Wild Detectives is quickly becoming one of the favorite businesses in Dallas. The Bishop Arts bookstore opened 3 years ago and ever since has continually received praise for their mixture of a coffee bar, live music, beer, and books. Now they are getting recognized for something else, clickbait. During the lead up to the 2016 election while most social media pages were doing their best to attract engagements and clicks with cheap political statements, Wild Detectives started using clickbait headlines to drive traffic to 10 different public domain stories posted on their Medium.com channel.
With headlines such as "When it’s OKAY to slut shame single mothers" and "British guy dies after selfie gone wrong" the Wild Detectives Facebook page and Twitter account drove their followers to full text versions of public domain books. The above examples lead to "The Scarlet Letter" and "The Picture of Dorian Gray" respectfully. (as of time of writing this article they all appear to have been taken down from Facebook except for the one for Gulliver's Travels).
As far as Social Media Marketing campaigns go this one is incredibly creative. The work appears to be attributed to Dieste, an advertising agency based in New York City with an office here in Dallas. While AdWeek cites a 14,000% increase in website traffic to their site and 150% increase in Facebook engagements the reality is that the campaign didn't drive that much social media engagement (about 60 engagements on Facebook per post, 1 on Twitter, and 4 per post on Medium) nor did it drive a lot of conversations in social media - and there was no statement in the articles I've seen of the campaigns impact on the store's book ordering service or sales. It did, however, drive new links to the bookstore's website from various media outlets which will most definitely help their SEO, though it's not clear if this was the goal of Dieste's campaign.
The campaign appears to have ended and Wild Detectives have moved on to another Social Media campaign. Maybe they'll revisit this campaign soon and drive more value out of it now that they are receiving worldwide recognition for their clever usage of clickbait.
Links to the Full Text Books in their Campaign:
- The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
- The Prince by Nicolo Machiavelli
- The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
- Dracula by Bram Stoker
- Gulliver’S Travels by Jonathan Swift
- Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
- Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare
- The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
- The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
- The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling