Michigan Publishing Marketing Guide

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[edit] Marketing & Promoting Your Publication

We start from the idea that each of the publishing parties has expertise in different areas and that by working together, we will be most successful in marketing and promoting your publication. Already, authors promote their work widely by talking about it at conferences, teaching it to students and engaging in the scholarly conversation. In addition to these usual activities, we’d like to ask you to consider using social media tools to draw attention to your work, and can provide you with guidelines to help you use these tools.

We also welcome your suggestions for how best to draw attention to your work. Filling out our Promoting your Publication form will help us announce your publication to the widest possible audience.

Michigan Publishing’s primary goal for your work is to enhance its discoverability online so that anyone who is interested in it can easily find it and read it. A fully searchable electronic version of your text will be freely and permanently available through our publishing platform. The publications we host are indexed by search engines, which help readers find your work.

As a library-based publisher, Michigan Publishing has expertise in the library community and works to let libraries know about your journal. We catalog publications upon release and make the records available to libraries worldwide through WorldCat

Michigan Publishing is pleased to work with you to further promote your publication upon launch. Here's what we do & what we need for you to facilitate this process.

[edit] What Michigan Publishing does for all publications:

  • Request an ISSN or assign an ISBN as appropriate
  • Create metadata for the resource to be cataloged and indexed by aggregators such as OAIster
  • Add the resource to our website and post a notice on our blog
    • Would you be interested in participating in an author/editor Q&A, for the Michigan Publishing blog? If so, would you prefer to write the questions and answers yourself or to have a Michigan Publishing staff member write the questions for you to answer?
  • If applicable, add an RSS feed so that readers can subscribe to automatic notifications about the availability of new content
  • Notify our local community at U-M, as well as our publishing & library peers, about the resource
  • If applicable, add the resource to online directories of scholarly resources (like the Directory of Open Access Journals)

[edit] How we can work with you to increase visibility:

  • Write a press release with you to announce the new resource.
  • Brainstorm audiences and engagement methods for blog posts, press releases, and other announcements.

Please download and complete our Promoting your Publication document to help us craft a press release, blog post, and other announcements to promote your publication.

[edit] If you're interested in seeing how people are using your publication:

  • We collect statistics about usage of our publications, which you can access through our stats system. Instructions for doing so are on our wiki.
  • Google Analytics reports are available upon request.
  • You can set up a Google Alert for the name of your publication to monitor how your publication is being talked about on the web.

[edit] After your publication launches, here are some things you can do to help get the word out.

  • Set up an e-mail address that you can use to facilitate the regular communication needs of you publication.
  • Include the URL for your publication in your email signature.
  • Build a rich network of in-bound links to your publication. This is important for making your publication more visible on the web because it improves your performance in search results.
    • Encourage colleagues who are bloggers to write about and link back to your publication.
    • Encourage friends and colleagues who are Wikipedians to add content to Wikipedia that links back to your publication (when appropriate).
    • If your publication has a website hosted elsewhere, please link to the site hosted by Michigan Publishing.
    • Add links to the publication wherever it is mentioned on the web; from your CV (if it's online), your departmental homepage, or your personal website or blog (if you have them).
    • Encourage contributing authors to do likewise!
  • Set up accounts on social media sites for your publication.

[edit] Wikipedia

As one of the most-visited sites on the web, Wikipedia can be an effective method for driving traffic to your publication. Wikipedia articles require citing sources, and the content of your journal (especially if it is openly accessible online) can be used for this purpose. Anyone can edit Wikipedia, and learning how to add citations that link to your journal content is easy. Wikipedia offers a comprehensive tutorial for editing articles.

[edit] Using Social Media

Social media such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or many other services can be a great way for authors and editors to publicize their work. Before you sign up for accounts on various sites, taking a moment to think critically about your goals will help you choose an appropriate channel and use it successfully.

[edit] Goals and Objectives

  • Why are you establishing a social media presence?
  • What do you plan to achieve through this channel? To Inform? Encourage dialogue? Announce news? Network?
  • What is the audience you are trying to engage?
  • Does that audience prefer one kind of platform to another? (e.g., Twitter vs. Facebook, Instagram vs. Pinterest, etc.)
  • How will you measure outcomes to know whether you have met your goals?

[edit] Execution and Maintenance

  • Who will establish your presence (or your publication's presence) on this site?
  • Who will administer and/or maintain the account? Will you have a team of administrators sharing duties? Or will you be flying solo?
  • Are you prepared to keep your content fresh and to post on a schedule that meets the rhythms of your chosen platform? (e.g., at least daily for Facebook, multiple times per day for Twitter, etc.)
  • How will you keep passwords (especially shared credentials) strong and secure?

The University of Michigan's Social Media team has created a series of best practices documents for common social media platforms. While designed specifically for U-M staff managing U-M affiliated accounts, they cover the basic vocabulary and functionality of several of the most widely used venues like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and others. If you need an introduction to concepts like insights, notifications, likes, and much more, these documents can be a good place to start your social media education. But perhaps one of the most useful things you can do is find a publication that has a social media presence you'd like to learn from, and take a close look at how they make social media work for them. It doesn't have to be a publication in your subject area, or even a scholarly publication. There are many lessons to be learned from corporate communications, popular culture, news or entertainment media, and blogs.

[edit] General Tips for Using Social Media

  • Security: Use strong passwords and change them often. If more than one person manages or contributes to your account, develop secure methods for sharing passwords with one another. If you'll be using a mobile device to post to social media frequently, try to avoid authorizing too many third-party apps to post on your behalf, as these are often a source of accounts being compromised. All social media platforms have tips for keeping your account secure, which are worth a read even if you think you have a handle on account security. For example, here is Twitter's advice on "Safe Tweeting".
  • Legitimacy: Make your account "look official" by having a brand-appropriate profile photo and description. Provide URL(s) for your publication or sponsoring organization as appropriate. A social media account that is meant to represent a publication rather than a person should be easily understandable as such, and choice of handle and avatar will impact how much legitimacy your social media presence communicates.
  • Identity: If you'll be using multiple platforms, try to make your publication's appearance consistent across them by choosing display names or handles carefully, and using the same avatar, if possible. Consistency makes it easier for your audience to find your publication and recognize the relationship of your accounts across different services.
  • Voice: Use a conversational but professional tone. It's OK for your readers to see a human behind your social media presence. Even though you'll be double-checking your content for errors, mistakes will happen. Be transparent about them, and issue corrections as needed.
  • Automation: Tools for scheduling content in advance or for posting to multiple services at once are quite helpful, but should be used with good judgement. Not all content makes sense on all platforms, and the rhythms of how readers encounter content will vary.

[edit] Choosing a Platform

You've already identified the readership for your publication, but you'll also need to think about the audience for your publication's social media content. Think about where your readers "live" out on the web—are there particular platforms and venues you know they already use? For example, Twitter is popular with many academics in a range of disciplines, designers use Dribbble to share ideas with their peers, and GitHub is gaining popularity beyond its original audience of engineers. Setting up shop where your audience already lives might be a better use of your time than staking out new territory on a platform that your readers aren't heavy users of or aren't interested in engaging with.

The kind of content you plan to share will also play a role in your decision. For example, Instagram or Pinterest are great places to share visual media and engage with creatives, but probably don't make sense if you'll mostly be sharing links to text-based content like journal articles. If your publication will include pieces of code you'd like readers to be able to download, use, or improve upon, an organizational account on GitHub might make sense.

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