Tempo di Libri Milano’s book fair and Salone Internazionale del libro di Torino, two events challenging each other in different cities. On one hand, the thirty-year anniversary of one of the major international publishing events; on the other, the courageous choice of investing resources to give voice to a complicated sector – in a climate of general certainty, as described in the Report On the 2016 State of Publishing in Italy (by the Office of the Italian Association of Publishers).
Perimeter of research
We measured international online posts taking a wider timeframe of the official events dates: a few more day before and after, in order to evaluate the content more comprehensively, capturing the threads that came up regarding the event. For Tempo di libri, online conversations were analyzed between 19 and 23 April, and between 18 and 22 May for the Salone internazionale del libro.
The Fair in Milan produced more than 17,000 posts and 196,000 interactions: the event was mentioned online over 11,700 times. The discussions at the Turin fair, however, produced more than 40,000 posts and 211,000 interactions, also beating the other event in the number of mentions, with 40,750 vs. 11,700.
The distribution trend of volumes over time shows some moments of increased participation. In Milan, the hot dates are April 19th (opening date) and April 22 (closing date). The most popular message of the first day is the Instagram photo on by Francesca Barra (“Even taking pictures sideways requires talent. Fatigue, take me away. See you at #milano today @tempodilibri”, link). While the closing day is dominated by the echo of Piercamillo Davigo’s statements discussing corruption, in addition to the intervention on Giovanni Ciacci’s Instagram (“Good reading to everyone #CiacciMood @tempodilibri #rhofiera #milano #milan #book #bookstagram “link).
In Turin the opening day was the most active as well: the top influencer is the Instagram account of the humor page Commenti Memorabili (over 6,600 interactions for the post announcing their participation in the Festival). May 21 and 22 show similar volumes: the Commenti Memorabili community is one of the most active in the event (the official account’s Instagram post is the most popular content by the end of the day). On the day after the closing of the Salone, online conversations are still going on, mainly by corporate accounts thanking the organizers and public (official Facebook account of the Book Fair and Mayor Chiara Appendino) and the reflections published by La Stampa (Facebook post on the official account) on the Italian culture system, now more complex thanks to the presence of the Milanese event.
In short, Torino beats Milan not only on content volumes but also for the ability to bring on board vibrant communities that can spontaneously support engagement during the fair.
Different digital territories
The distribution of conversations from the two events differs between channels (see chart below):
Over half of Tempo di Libri posts and interactions are on Instagram (66%), followed by Facebook (17%), Twitter (15%) and, News and Blogs (1%). The main influencers of the event are on Instagram: less than 20% of the total posts generated 66% of the interactions recorded during the analyzed period.
Instead, there was a more balanced distribution of conversations for the Torino event: Facebook ranked first with 37% of the total, followed by Instagram (33%), Twitter (25%), News (3%), Blogs and FlickR 1%).
The digital territories of the discussions draw a different user profile for the two events: influencers with well-defined communities have monopolized the discussions around Tempo di Libri, but for Turin, conversations are more comprehensively distributed among different social channels, with a substantial difference in the volumes recorded for Facebook and Twitter compared to the Milan event.
Top players vs small publishers
The specific channel distribution for the two events suggests that there are differences not only in the composition of the community but especially in the management and intervention of professional or official accounts.
The above graph shows the number of posts analyzed for some of the major Italian publishing houses present in both events: in blue, quotes for Tempo di Libri and in Orange for the Fiera del Libro di Torino. The order is dictated by the total number registered for each.
Based on total awareness, the first five editorial groups are Mauri Spagnol (862), Mondadori (717), Feltrinelli (554), RCS (390), Einaudi (378). From the graph, we can see there is a significant difference in the distribution of interactions from publishing houses between the Milan and Turin fairs. Large publishing groups are actively involved and have been mentioned in both events. On the contrary, Joins, Sellerio, Treccani, Minimum Fax, Laterza, De Agostini show a preference evident by their presence in the Fiera del Libro di Torino.
In short, the analysis of online content seems to suggest that the online success of the Salone del Libro di Turin is also linked to the construction of a community with a defined identity: well distributed among the various channels, formed by users and influencers, and by small publishers and large publishing groups.