Saturday, June 25, 2011

Seriously Social: Leveraging Social Media

[Post is subject to some editing and revision, but I want to post quickly.]

Kolene Allen, Grand Rapids (MI) Public Library; David Lee King, Topeka Shawnee (KS) Public Library

What is social media, online conversations. When libraries join we join conversations they are already having.

“If you are not involved in social media you are not on the Internet.”

Twitter (Kolene):

Social networking, messaging site. 225 million accounts on Twitter as of March. 60% of all tweets come from 3rd party appl. 456 tweets per second the day Michael Jackson died, 4000 tweets per second when Obama announced death of Bin Laden.

A way to keep up, share what we are doing, recommend books, etc. We are already doing it, just in a different forum.

Recommendation: follow your followers; retweet what your followers say; mentions (@replies), talking about you.

Use DM for private messages. Often can deal with issues for folks who would not complain in person.

#Hashtags: organize conversations, useful for searching.

People are talking about you now...this is a way to keep track of what is happening, what people are saying about you, check out what other libraries are doing, build the library audience. Can search on Twitter:

Facebook (David Lee King):

How many social networking have had a movie made about them. What if you had a way for 51% of your customers for free. Right now 51% if Americans 12 and over are on Facebook.

Set up personal profile; then create organizational page, think of a shortened name. Once you have 25 friends/fans you can add that shortened name to your page. You can choose what you want for the "landing page." TSPL has just over 2,900 fans.

They have a "donate" page. With some work you can build a customized page. Can build in links to videos and pictures.

Facebook will provide statistics on "views." Therefore driving more business to the regular website.

Facebook = engaging. Easy, free, just takes time.

Planning and Strategizing:

Who is going to do the work, and then assign it (makes it a real part of their job). Use a team so that someone can handle if someone is sick or leaves. Figure out if you are going to use the events page and how, how often you post. Start with short term (one year) goals. Set goals for what you are going to do (how many status updates a week). Figure out what kind of content you will post. Figure out who your real audience is. Like button is cool which you can add to blog posts...

Important things to to:

  1. Actually tell people about your Facebook page, ask people to "friend" us.
  2. Remember you are creating and making connections, post things that are designed to continue the conversation. Post things for your target audience.
  3. Remember who you represent.....Nothing you do on the web is private.
This is real work. Someone needs to decide who to friend. Need to designate staff to do this. May need to do real training. You need to engage people and give them space to reply. There is a real return on investment. It is fun. It is where the library really needs to be, it brings the library out into the community.

First question was about multi-branch situation. Need to have folks from both branches and "central" to decide what to do. Can set up multiple pages. Topeka has separate pages for Library, Foundation, Friends, Art Gallery, and YA. Grand Rapids has only one page for all libraries, but many are doing separate pages for each branch.

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