A social media strategy is much more than witty posts published to a brand’s account to get likes or shares. An effective content should be tied to your company’s goals, and you need to have clearance on what you want to achieve. An example of a beautifully executed campaign comes from a very analog place: The New York Public Library.
In 2018, the Library’s Instagram account (@nypl) launched an initiative called Insta Novels. Developed by the creative agency Mother, the project published classics of literature as animated Instagram stories.
The first release was Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll. It was followed by The Yellow Wallpaper, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman; The Raven, by Edgar Allan Poe; The Metamorphosis, by Franz Kafka; and A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens. Before each Instagram story, the account published a “teaser” post with a mini trailer of the content, and instructions on how to read in the Instagram Story format.
The happy ending
The goal of the project was to convince the audience to read more, to attract a broader public, and to make the literature classics more accessible. The posts ended with a message directing the user to SimplyE, The New York Public Library’s e-reader app that allows users to borrow ebooks. They were pinned and continue available in the highlights of the @nypl account.
More than 300,000 users have read the Insta Novels, and The New York Public Library has gained more than 130,000 Instagram followers with the initiative. The program managed to have thousands of people discussing the books online, as well as a lot of buzz from media. Instagram has also reached out to the account to discuss how to make the platform better for the content.
With this initiative, The New York Public Library used social media strategy at its best. The project reached an entirely new audience and got them to engage with the library, creating awareness of how reading can be entertaining, and loyalty to their brand. More than measuring a traditional ROI, the campaign used engagement to change the perception of the customers.
And they lived happily ever after.