Connecting through Social Media

Speakers: Ryan Livergood, Robbins (Arlington, MA) Library, Michael Wick, Peabody (MA) Institute Library and Ona Ridenour and Allison Babin, Beverly (MA) Public Library

Ryan Livergood: 25% of smartphone owners go online with their phone rather than their computers. There is a need to engage your library community online and establish an interactive dialogue.

Robbins Library keeps an eye on Yelp and Foursquare reviews and responds to patron comments quickly. They can use positive feedback to highlight your achievements with town/city government. Also use Facebook, Twitter, blogs, YouTube and Flickr

Top Tips:

  • Keep it simple
  • Avoid too many cooks in the kitchen. Everyone should have an assigned task so no one person has to keep track of all social media endeavors
  • Keep track of stats (can use Hootsuite for Twitter and Facebook)
  • Content rules. Keep content interesting  and don’t let accounts founder. They habe 3-4 blog posts per week. Work shared among staff.
  • Recycle and borrow content. Retweet from other sources or send blog posts to local newspaper for publication.
  • Don’t fear worst case scenario, but if it happens be ready to respond to negative comments in a calm, professional way and keep trustees informed of situation.
  • Don’t use social media you don’t have a use for. Use what you can, but don’t feel like you have to have an account with every service.
  • Have fun. Thanksgiving video

Michael Wick: What works with social media?

It allows you to advertise services and serve patrons, but also can make your daily work easier. Investing time and money into making OverDrive tutorial videos reduced time needed to provide one on one sessions with patrons (from 1 per day to 1 per month approx.). Various services available to make videos. Wick used Camtasia Studio for a cost of $250 due to its editing features and the lack of a limit on length. Pros to making video are that staff can refer patrons to it rather than having them wait for an appointment, replying to comments and questions on YouTube video is a great way to connect with patrons. Cons are that it took 3-4 hours for each video (not including learning the software), money was needed for the e-readers and Camtasia Studio, videos need to be updated as devices and OverDrive changes, the library needs to be able to keep up with the questions posted on YouTube and there is still a need to create paper handouts.

Meetup.com is a platform where you can create a page based on a shared interest or activity and post events to which users can rsvp, and post pictures afterwards at a cost of $80 per year. There are about 11 million monthly users and 340,000 different monthly meetings. Libraries can use it to promote their programs or to identify a group whose interest aligns with a library program. They used Meetup to find a group interested in board games and offered the library as a meeting space. Not only did they have 10-20 people each month attend the event, but it also served as a chance to introduce the participants to the library. increase circulation and reference stats as these people used the library and create good PR. The downside is that it is not a traditional library service so you may need to spend time justifying it to management,  and staff running the program ending up acting as something of a party host.

Ona Ridenour and Allison Babin: Pinterest is like a visual version of Delicious. You can add images from all over the web or upload your own, add video from YouTube, add description or comments, and organize them in “boards”which are usually theme based. You can login through Facebook, Twitter, or an email address. It’s very easy to learn, quick to use and the responsibility can be shared across staff. Pinterest can be integrated into your Facebook or Twitter feeds. To alleviate copyright concerns, be sure to pin images from the source and to credit that source. You can uses services like Pinerly to get statistics.

Possible things to highlight with a Pinterest board:

  • reading lists
  • events
  • photo tours of library
  • meet the staff
  • celebrity bookworms
  • picture of the day from a digital archive collection
  • museum passes
  • e-resources
  • book trailers
  • share a board with multiple users or invite the public to upload their own photos

Pinterest etiquette

  • credit your sources
  • repin and like
  • follow others
  • be actively engaged, but don’t flood follower with pins. Use a scheduler to have them appear several at a time or plan to pin just a few every day
  • add length in description if using video
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One Response to Connecting through Social Media

  1. Pingback: 2012 NELA Annual Conference | Ryan Livergood

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