Social media is a great way to promote your library. So how do you keep things engaging, but also relatable to your library?
- Know your audience
Knowing your core audience, or who you want to promote certain things to, is the first step. What do you want the post to convey?
- Know the strengths of your platforms
At Lewis, we use the three main social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We like to play to their strengths:
- Twitter - allows you to post gifs with your posts.
- Facebook - best to post links (Twitter is also good for this, but you aren’t able to post links very well on Instagram). You can also create event invites.
- Instagram - great for videos, stories, and more dynamic graphics. You can also post from Instagram to Facebook simultaneously.
- Post at least once per day per platform
Lewis University’s main social media managers recommend this. That way your audience is always engaged with you, and the algorithms of certain platforms make sure that your audience always sees your posts. And if you want to post more than once on a platform: do it!
- Follow meme trends
You want your social media to stay as relevant as possible. If you notice a meme going around, try to put your own spin on it for your library, or for a program. We like to check out what is trending on Twitter every day, and if it is something that we can make library-related, we create a post about it.
- Be aware of holidays…no matter how large or small
At the beginning of every month, we take a look at the calendar and note any special holidays coming up. If there isn’t a lot happening, we check out Brownielocks.com for some inspiration. It has random fun holidays posted by month, week, and day. Some of them are pretty wild.
- Be aware of local events
It is easy to post about things that might be going on in your own library, but it never hurts to give someone else a little boost, too. Retweet or repost items that you find going on in your local area or campus. There are always ways to incorporate the library into them. It makes you look good, it builds community partnerships, and you might gain some extra followers.
- Have a list of things to highlight about your library
We come up with a rough outline of what we plan on posting every month, and items in the library that need to be highlighted. They can be anything: employees, databases, study areas, collections, or even new furniture! Create a list and rotate what you think your patrons need to know, or could use a refresher about.
- Have fun with it….people can tell
Social media is meant to be fun. We can use it to share important information about our libraries; but if it’s not fun and engaging, your audience and potential patrons are just going to scroll on by. Inspiration can strike you anywhere. We read an article about automated chat services, which inspired us to create the “not a robot” post, which was very well-loved.
Our guest blogger today is Kristin Anderson. Kristin is the Public Services Librarian at Lewis University and runs the library’s social media accounts.Follow us @lewisulibrary on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.