When most people in the library world think about reaching out to their prospective and current community, very seldom do they think to ask themselves, “Are we cool?” Now what does that mean? I don’t mean run out and buy the latest sunglasses for your staff to wear, rather look to Walker Library of History and Human Imagination. When I say cool, I’m referring to your coolness in the virtual world and how that translates to attracting people to your library.
Over the years, online visibility has become an imperative factor in promoting your brand. A quick Google search can determine how your web presence appears to potential members, volunteers and donors. Now that Google indexes tweets, you have even more incentive to dazzle the world by taking your social strategy to the next level.
When it comes to social media, engagement is the name of the game. Check out these three ways to increase engagement with your audience.
1. Be where the cool people are
Of course it’s not breaking news to say that social media has changed the landscape of the marketing world. Social networks give libraries the opportunity to engage with followers and address their comments or concerns directly. You can of course have fun and highlight how awesome libraries and books are.
Here are some tweets to inspire you.
— Library of Congress (@librarycongress) July 12, 2015
“No iron can stab the heart with such force as a period put just at the right place.” On this day in 1894, Isaac Babel was born. #litquote
— NY Public Library (@nypl) July 13, 2015
These aren’t the only libraries winning on Twitter. Check out the Top 100 Libraries to follow and see how your library stacks up.
2. Share relevant information
Bombarding your users with information will make your library very uncool, very quickly. Clogging someone’s newsfeed will likely result in losing the followers that you’ve worked so hard to get. Granted, social posting is essential to keep your community in the loop of the programs and services you provide, but according to Social Media Today, you don’t want to overwhelm followers. Be relevant and think about what your audience is interested in.
An overload of self-promotional information takes you out of the cool category and will drive your present and future library community away.
Tip: Ask your followers questions and RT their answers. On Instagram, repost images of people reading or participating in a community event. Remember, when it comes to social media, it’s not all about you.
3. Follow people
Social media shouldn’t be one sided, so don’t be afraid to follow people back and interact! Being able to put a face to a library (or any brand/organization) is preferable to Internet users. So, be the cool guy/gal and follow up with a nice little “thanks for the follow!” message. Also, see if you can weigh in on any relevant discussions. You’ll start to build relationships with this very simple step.
@dcpl Would love to know what the search term was for that GIF.
— DC Water (@dcwater) May 29, 2015
Remember, there are no rules against having fun.
Want more ideas on how to make your library cool online? We can help! Sign up for a demo and we’ll show you how Localist can get more people to your library with our interactive events calendar.