The end is near

As I begin my wrap up for this internship I get to reflect on what I did, what I learned and would I change anything.

I have spent a great deal with social media, primarily Facebook and Twitter. I have watched as our Facebook posts grow in views and drop in views. I have watched as we continue to increase our interaction the likes on our page go up. I believe we will hit out 1K like before the years end, without campaign.

I have learned that the business aspect of Facebook is very time consuming and if done well also complicated. We use our personal pages to share our thoughts and we are happy when people like our page. From a personal aspect, my page is private but this is the recipe for disaster for any organization.

One thing is at a personal level use Facebook to connect with old friends, family, loved ones, etc. We use Facebook to share our feelings (some often too much). As an organization Facebook is another faucet for customer service and advertisement. We are there to build our brand, to connect with our customers and to build our following. Although essentially they have similar goals, on a personal level we don’t track when our friends see our posts or what posts get the most likes, etc. However, all of this is something that should be tracked for businesses. Facebook insights help with gathering the data but understanding it is up to the page managers. This is a portion of the complicated and time consuming part of Facebook for your business.

Advertising on Facebook is also very important for businesses, at SCCL we are working towards building a campaign for a library service such as TreeHouse. Campaigns are much more complicated than they seem. You can read my post here about Facebook Campaigns. At first we were going to do a campaign for 1K likes but as we dove into the nitty gritty we realized that we wanted to use the campaign for something more “beneficial” like adverts for the newest and coolest software at SCCLD.

One thing I would change is the Twitter interaction. I wish we could have nailed down the target for Twitter first thing because leaving it ‘up in the air’ with a semi-focus on businesses and community made the interaction very difficult. As I finish the Social Media Strategic Plan for SCCLD my key recommendation for Twitter is to develop a focused audience. This will help immensely with tweets and their content. Now, I’m not saying you have to have a specific focus, just a focus of some sort, don’t teeter between two and see which one comes out stronger. The joy about any business is your focus can change, it isn’t set in stone, as goes for your Social Media presence.

The internship isn’t over yet, we’ve got one week left to accomplish some big tasks. Look for next weeks post on my final report.


Photo contest in your library. Oh and #hashtags

I have been given the task of developing the procedure/plan/integration of using Instagram at SCCLD.

For those of you who live under rocks, Instagram is an application available on both Android & Apply phones. The people at Instragram describe it as:  a fastbeautiful and fun way to share your life with friends and family. I’d describe it as an app used specifically for photo (& now video) sharing.

This app can be linked (as most others) to share parallel to Facebook & Twitter. It also recognizes hashtags & account tagging (how else do you get to shame your friend with the candid snap of them sneezing, no really!); this is all relevant information to note.

Robin Davis with Emerging Tech in Libraries wrote on incorporating Instagram into your library SUCCESSFULLY: Spread the love. Hashtag like crazy. Within reason. ( Read more here: Using Instagram in Libraries

So we want to incorporate Instagram and we want to come in with a BANG! so we are going to make our first big attempt at a photo contest. We know we will use the following: Hashtags (#SCCLD & #[whateverwedecideonforthecontest], tagging (@sccld) & we want to focus on library programs. Other questions we need to answer include: How do we announce it? When do we announced? and How long do we let it run?

Without rehashing what has already been said by others here & here.

This is what I perceive our tentative plan with the Contest to get our Instagram started:

Announce on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Library News Section (?) the contest. Include in the announcement the hashtags necessary for recognition; the focus for the contest – Library Programs tagging – @SCCLD and let it ride! (advertise the contest at least once a week.)


FYI: Hashtags started with IRC (internet Relay Chat) and programming for denoting topics/groups, Chris Messina took the idea and implemented it in Twitter. The use of hashtags became increasingly popular and useful; this lead to the adoption of their use by Instagram & Facebook (as a form of tagging topics) – why do the hashtags matter? If you still live under your rock, this is why #hashtags are important.

“So to keep it simple, people are only one hashtagged word away from possibly being seen by thousands, if not millions of people through social media.” ( Read full article here: The importance of #hashtags

Hashtags are what will make our stuff BIG, or at least provide the option. In the contest, using the appropriated hashtags, we [administrators] will be able to track the submissions across platforms, by searching for our decided upon hashtag. So, yes Hashtags are important, despite this video here:

However it is important to note what Davis said earlier, Hashtag within reason 2-4 relevant per post Hashtags is acceptable.

Facebook. The form of reference/advertising/reader’s advisory AIO

While perusing through posts on Facebook checking insight stats etc. I found myself spot in the middle of a fantastic reference opportunity. Conversation went as follows:

Patron (name not given for lack of permission): I wish you guys would have more audio books!!! I loved listening to the help while I cooked dinner and cleaned house!! Audio books are such a joy!

SCCL (me at the time): Have you checked out the OverDrive service or OneClick Digital? You can check out audiobooks there. /Whitni

Patron: Yeah. That’s where I get the audio books from. I really really wish they would order Gone with the wind!!!

SCCL: Tessie Garcia the Saratoga Library & Woodland Library have audiobook copies available for checkout for Gone with the Wind.… You can place a hold and pickup it at your home library. /Whitni

Patron:  Thank you!!! I’m going to go order them right now!! Thank you thank you thank you!!!

SCCL: You are most welcome. I hope you enjoy the book! Come back and let us know how it was. Make sure you get both parts, there is a part one and part two. /Whitni

Patron:  I most certainly will!!! How do I submit an application for a book order request? Gone with the wind has a sequel called Scarlet. I would love for Santa Clara County Library to carry it! It would be greatly enjoyed by those who love Gone with the wind as I do!

SCCL: [patron] you can suggest a purchase here:

Through this conversation we went from complaint > resolved complaint > advertising of services > hearing the patron > helping the patron find what they need/want > use of services by patron.

This conversation had so many elements to it, I would soundly say it was the “perfect” librarian conversation. Best part, it is public. Others will see the Q & A interaction (positive feedback) and learn from it and I didn’t have to repeat it 20 times to reach them.

Facebook served a great purpose and allowed for this interaction to take place.

A Facebook campaign?

Currently we are |this| close to hitting 1000 ‘likes’ on our Facebook page. The likes still come in during the week but on an average of about 3 per week. At this rate we will be into the new year before we hit 1K; that isn’t our [SCCL’s] idea of ending on a bang, more like a pfft (think poorly executed whoopee cushion prank).

What are we going to do? We are going to campaign for your likes, but how? That’s my job. I get to figure that out and I have NO IDEA how to develop a campaign on Facebook. Fortunately, we have the interwebs to help. Yes I did it, I googled “creating a Facebook campaign”, you can do it too I won’t judge.  I came across an article in Social Media Today: How to Create a Perfect Facebook Ad Campaign, author: Mitz Pantic. This article is nicely written but please keep in mind that it is a general guide (10 tips) and some of it isn’t 100% applicable to libraries.

So here is my plan, execution will come later.

Decide on our audience. We know geographical location (mostly) but now I need to decide on what other factors will make up our audience. Gender? Interest? Education? Marital Status? Spoken language?…

Discuss an image. Our campaign logo. Do we create one or do we use the Library’s logo? This image will represent us, when people see it we want them to think “Oh SCCLD, they are awesome.” [or something of that sort]

Creating your ad. Pantic recommends 5-10 ads to rotate, seems high but I’m new so that could just be naivety on my part. Creating the ad is the MOST important part because its what you will be ‘saying’ to those who see it. What message are you going to convey?

Do we offer an incentive for clicking on our ad? I don’t think this is something we can offer or should offer. We can promote a service but that’s about it… **mental note: address this later**

Find out when your audience interacts with your posts, this will help gauge the right time for your ads to ‘circulate’ around Facebook. If your audience is predominantly on Facebook around 1pm, don’t have your ads circulate at 8am. Capeesh?

Do we want Pay by Clicks or Cost Per Impression [WHAT???…will look into this later]

Audience. Image. Brand. Why.

So there you go, that’s my plan and I am sticking to it.

If you want to help us reach our 1K sooner than please like our page on Facebook

Need more to read about Facebook Ad Campaigns? Check out these articles:

Facebook for Business: create an ad

The Not-So-Secret Secrets of Successful Facebook Advertising

Facebook Insights. Do they work? Should we use them?

One of the easiest (give or take) ways to see how your Facebook posts are doing is to monitor your insights.

Over the past couple of days I have been working with Facebook insights to get an idea of how the audience between the 9 library pages within the SCCL district responds to posts. The main way to look at this is to view both interaction & reach of individual posts.

First I started out viewing just  the reach factor for each post, I focused on organic reach and total reach audience. What I found was posts with photos get the most “circulation” or reach factor. I wrote about the top 6 ways to get engagement on your Facebook page here, photos was #1. This was no surprise.

There are different types of “Reach” audiences that Facebook Insight take into count: (Read more about this here)

Organic Impressions:
These come from people seeing your content in their Newsfeed or the Ticker.  When you publish a new photo or status update to your Page’s wall and someone sees it, this number goes up. This is by far the most common way you’ll reach your Fans and their friends.

Viral Impressions
Viral Impressions are impressions on “stories” that get created when someone engages with your Page somehow.  Viral Stories might look like “David Turner liked PageLever’s comment”. There are 4 types of Viral Impressions: Fan, User Post, Page Post and Mention.

Paid Impressions:
Sponsored stories and other ad units are counted in here. Having the ability to see how your paid content is working alongside your owned content is crucial.

I focused primarily on Organic & Viral impressions. 

Then I looked at the engagement of each post by viewing the “engaged users” & the “talking about this” count. Facebook explains these in the following way: (Read more from PageLever here)

Engaged Users: Engaged Users is the number of individual people who have engaged with your Page, regardless if the engagement created a Story or not. 

Talking about this: People Talking About This (or PTAT) is the number of individual people who have engaged with your Page in a way that it created a “Story” that went out into the Newsfeed.

Why both? To get the big picture I needed more than one factor of “viewing”. Many articles have discussed the “error” in the reach count on Facebook. One article (which I cannot find again unfortunately) explained the reach count similar to that our the billboard. 100,000 cars may drive by this billboard but that doesn’t mean all 100,000 people saw it. The reach count tells us the traffic, was it rush hour or was it 2am? Looking at all these factors helps show not only what posts are getting the most traffic, but which ones are catching your readers attention AND which ones are engaging them enough to create a reaction. 

Although Facebook Insights have helped bring data we didn’t before consider, its complex. You cannot just look at a post and say, “Well we reached 6000 people with a photo post so we should post more photos”.  To get an accurate read you must consider where you reaches came from, did the post engage your users & did they “like” it enough to share? Once you have this data you can accurately (as accurate as Facebook insights allow) see which posts your audience feed off of. (Sounds Zombie-ish…)

Its complex. To get a brief definition of 60+ Facebook Insight terms check out this article

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.


“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…

Policy Breach


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?