In a social media age, South Vancouver bookstore takes old-school approach

Half Moon Bookstore, which sells manga and anime products, relies on word of mouth to attract customers


By Milica Anic

Atsuko Yamashita, owner of Half Moon Bookstore on Main Street near Marine Drive said she hasn’t changed the way she does business since she founded the store in 1999.

“I just do the same thing that I’ve been doing,” said Yamashita, “I just deal with customers, I make customers happy in person rather than online.”

No need to complicate things

Half Moon Bookstore sells manga, anime comics and merchandise like figurines, shirts and posters. Yamashita does use Facebook, but focuses on building her business from customer relationships.

Yamashita said social media has positive benefits, but she fears negative reviews of her store. “Some people just do it purposely to put negative comments on things so of course when you read it you don’t feel good,” Yamashita said. She said it’s “best to ignore them.”

Product awareness with social media

Langara business professor Jarrett Vaughan says sometimes businesses find social media a good way to create awareness of a product.

But Vaughan said often businesses become overwhelmed because social media is time consuming.

There’s this perception that [social media] is free, and it’s not free,” Vaughan said, adding that creating content for social media can be difficult. 

“And so eventually, they have these social channels, but they just give up, and they stop posting, and they stop engaging. And so the reason that a lot of brands don’t use social media is because they fail to understand what the benefits and the purposes are,” he said. 

First-year Langara business student Kaitlyn Lew said businesses will have to come up with new ways to promote themselves without social media.

“[Businesses] would have to work harder to think of different ideas,” Lew said. “Most of the time advertising is on social media.”


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