Engaging Your Audience

As I continue to learn how the way of the social media world moves, I have learned quickly that visual trumps anything. Images usually trump Video but Video does a great job of keeping up and they both trump text, unless its <10 words and requires a response.

To engage your audience you must mandate their personal involvement. Likes are great. Shares get greater audience and comments create the relationship. When posting on Facebook or Twitter, open ended questions such as fill-in-the-blanks will encourage the most engagement. When it comes down to the nitty gritty everyone just wants to be heard, they want to feel like they are contributing to the world around them and they do this through their voice (both physical and virtual(?) ).

Mashable put together July of 2012 (last year) an article on 6 posts that build engagement, the article has 1.4K Facebook shares, 2.8K Tweets & 5.6K readers. You can read the article here: 6 Posts That Build Engagement on Facebook

Derived from the famous movie quote from Field of Dreams, I”f you build it, he will come.”

Here’s how you build it.

1. Photos. 

“On Facebook, a picture could be worth a thousand likes. That’s because a picture is one of the simplest ways to catch someone’s attention, as it is more visually appealing than the average post.”

2. Fill-in-the-blanks – “These types of posts often garner fun and short comments, which then encourage your audience to react and interact.”

3. Photo Captions – They bring the best of 1 & 2 together.

4. Questions 

“Asking questions is probably one of the easiest methods to get fans to comment and share their thoughts.” Accompany your photo/article/video posts with a question. The company Upworthy is a prime example of accompanying media with questions. They have 3.3M likes on Facebook, I think they know how to build their audience.

Click to view Upworthy's Facebook page

Click to view Upworthy’s Facebook page

5. Tips

Tips give value to your audience; they require an action beyond a one click like. Make your tips useful, they don’t always need to be “hidden” tips; what may appear as a no brainer to you  maybe be 100% enlightening to your user.

6. Quotes

“Quotes are one of the easiest and most popular ways to get likes and shares on Facebook. They tend to get more shares and likes compared to comments because quotes are often inspirational, making it personal in nature.”

Until next time…

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Policy Breach

Censorship?

What do you do when your social media policy is breached? For example, what do you do when an audience member posts on your social media (tagging you or in response to something you said) that involves vulgar language, or reveals confidential information?

Do you delete it? What about censorship. Do you edit it? What about censorship. Do you leave it? What does that say about your brand.

This is a whole new territory for me and I’ve just recently encountered it. The policy was to remove the comment. I wondered, do you give reason why? Do you remove it or do you hide it from your population except for the person who posted it & their friends (This is an option on Facebook).

Ross Betzer wrote a post on a debate that accepted the claim that ALA’s should be adjusted to match the self-censorship practiced by most libraries.

As I began looking at what the “reasonable” response was to this concern, I found that many policies I looked at included statements about what the policy is but do not include information on how it should be handled if the policy were breached. ALA’s Code of Ethics, does the same thing, there isn’t a guide to response.

We are information professionals, we stand firmly behind equal dissemination of information and against censorship. When the line is crossed, how do we respond?

How would you respond. Would you find deleting a comment going against what you “live by” as an information professional?

In the end, I believe the comment was removed in its entirety however, is this the right decision? If not, how can we improve it?

Two posts?

One of our main goals at SCCL is to increase our likes on the SCCL page.

We have begun to incorporate multiple postings a day as well as bringing in more people to post to the page.

I think we could designate certain days with certain topics (Techy Tuesdays, Funny Friday, Movie Monday, etc) and this would keep a consistency with the posts as well as provide guidance for those posting when they have run out of creative juices. I have created a Google Doc that has been named “Facebook Magic Jar”. With posting 10-12 times a week for 52 weeks a year you can run out of things you want to say or you may feel that you aren’t being as creative. This Google Doc will serve as our creativity jar, not sure what to post? Check out the ideas and select one from the list.

Last week I posted a funny image/meme that has over 30 likes, and reached over 700 people. This was big because most posts were reaching only 30-60 people.

I talked with my supervisor and we concluded to one major thing, our audience likes humor. This is something that didn’t really exist in past posts so we were able to learn something about our audience by taking a risk, albeit even a small risk. Our likes have grown 107%, 29 new likes in the past week.

It is important to know the audience you are reaching. Do they want book reviews? Would they rather know of upcoming events in the library? Do they like memes? These are all very important questions to ask.

Until next time…..

David Lee King and Facebook

I recently watched a webinar put on by ALATechsource and David Lee King, from davidleeking.com, titled Facebook in the Library: Enhancing Services and Engaging Users, you can view or DL his slides on SlideShare: Facebook in the Library

While thinking greatly about how SCCL can up their followers and after I analyzed their posting habits, what posts reached the most audience, etc. I noticed that they were averaging less than 1 post per day. King recommends posting a minimum of 3-4 times a day and to include real stuff and fun stuff. The philosophy behind including both, besides the fact that we like to see fun stuff too, is followers will like the fun stuff as you post it (and maybe the real stuff to…) and Facebook will read that this person likes to see stuff from the library and will like things more. These likes will show up on their feeds and thus in turn sharing SCCL posts to their friends and allowing for others to like the posts. Once I understood this logic, it only makes more sense to become more engaged in your social media platforms because it is like a chain reaction and the amount of people you can reach is astounding, especially if you do it right.

Goals for SCCL:

  • 3-5 posts a day
  • 60% fun posts, 40% real posts
  • Ask engaging questions
  • Publicize your Facebook page!

Social Media for libraries

Top 5 Social Media Tools for Promoting Library Services

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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.
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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.
YouTube Icon
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.
-NimbleLibrarianRecommended 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

First week – What I’ve done, where I’m going?

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My first week working with the Santa Clara County Public Library (SCCL) has concluded and I am very excited.
I get to do 2 things I really enjoy: research & social media.

I started out the week writing my staff bio for my supervisor to share with her staff. I am getting better at introducing myself, especially after 8 classes of posting introductions.

I contacted the New York Public Library this week as I researched statistical aggregators for social media. As a leading library in the effective use of social media I thought finding out what they use will help set me down the right track. I hit that nail right on the head. NYPL was very helpful and listed the applications they used for certain social media applications, like HootSuite for Twitter and Facebook Analytics. I had partly hoped that someone somewhere might have developed an all-i-one (AIO) statistical software and that NYPL new that great secret. In a way they did, HootSuite premium account ($8.99/mo) looks like it offers this tool for multiple platforms. More research will be underway.

I ate a fortune cookie today and it beheld great wisdom: “You will be successful through innovation and determination”

So now where do I go with this information? I work on a proposal and I recommend a software. That’s the first step and then I think, I innovate and I stay determined.

Up Next:
Connecting and creating a personal aspect with a Library Facebook page. How can we do it and why should we do it?