While social media may be a fixture in your personal life, you may not be capitalizing on all it has to offer as an easy and cost-effective tool for communicating with your library users and beyond.
Here are five tips for maximizing what you and your library can get out of various social media platforms.
Make sure the details on your profile are correct and the profile picture is up to date and cropped correctly on your profile. For your library’s social media, double-check opening times (if applicable) and contact information. This signals to your patrons or other potential audiences that the rest of the content on the account is also likely to be up-to-date, and that you are making an effort to communicate through social media platforms. The standard profile features can also be used creatively to get information out there: if your library is hosting an event, putting up a promotional banner as the header image on your profile or a pinned Tweet on Twitter is an easy way to get the word out.
2. Follow and use hashtags
Hashtags connect your content to the larger conversation and help you reach the people you want to reach, while also allowing you to read what others are posting about different topics. See the latest conversation happening around #OpenScience and share your views on why #LibrariesMatter. Can’t travel to an interesting conference or talk? Follow the event hashtag and live vicariously through other people! And of course, no one understands #LibrarianProblems like your fellow librarians. You might also want to create a hashtag for your library and encourage patrons to post library-related questions and comments under that tag.
3. Who to follow
Social media is, of course, all about being social, but it’s equally important to make sure you only follow people and organizations who actually bring value to your newsfeed-scrolling activities. To ensure that your newsfeed is always filled with relevant content, follow publishers (@WileyLibINFO on Twitter for the latest updates from Wiley’s librarian resources), colleagues, conferences, university departments, newspapers, NGOs, and even other libraries to get a sense of what they are doing. Think beyond your own interests and figure out what your audience might find useful or interesting.
4. Sharing is caring
Think of what might interest the target audiences of your personal or library accounts and make a point to share content that’s relevant to those interests. Your librarian colleagues might be interested in an article about changing library spaces and the students at your institution might benefit from you retweeting some key announcements from the university. Take note of unique and interesting ideas and content pieces online and pass them on! Sharing or retweeting a post also lets its creator know that you appreciate their content and find it useful.
5. Teach what you know
Social media can help students and researchers keep up to date on relevant academic topics, promote their research, and network with people in their fields. As an information professional, you can support them in making the most of these platforms by sharing your knowledge and strategies with them. Consider hosting a social media workshop, or posting tips on social media for your patrons to learn from.
How do you use social media to promote your library? What are your favorite tips for mastering the various platforms? Let us know in the comments bellow or tweet us @WileyLibinfo!
Image Credit: ZBW MediaTalk