NOTES: Strategy for Blogging and Social Networking

These are my notes from Strategy for Blogging and Social Networking, part of the Carterette Series Webinars (archived here / additional materials here), presented by Casey Long of Agnes Scott College in Decatur, GA, and Sarah Steiner of Georgia State University in Atlanta, GA.

  • Libraries need a plan for social media. If you don’t have a plan or buy-in from your staff and the organization, the patrons will not come.
  • Don’t just do it because everyone else is doing it. Be invested or don’t do it.
  • You can get started by blogging and having the blog content feed into Facebook & Twitter. Not a best practice, but it’s a way to get started. Better to use the strengths of each platform to push your message in a unique way.
  • Setting up a plan for your social media:
  • Consider Your Audience:
  • It’s important to speak to people in your community, in your library, find out how they want to interact with you.
  • Use focus groups (if you have funds, bribe with pizza! mmm… pizza) to determine how the community wants to interact.
  • Use small surveys or Census data.
  • Develop content to give people something to react to, more concrete.
  • Set Content Areas:
  • What do users of the library want to know?
  • What kind of content does the library have to offer?
  • What does the library want to communicate?
  • Content suggestions: interviews with users, reposts / retweets of relevant materials from patrons, highlighted materials, service launches
  • Use social media to create a community. Don’t just push content; work with your community to create content.
  • It’s vital to use a tagging system on your blogs.
  • Choose a Target Audience:
  • Show particular populations that they are valuable to you and you want to engage with them.
  • If you don’t put any time into posting things, no one’s going to come to your site.
  • Spread out the work among staff, and it doesn’t end up being too much work for any one person.
  • Assign posts to staff to write based on their own interests / strengths.
  • Have specific staff assigned to watching Facebook / Twitter streams.
  • Assess Your Success:
  • 1. Incorporate a cycle of assessment.
  • 2. Review data.
  • 3. Ask patrons.
  • Use Google Analytics to track your traffic.
  • Social media strategy best practices:
  • 1. Be honest about your time / ability
  • 2. Don’t try to do everything at once
  • 3. Be human
  • 4. Give the process time
  • 5. Use the platform that’s right for your library
  • 6. Don’t feel like you have to be everywhere,
  • 7. Set metrics for success
  • 8. Assign responsibility
  • 9. Create community / involve your users
  • 10. Try different things
  • 11. Don’t fear the reaper – if it’s not working, adjust your approach or abandon it.
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