Whether your public library has a strong social media presence or you’re getting ready to take it up a notch, here are ten ways to use social media to promote your library.
Social media has become a popular vehicle for small and large businesses to help promote their services, and public libraries are no different. Whether using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or all the above, here are social media tips to showcase your library. For a reference guide you can refer to again and again, download the infographic here.
Get organized. Mark some time on your calendar monthly, bi-weekly or weekly to organize social media content. When you make it part of your day and create tasks around it, social media is more tangible.
Engage your audience. Think about what you like to see when you scroll through your personal social media feed. Do you love to see recommendations on new fiction and nonfiction titles? Informative videos? Polls? Try them all to see what works best for your community.
Follow. Make your personal feed a source of inspiration. Follow local pages that are relevant to your community, or popular sources to stay on top of trends and viral content. Share on your library’s social media page when you see something interesting, timely or relevant. Make use of trending hashtags or post on national holidays to increase your visibility to potential followers.
Pay attention to timing. Social media is on a 24-hour news cycle, meaning you never quite know when your posts are going to have the most impact. Experiment to determine when your audience is most active. The lifespan of a tweet is a short 18 minutes, so be mindful that if you’re using a channel like Twitter, it’s encouraged to post often.
Write once, share twice. If your library is creating content (e.g., newsletters and blog posts), don’t just use one channel for promotion. Make sure to leverage your hard work by sharing the content again and again. Cross-promotion and frequent posting on social channels could be the key to reaching new people.
Be concise. Where on Twitter you may be limited by character counts, Facebook allows for unlimited text (although it’s always best to keep your posts short). Think about what you want to convey, and make it concise; then use pictures or videos to draw people’s attention. And even though Twitter has recently increased its character count, it’s still encouraged to keep your tweets succinct.
Prioritize. Do you have staff dedicated to social media? Is social media something you enjoy spending time on? Think about these questions as you take on or evaluate your social media presence. Start with one channel until you get the hang of things, gain followers and confidence. Investing in social media takes some time, so be sure that you’re ready to take it on before launching a new channel.
Set goals. Consider your intentions each time you tweet, post or share something on social media. Establishing campaigns is a great way to measure the short- and long-term success of your goals.
Vary content. Libraries have a lot of components; why not give your community an inside look? Sharing new arrivals, upcoming events and interesting facts are all great ways to engage with your followers and keep things interesting.
Check out #LibraryTips. Each month, EBSCO compiles a list of relevant and timely tweets and posts for librarians to share as their own. Using the hashtag #librarytips, librarians can find pre-written posts that promote their databases and, ultimately, increase awareness and usage. These tips are posted at @EBSCO on Twitter or @EBSCOinfoservices on Facebook, or can be downloaded on the EBSCO Help website.
Share on your library’s social media page when you see something interesting, timely or relevant. Make use of trending hashtags or post on national holidays to increase your visibility to potential followers.
EBSCO offers LibraryAware™ from NoveList® to help libraries connect with their patrons. With LibraryAware’s templates and tools, you can create posts for social media, or post an existing item to your library’s social media networking site. LibraryAware can help you with many of the previous tips.