especially popular with mobile users; which means, you are able to send communications quickly and easily to your fans while they are on-the-go. This means your fans can read blurbs of your new book, sections of your latest blog posts, or any type of status update while sitting idle during their daily commute. They can also check-in during their regular work day to see what’s new using their computer.
Not only are your fans able to keep up with you on their mobile devices; such as: cell phones and blackberries, but you are able to send and receive updates through your own mobile devices as well.
A great feature of Twitter is that it can be easily added to nearly any web 2.0 or social networking profile. Check out the application section of Facebook or other social platforms to learn more. Incorporating Twitter greatly enhances your profile, and keeps the information fresh at all times.
Be sure to add the URL to your Twitter profile on your Chapters Indigo profile for your fan to follow you, and conversely; list your Chapters Indigo profile in your account information to be viewed on your Twitter profile.
This concludes the basics of online networking and places to add your RSS feed from your Chapters Indigo profile. Since everyone is unique there isn’t a single answer for success using social media. As with all other aspects of life there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution. Look into everything that is available to you, and try as many options until you find what suits you the best.
If you are interested to read more, please check out the following articles and blog posts: