UCSD

UCSD (University of California, San Diego) libraries have multiple collections on Flickr

Moments in time, Library exhibits and Library events. Along with organized and labeled collections they, UCSD, have a photo-stream that included over 1,400 images that have been taken and tagged and submitted about the UCSD library, great for browsing.

As I browsed through these collections I noticed each picture had at minimum the tag “UCSD libraries, brownie point of UCSD. Donna Ekart states as rule one in Tech Tips for Every Librarian, “First, tag, tag, and tag again” (2010, p46). By tagging photos with appropriate tags such as location, event, library name, popular acronyms, etc. the library’s photos will be discovered more easily and more often, bringing in a greater recognition to the library and hopefully more patrons to help.

 Fault: there is not enough tagging. Some photos only include the tags “UCSD libraries and UCSD”, they need more tags including: San Diego, California, library, education, architecture (when building pictures) and other descriptive tags about the photo, you can never have too many tags.

UCSD libraries do a great job and being consistent with adding to the Flickr, most recent photos are from Oct. 29, 2012.

I think UCSD is a great model for starting libraries who are looking into using Flickr. They show what a complete profile looks like, they have photo streaming, collections, sets and a gallery. However, I do not see them as a library that has itself mastered the use of Flickr.Still, they have a fun collections to browse through.

References:
Ekart, D. (2010). Tech tips for every librarian. Computers in libraries, 32(4).

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Spartans Market Successfully

San Jose State University King Library

I selected the King Library as my marketing critique focus. The library has a well rounded presence on the web; outside of their website they market themselves through the following ways:
Twitter: @SJSU_kinglib
Facebook: SJSU King Library and
Google+: SJSU King Library
Bi-Annual Newsletter: SJSU King Library Newsletter

I will discuss how they engage themselves with these applications as well as address any improvements I see that might benefit the library. These points made are my observations only and do not included insight from the employees of the King Library.

I have a twitter feed, @nimblelibrarian, I started out following @SJSU_kinglib they have a small following of 240 twitters and within 30 minutes I was being followed back, this response time impressed me. Followed by this prompt new follower I browsed past tweets and gathered a feel of what exactly the King Library wanted its followers to know. They are supportive of other SJSU accounts, re-tweeting campus club announcements, local reference desk, local public libary, and the main SJSU feed. This past Friday I tweeted, “Its Friday, I want rain, soup and a good book”  @nimblelibrarian. I do not have a following, as I have just started developing my own brand, so you can imagine my excitement when I was re-tweeted by @SJSU_kinglib .

The impression made to me so far by the King Library was positive. Along with simple recognitions of their followers, they advertised upcoming events & exhibits taking place in the library.

The King Library also uses Facebook to expand their web presence. The Facebook page for the library was born, August 31, 2011. It is barely a year old, which surprised me as I thought they would have started using it earlier. The Facebook page did not impress me as much as the twitter feed did but it did not let me down either. The library uses images often with corresponding posts are which often about upcoming events or exhibits. Due to the nature of these posts it was difficult to see a “real” person behind them; they felt more like an automatic response you get when you apply to a job. That being said I came across one post that teased with personality, a post about the San Jose Falcons. (see post below)

 
This post encourages student to come to the library for non-library things instead of research, study, computers, etc. It is important to capture and include your target audience, in this case students, in your posts. This post had 3 likes and 3 comments, higher than most posts on the page.

Another concern was that the response time to student complaint posts was around a full day.   I saw to complaints, one directed at noisy patrons and the other directed at the Library Wi-Fi, response time for both around 24 hours. For the complaint directed towards noisy patrons the response was okay, because they requested information to report it. The complain directed to the library, “Please fix the Wifi connection. I really want to stay in the library to study. I can’t study at home!!!!!!!” needed to be addressed much earlier than 24 hours later because the student was studying and needed the Wi-Fi at that moment. I’d recommend tot he King Library to reduce the response time to posts like these, in order to be more helpful throughout their web presence. 

The Google+ account, created September 2011, is very much like the King Library Facebook page, posts are almost identical. On Nov. 4, 2011 one of the first posts to receive any follower response included the response from SJSU King Library thanking them for their support, +1 to their rapport. I critique this in their marketing because it is vital to acknowledge those who follow you, your “fans” as you will. However, this unfortunately fades in to the background after a couple more posts and the acknowledgment is no longer made.  It is important to keep it up, even if you only have a handful of fans, appreciate them. 

As I made my way through the main applications SJSU King Library uses to expand their online presence there are few things that I want need to address.  First, bravo to their consistent posting even with a mediocre following. Second, thank you for re-tweeting, just a small gesture that shows their acknowledgment of their followers.

They have a strong grasp of how to use these services to spread the word about what is happening in the library however they need to focus on expanding their following. SJSU has an enrollment of approximately 30,000 students, their followings hit around 300, that is 1% of the school.  I suggest they do this in multiple ways including:

1. Engage your followers – encourage comments in your posts and tweets. The more engaging you are the more interaction you will receive. Use posts for an opportunity to get survey responses from students, “Did you attend the Day of the Dead exhibit?”
2. Express personality beyond events and exhibit posting. Add to your newspaper a comic strip, for example talk about the employees and what they enjoy, make the library more personal.
3. Quicken your response time to posts. 24 hours for a response to  a wi-fi complaint is useless to the patron.  
4. Create a blog. Blogs are a great way to move above and beyond hours and event posts, of course I do not think I need to tell you that.

This being said, SJSU King Library markets their library services well, events, exhibits, hours, changes, etc. If their brand is “A library that keeps their students informed of events happening on campus” then they nailed it, no matter how boring that sounds. I recommend really exploiting the personality of the library, there are a great deal of employees their and I am sure they are not all boring. 

Library Social Media…what are your tactics?

Top 5 Social Media Tools for Promoting Library Services


What? Facebook
Why? Reach patrons of multiple ages, mobile accessibility, “Its massive reach provides compelling opportunities to connect with customers, both current and future, through fan pages, news feeds, groups, and throughout the site.” (SEOmoz)
How? Sign up for a group page (not a profile), designate the information that will be posted for your users and others to see and start posting. Posts about common topics, new ideas you want to implement. Using Facebook in this manner allows Libraries to get feedback in the easier way possible and directly from their users.

What? Twitter
Why? Networking in real time. A new tool to become personal with your users. Tweets are limited to 160 characters, requires tweets of significance and informational. IE “SJSU library closed Oct. 8 Columbus day!” (39 characters)
How? Sign up for a twitter account begin adding followers and following others. Read Musings about librarianship on how Twitter can help your library.

What? YouTube
Why? Video promotion
How? Video Blogs – have staff record book reviews of latest books, add a library tour and introduce your staff, invite participation from patrons “What is your favorite book?” and compile them into a video. Video Tours are very effective and allow users to get a feel for your library before they go, you can also put up tutorials on how to use your system. You can also use YouTube as a form of education videos, how many tutorials can you find on YouTube? Millions! I’m sure you can even find one on using YouTube in your Library.

What? Wikipedia
Why? Wikipedia offers a place to build guides for users. Wikis are a great way to keep on top of all the new services or updates happening in the library 

How? Create a Wiki (make sure to have an easy access link to the page) where Library staff can update changes to the library. You can also create a Wiki that patrons can access and add recommendations or even services that maybe a staff member did not think of.


What? Good-reads
Why? What better way to promote an RA (Readers Advisory) with Good-reads.
How? Visit the link and start adding books and reviews. Good-reads provides a way for patrons to see what the staff is reading and get recommendations and reviews. This tool in itself is a RA service, not just one to help promote your own library services.

-NimbleLibrarian

Recommended Reads:

Breeding, M. (2009). Social networking strategies for professionals. Computers in Libraries, 29(9), 29-31
Fichter, D. , & Avery, C. (2012). Tools of influence: Strategic use of social media. Online, 36(4), 58-60.


Step-by-Step Guide to Your Social Media Success
Avoid These 4 Common Social Media Mistakes – Joseph Ruiz

Social Media…are you in it?

I have the following Social Media tools
Twitter: @nimblelibrarian
Facebook: Whitni Watkins
LinkedIn: Whitni Watkins
FourSquare: Whitni Watkins

I enjoy using these tools and I am working on developing my own brand. (more on that somewhere else)
My Facebook I use for personal use, but I make sure that what I post there is still professional. AKA I don’t want to post something that has potential to get me in trouble with an employer.

My linked in account is primarily for professional use. I have recommendations from past employers, my resume fully posted and I update it often. I continue to make connections with potential colleagues, or employers I would be interested in working for. I also join groups that are of my professional interest.

LinkedIn was slightly confusing at first but now that I have used it more frequently I have recognized its potential. The biggest thing about LinkedIn is that it is a professional aimed social tool, meaning what you put up is more at stake employment wise than anything else, so this requires more detailed attention than Facebook.

I think today yes Librarians should have social media pages, like Linked In.This social media tool is perfect for enhancing your involvement in the professional world but also a great way for potential employers to scope you out. As I type this I realize that my interviewers from yesterday can be checking out my page right now, if they haven’t already.

A Librarian should have a linked in page if for nothing else but you have a place where you can be fully represented professionally. As Mary Ellen Bates concluded in her article Revisiting LinkedIn from Online Magazine, “Even if you choose to set your privacy settings to stun and never share an update, LinkedIn is a useful resource for info pros.” (Bates, 2012, p64)

I don’t think a LinkedIn page for Libraries is essential but they can use the groups option to increase their awareness as their librarians add them into their profile pages. LinkedIn is a tool that can be used for libraries, but are their other tools that will provide better attention for the library? Yes. Facebook is an ideal place for school libraries and public libraries to create a presence. Their main audience (pre-teens, teenagers, young adults) are using Facebook not LinkedIn. 

H&M: Fashion and Quality at the Best Price

I can’t think of a catchy phrase for this post so I’m going to dive right in. I follow H&M on Twitter @hmusa, I liked them on Facebook (H&M), I have their app on the iPhone and I’m on their email list…..you could say at the least I know what H&M offers. They are truly the only store I follow on every media aspect they offer. Using each of the media tools provides me with what I like most, coupons to save me some dough. I love me a good $5 off purchase of $15 especially if I shop there already.

H&M posts continually about upcoming products, new clothing lines, coupons, and more on both Twitter and Facebook. Something I learned this past week about using social media is allowing honesty on your pages. Let you users express how they really feel about your stuff, good and bad. As I browse H&M’s Facebook page you get both.
I have blurred out images and names for privacy as I did not ask to use their comments.

H&M also responds to their fans on Twitter (also on Facebook) – quite effectively.

Their fans are acknowledging them and H&M is recognizing them. I think H&M is doing a great job in responding to their fans with social media. The cases shown above are not rare, H&M responds frequently. What I did notice is they respond just enough to make it a special instance when they to directly respond to users.

Due to the types of comments towards H&M, I can confidently say that H&M has developed a relationship with their customers that helps them feel that they can actively express their opinions (good and bad). They have thousands of follows and FB posts have thousands of likes and 40+ comments. I would confidently say communication is happening.

Follow:
Twitter feed: @hmusa
Facebook: H&M
App (iphone & android): H&M
Website: www.hm.com

-NimbleLibrarian