Social Media Marketing at IVP: How Far We’ve Come

Social Media Marketing at IVP: How Far We’ve Come

social media phone 1 It has been nearly a decade since we opened up our InterVarsity Press Facebook pages and Twitter profiles. Our main goal for social media was to make IVP more friendly and accessible and to have a personal connection with our readers—and hopefully along the way we would appeal to new audiences and generate some sales. (You can find our first tweet ever on @ivpress here.)

Though things have changed quite a bit since those early days, our social media presence is going strong! Today we have five Twitter profiles (@ivpress, @ivpacademic, @formatio, @dailystott, and @dailywillard), three Facebook profiles (for InterVarsity Press, IVP Academic, and Formatio), and we’ve grown to more than 28,400 combined followers on Twitter and over 23,000 combined followers on Facebook.

We have also become active on Goodreads, Instagram, and Pinterest (though we’re not as active on Pinterest at this moment), on which our number of followers is growing daily. With social media platforms continuing to evolve and change, we are constantly reevaluating where to spend our time and our money. Determining the most effective platform and tactics for each book and then measuring their successes is an exciting challenge we face constantly in this fast-paced and ever-changing online environment.

In the eighteen months since I’ve been social media manager, I have seen the role of social media marketing grow larger and larger with respect to our overall marketing plans. Especially when our authors are active on social media and have a large following, a well-thought-out social media plan is essential! Authors often ask me if there is a set formula that will result in social media success for their books. We wish there was one magical answer to this question. But the honest truth is that every author and every book is so different. What one author does to promote their book won’t necessarily work for another. So we approach each project with a clean slate, carefully considering the author’s personality, the primary audience, and the book’s content. We do, however, give every author two important pieces of advice, so we thought we’d give our blog readers the inside look.

Advice for Authors on Social Media

1. Be interesting! Post regularly, and don’t just post about your book. Post other things that keep your followers interested and engaged.

2. Be social! Comment on other people’s posts, reply to mentions of your book, thank people for engaging, and chime in on relevant conversations.

How IVP Authors Use Social Media

Here are some ways that we have partnered with our authors to leverage social media to feature their books in creative ways:

JR. ForasterosJR. Forasteros, author of Empathy for the Devil, created an online quiz to determine “which biblical villain are you?” It was fun, quirky, creative, and people on social media really enjoyed it.



Michelle WarrenSimilarly, our author Michelle Warren used her expertise in the area of community development to help us create this Proximity Index as a way to provide an assessment for readers to see how they engage with those who are poor, as well as offering suggestions to increase their proximity, along the lines of the message of Michelle’s book The Power of Proximity.


Sarah Shin

Our author Sarah Shin enlisted her talented husband to create some beautiful and unique prints to accompany her book Beyond Colorblind, and we gave them away to readers who bought the book in bulk. It made for a great social media giveaway and was an inspiring gift to her readers.


Ken Wytsma, author of The Myth of EqualityKen Wytsma, author of The Myth of Equality, created a Facebook group where readers could discuss the book, ask questions, express critiques, and engage in conversation with one another. He also created this concise video to introduce the book and his Facebook group to his followers.


Alan FadlingOur author Alan Fadling and his organization Unhurried Living have done a remarkable job of using Instagram to promote his books An Unhurried Leader, An Unhurried Life, and the overall Unhurried Living brand. Check out their beautiful quote graphics.


Gregory ColesAnd then, of course, there are the times when a person with a strong platform shares about one of our books and it goes viral—as happened with Andy Mineo for Single, Gay, Christian by Gregory Coles. (Andy Mineo is one of the book’s endorsers, and we couldn’t have been happier that he used his platform to share about it.)


These are just a portion of the ways that our authors work with us to leverage social media and spread the word about their books. We always welcome additional ideas and suggestions, though, so please do let us know if you have other ideas for ways we can strengthen our social media engagement.