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.


Social Media Etiquette: responding to complaints

The more I’ve worked with Social Media the more I’ve come to notice that etiquette is hit and miss. Not everyone follows the same protocol. Albeit more important for ‘businesses’ than individuals, unless you are a celebrity which in this case you are viewed more as a business than an individual (sad but true when you think about it)

As librarians or para-professionals or circulation clerks, the list goes on, we have our fair share of dealing with irate patrons. We have the patrons who just want to be heard. The patrons who complain about dust on the keyboard. The patrons who just patronize…yeah, I went there. How do we handle these verbal complaints? “Kill ’em with kindness” “Give ’em a listening ear” “Ignore them [wait what?!]”  Our reactions to these situations are more/less second nature (if you’ve been working for more than a month in a library). Depending on the patron these complaints usually take place in a quite/semi private 3′ area about the desk between you and the patron requiring that you work one on one with the patron.

What about handling a complaint that someone megaphones from the roof tops in the middle of a HUGE city parade? How do you handle that? It becomes a bit more ‘messy’. Similar to handling a negative online comment. The viewing audience is now millions/billions? more than the verbal-across-3-foot-space complaint.  So how do we/you handle it?

First and foremost, you respond. If you don’t ‘speak up’ you are not defending yourself and thus giving the complaint merits to be true. Make sure you respond with a thoughtful and positive tone, don’t feed the fire with fire. In your response I also recommend that you remove the complaint from the public eyeEncourage the user/patron/customer to contact you personally (Direct Message, Email, etc.) A good example of this is Cory Booker’s (New Jersey Mayor) twitter feed. 


Articles to read in light of Social Media Etiquette:

The Ultimate Social Media Handbook [pdf 5 pages] 

Real Simple’s Guide to Social Media Etiquette


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

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…..

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

Like us on Facebook!

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?