Until about a year or two ago, I didn’t know my job could possibly be a real thing. And based on the conversations I had over the recent holidays, a lot of other people thought the same. I had fun trying to explain what exactly I do (and what Twitter is) to a lot of relatives. I was often asked “So, someone is paying you to go on Facebook? What is Twitter? Why is this a job?”
So how does one become an online marketer? In my case it was timing, but I never would have gotten it if I hadn’t fully embraced the world of social media. Your very own Vanessa Di Gregorio introduced me to Twitter and once I got the hang of it, it became part of my daily life. I was checking it for book news, following authors, and interacting with other bookish people online. From there my addiction to social media escalated. From Pinterest to Goodreads to Facebook to Tumblr to Instagram, I’m on ‘em all.
This curiosity served me well; now I’m managing all of Penguin Canada’s social media (except for Goodreads, which my colleague Amy takes care of!). I can’t put into words how much I love my job and how much fun I have every day. I get to talk to fellow book lovers about reading and what books I can’t wait to get my hands on. I get to host fun Twitter giveaways for our amazing followers. I even photoshopped Grumpy Cat (a mustache + Marjorie Celona’s Y= a very grumpy Y face).
If you want my job, you don’t need to be an expert in social media. You just need to be curious and have an understanding of how social networking works. You need to be able to research, converse with a wide variety of people, and have both a sense of humour and a lot patience.
So, what do I do anyway? Here’s a rundown of a day in my life:
I start my day on Twitter most often. I send out a good morning tweet, talk our followers about what they’re reading, or start the day off with a link relevant to one of our books or authors. It really varies on the day or what awesome links I may have found the night before. (I am always doing research!)
At the same time, I’ve started doing some research on content that I can talk about that day. If we have a new release, I focus on that title, or I look for reviews, interviews, or great tweets from authors and other influencers that I can retweet or post to Facebook.
Around this time I’m also taking a look at our Facebook page—I check for any messages or wall posts to respond to, and I also check for any mentions or great links that have been shared by our authors.
I use Pinterest for Penguin as well–I’m always on the hunt for awesome Penguin-branded things to pin onto our “Penguin Spotting” board, and I create themed boards for upcoming holidays with a bookish twist or for a new book. My favourite board at the moment is the “A Very Merry Penguin” board I created for Christmas–I incorporated cute decorating ideas I found and also pinned things from our own holiday campaign that we ran on our website.
Throughout each day I’m in contact with our entire marketing and publicity team. Often someone will send me a link for Twitter, a photo for Instagram, or will ask me to post info for an upcoming event. And I get some great books and swag to use for giveaways! We hold giveaways for a wide variety of reasons, but at the core we use them as thanks to our readers and followers. We truly have amazing followers who put my reading habits to shame, and it’s so rewarding to give someone the book they’ve been dying to read, or tickets to their favourite book-turned-movie.
This is not all I do, my friends! I write two newsletters for Penguin: a book club newsletter and a general newsletter. The book club newsletter focuses on Penguin Book Club’s pick of the month, featured author, and next month’s pick. The general newsletter is dictated much more by current events, promotions, or upcoming holidays, and varies quite a bit each month.
On top of that, I take care of (Canadian) bloggers! I send books to bloggers who have requested a book to review, pitch review and blog tours to bloggers, read blogs to check for reviews and other mentions of our authors or books, and occasionally organize blogger events and tours in conjunction with our YA imprint, Razorbill.
Phew! I think that’s a basic rundown of what a day in the life of an online marketer looks like. I’m always researching and I learn so much about authors and books that I might not otherwise have looked at. I get to hear from people outside of my publishing bubble about what books they are interested in and what really grabbed their attention. I get to share awesome behind-the-scenes photos of our authors and of life over at Penguin Canada HQ. Every day is different, and every day I can’t believe that I got so lucky to work for such an incredible company and with fellow readers.
Thanks for letting me gush to all of you about my job! You can all follow my adventures with Penguin Canada on Twitter or Facebook (and just about every other social network…all handily hyperlinked above for you!)–come say hi!
And guys, that’s not all. Thanks to Rachel and Penguin Canada, we’ve got an awesome giveaway! You can win one of 5 ARCs of Meg Tilly’s A TASTE OF HEAVEN – all you have to do is fill in the Rafflecopter form below and leave a comment! – V
Rachel Geertsema works for Penguin Books Canada as their online marketing coordinator. Where once she thought editing was her end-all goal, she has since realized her passion for books lines up perfectly with marketing and is happily spending her days representing Penguin Canada online. When not tweeting from @PenguinCanada, find Rachel tweeting about books, GIFs, and coffee at @r_geerts.