The Booksellers Association of the United Kingdom & Ireland Limited

Connecting and building relationships with customers

Using social media is a powerful way to connect with existing and potential customers and to market your bookshop. The majority of booksellers now use some or all of the main social media platforms to promote titles and build their brand, as well as creating a sense of community. If you sell online, social media can be a great tool in driving trade to your website (or to your page on Being active on social media also allows you to keep in touch with the book community online, including publishers, influencers and authors.

The BA Guide to Social Media for Bookshops looks at the five main platforms at the time of writing: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and TikTok. It sets out the basics of using them and then looks at additional functions for those of you who want to expand your approach to using these platforms. We undertook a small survey of BA members in January 2022 to see what platforms were popular and have included some of the responses in this guide. We have also included ideas for improving the visibility of your online posts and for driving traffic to your website and to your profile. For ideas about running events online via social media, please see The BA Guide to Running Virtual Events.

Social media can help bookshops:
• Engage with new and existing customers
• Monitor feedback and troubleshoot customer queries online
• Promote competitions and promotions
• Promote your stock and reinforce your expertise
• Share staff recommendations
• Market author events
• Share ideas and thoughts which create a sense of what your bookshop is all about
• Share in-store photographs/videos
• Keep in touch with your home community, as part of the local retail scene
• Interact with authors, publishers and other booksellers
• Keep up to date with the BA and its campaigns
• Stay up to date with industry news, and join the wider book community online, including bloggers and influencers
• Source new suppliers
• Drive traffic to your website
• Boost sales
•Learn about your customers through analytics tools
• Build your brand
• Share best practice and ideas with other bookshops.

To spread the word about your bookshop, the social media conversation is definitely one worth joining.

The Booksellers Association uses social media to communicate with members and to promote bookshops to consumers. We use social media to extend the reach of our campaigning and lobbying work, and we supply members with social media assets to support them in promoting campaigns such as Independent Bookshop Week, Indie Book Awards, Indie Book of the Month, Irish Book Week, Bookshop Day and the Books Are My Bag Readers Awards. We use social media to promote and stream events. We also provide booksellers with a platform to share ideas and network with other BA members and access professional development opportunities, in the form of the Booksellers Network on Facebook. At the time of writing, 850 members are part of the Booksellers Network. The BA supplies members with a social media toolkit including a variety of social media assets for bookshops to use on their own social media profiles at key moments throughout the bookselling year, including all our campaigns.

Keep in touch with us online:

The Booksellers Association

Bookselling Ireland
- Facebook (closed group for Bookselling Ireland members)
- Twitter

Books Are My Bag

The Booksellers Network
- Facebook (closed group for BA members)
Need help with Social Media?
We offer a free Social Media Guide for Bookshops which include step-by-step tutorials and tips on getting to grips with social media. Our Social Media and Community Manager, Kara Rennie is available to help you with all things social media related. Get in contact with her to arrange a social media workshop in your bookshop, or just to talk through the options.

Kara Rennie, Social Media & Community Manager, T: 00 44 20 7421 4691