LePage (2014) suggests 6 steps to creating a social media marketing strategy. As seen in previous posts, advocacy is an important competence required by teacher librarians and I appreciated this blog post as in my own commitment to transforming our library website to feature more as a Web 2.0 space this is exactly what I need to continue to move our school library forward. Creating a space that is relevant Ramsey & Vecchione, 2014) and innovative is necessary and social networking through social media provides a transparency to the activities of the library.
One of the biggest hurdles is that social media is often regarded as not belonging in the K-6 environment due to the obvious duty of care schools have towards their students. This belief could be challenged though in that all K-6 schools are not just serving the students in their care, they are also serve the parents and the wider community who are made up of future parents. As I am working to promote and create a library blog, I am wanting to promote the blog via Twitter to perhaps connect, communicate and collaborate with other K-6 libraries or classrooms so that our students can see they are part of a much larger educational agenda than what they see contained within the boundaries of the school playground and classrooms.
The first part of taking the blog to the next level and promoting using Twitter then is to clarify in my mind why do we need to use social media to market the library? This then should be part of the marketing strategy. What is is that using social media to promote the library is going to achieve? What is the end goal (Solomon, 2013)? As my ongoing project is adding a blog to the static library website that has existed for a few years, I believe my goal in using Twitter to promote the blog is to expand our readership to a more global audience. Through doing this, it brings so many teachable moments into the learning that occurs within the information space of the library, especially digital citizenship. It allows parents to know and to see that their children are receiving a structured learning environment where they can learn to be active participants AND contributors to society.
Another of the challenges faced in a K-6 library is that of sustainability for social networking to market the library. It takes time and it takes a team (Ramsay & Vecchione, 2014), both of which are in short supply in a K-6 library (as in most classrooms and libraries) but from most of the readings, again, there is very little about marketing the K-6 library using social media. In an academic library from what I am reading there are a number of people on the library staff/ team that can share and conquer this idea of marketing the library using social media. In a K-6 library, the Teacher Librarian (or Teacher in the Library) might be it. This challenge can be overcome but it will take strategy to build the team from leadership, other interested colleagues and the students themselves. In a way, it builds more community and collegiality by not just keeping it as the domain of the library staff.
After reading Mrs Wideen’s Blog (a primary school teacher) about how to set up Twitter in the classroom some valuable advice was given. It will take time and collaboration. Time to lay the groundwork and time to communicate the guidelines to the learning community. Most of all though it definitely needs to be strategic. Another example of setting up Twitter in a strategic way is shown in the YouTube clip below, again by another primary school teacher. Spink (2014) demonstrates the reality of student needs in her classroom and how she strategically taught with Twitter which provided authenticity to the learning her students made. It can be seen that their learning was not compartmentalised into subjects but rather across the curriculum.
Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DzNyIuvUoF0
To create a draft marketing strategy using social media in a K-6 library, I believe then that the following need to be addressed.
- What is the goal of using social media to promote the library / school?
- Which form of social media would be best to promote the library / school? Awareness of user needs.
- Who would be the content creators using the social media?
- What guidelines / expectations are in place for participation using the social media?
- Who are the expected audience?
LePage, E. (2014, October 29). How to create a social media marketing plan in 6 steps. [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://blog.hootsuite.com/how-to-create-a-social-media-marketing-plan
Ramsey, E. & Vecchione, A. (2014). Channeling passions: Developing a successful social media strategy. Journal of Library Innovation, 5(2)
Solomon, L. (2013). Getting started. In The librarian’s nitty-gritty guide to social media, p. 15-24. Chicago: ALA Editions.