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.
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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

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Using YouTube

For our multimedia project I chose to use the video hosting service YouTube. I chose YouTube for a couple of reasons; more can be read in The Pros and Cons of YouTube Video for Your Website by Grant Crowell.

  1. Free hosting – sometimes free is always better but in this case, for small videos professional and leisure, free is better.
  2. Ease of Use – uploading videos to YouTube is very simple, the difficult part is creating your video. After going through the work to create the video it can be frustrating when you want to share it on the largest video viewing site and you have another 30-45 minutes of figuring out how to upload your creation.
  3. Embedding feature – as Crowell states, “YouTube comes with multiple embedding options (including iFrame); you can customize the player dimensions for your Website, and specify whether the embedded video is SD or HD resolution. You can also embed YouTube playlists or entire channels.”

If you are using YouTube for  small business advertisement or school media or personal use it is definitely of great use however where there an up there is a down.  YouTube has a large amount of advertisement, most often unwanted. For other cons please read Grant Crowell’s article.

When you upload through YouTube make sure you know whether you want your video public or private; it is very easy to change later however once you upload it as public millions of viewers have access to it until you change it. YouTube allows you to log in with your Google account so you do not have to create yet another account on the World Wide Web with yet another log in and password you need to remember.