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Social Media in Libraries

Marketing with social media has become a crucial tool for public libraries. Libraries need to connect with their communities and promote their services. However, managing a social media presence for a public library can be challenging. It’s important to follow best practices to ensure that your efforts are effective for your customers. Here are three best practices for social media in a public library.

Develop A Marketing Strategy

The first step in creating a successful social media presence for a public library is to develop a marketing strategy. Identifying your target audience, determining the types of content that will be most relevant, and creating a posting schedule. Consider the type of information and services your library offers. What events do you host currently, and what does the community you serve want when creating engaging content?

Engage with your audience

Social media is not a one-way street, it’s important to engage with your audience. Respond to comments and messages daily. You also need to actively seek out opportunities to connect with your community and add new followers. Encourage your followers to share their thoughts, ask for feedback and listen to what they have to say.

Be Consistent and Authentic

Consistency is key when it comes to social media. Make sure to post regularly and maintain a consistent tone across all platforms. Additionally, be authentic and transparent when communicating with your audience. Share the library’s mission and values, and let them know what makes your library unique. Be aware of trolls and make sure to have a “social media policy” in place to deal with misinformation.

In addition to these best practices, it’s also important to ensure that your library’s social media accounts are properly set up and managed. This means keeping your library’s contact information up to date, monitoring your accounts for inappropriate content, and ensuring account security.

Also, take the time to review your analytics and measure the performance of your social media posts. This will help you understand what works and what doesn’t and adjust your strategy accordingly. Social media coordinator is a good role for professional development in public libraries for your staff.

Social media is an effective tool for public libraries to connect with their communities and promote their services. By developing a marketing strategy, engaging and being consistent with posts, you can create an online presence for your library. Remember, social media is an ongoing effort, so be ready to adapt and evolve as the platforms and audiences change.

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Basic SEO

Basic Search Engine Optimization or SEO is straightforward. Here are some simple tips to get your website and social media recognized. These strategies worked for me.

Be Consistent

According to LinkedIn Learning you need your name to be public on all the top social media platforms. Those top five are LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest as of this writing. If there is more than one person with your name, make the URL the same across all platforms. This allows searching easier for Google and Bing. For example, use your last name first, then first name to create a unique account. Try to avoid the underscore icon _ which is difficult to see. Avoid catch phrases that will not stand the test of time. Simple and consistent is the best sign on for each account.

Fresh Content

Next, you need to add fresh content to your feeds on a consistent basis. Whether sharing an article, photo, or update authentic content counts. Keeping your platforms fresh and updated every 3-6 months is also important. This means updating your personal profile, background photos, and hashtags as needed routinely.

New content brings new followers and engages your current audience. Furthermore, think about a “theme” or brand for your accounts.  Accounts that are successful share work-related information, selfcare, or other special interests, like pet information. Keeping content focused on your niche will draw other potential audience members to your account.

Beware of Copyright

Sharing and providing credit or retweeting others’ posts is okay. Posting content as your own is not. Be mindful of copyright laws and the impact you will have if you purposefully post someone else’s content. It’s better to ask permission than to just move forward with a post. This includes photos, pins from Pinterest, and other uncredited material.

Double Up Your Efforts

Besides the top five listed above, be sure to investigate goodreads, Elephant Journal, and Tumblr if you love to read, write, or take photos. Flickr is another great public platform to host your photos for free. You can post photos later from the Flickr site and set the permissions for other’s use of your photos. Engaging on all platforms with likes, comments and replies are important to promote your brand and engage your audience.

Remembering that consistent, fresh content will draw the largest audience to your sites is key. Have fun, be positive, and learn from others in your social media circle!

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Digital Marketing in Libraries

The internet and digital marketing have advantages for libraries. Read on for a couple of tricks to increase your library’s exposure and customer base. Libraries are here to stay, and social media will help bring customers back into the building.

Social Media

It’s a Facebook/Twitter/Instagram driven world. This means that marketing your library on these social media platforms is essential. That’s true for any business. Post pictures of programs, customers, and be sure to use hashtags every post. Post photos of the building, bookstore, and community events at your library. Keep up with various literary events such as Banned Books Week or National Library Week.

Email Marketing

Set up a mailing list and then blast out newsletters and other information to teachers, legislators, and other local officials. Customers need to be reminded the library is in the community.  Furthermore, reach out to new customers interested in various events at your library. Grow those customers and sign them up for a library card!

Use Videos

A picture is worth a thousand words, and photos sell. We live in a video-saturated world.  Make short videos about the programs at your library.  Storytimes and children’s programs have the biggest audiences at libraries, so publicize the most popular.

When doing this or taking pictures, it is important to use a proper high-quality HD-capable camera. With all the images we encounter in our daily lives now, we are quite good at telling HD from non-HD photos. The latter are now judged as inferior by default. Go for the quality and make an impression.

Event Marketing

What’s the next big event that you’re hosting at your library? Whatever it is, you want to use that to market your library big time. What’s more, you need to make sure that as many people know about it as possible. Use the tools above, employ flyers and banners, advertise to schools, and use other traditional event planning measures to get as much exposure as possible.

All this and more can help you get your library the publicity it needs and deserves