How our school library can do “social”

OLJ Task 11: Social Media Strategy

Based on your understanding of your library or information agency, and your exposure to concepts presented in the resources above, outline (in 400 words) how you could apply these ideas to develop a draft marketing strategy for your organisation.


A convincing case can be made for a school library to develop a presence on social media.image by mohamed_hassan, downloaded from pixabay Libraries are increasingly losing contact with students because they find information online and because there is a very real drop in reading for fun (“Children, Teens,” 2014). Social media may be a way to engage students, as this is the environment where students spend time (Anderson & Jiang, 2018). When developing a social media marketing strategy, the following questions and issues should be considered and answered:

WHY?
Libraries can use social media to inform and promote its resources and services, and to connect with and create closer relationships with users (Peacemaker, Robinson, & Hurst, 2016, pp. 101,106).

WHAT?
Libraries need to promote their resources, their support of inquiry and research, the enjoyment of reading, celebrate programs and events, and create opportunities for advocacy (“Social Media”, n.d.). A clearly defined content strategy for each platform must include defining the audience, purpose, tone and define key themes and messages (Peacemaker et al., 2016, p. 106).
What are they interested in that we can use to tempt them to interact with the library online? Or how can we link our content to what they are already interested in?

WHO?
The primary goal will be to reach and connect with students – existing customers and hopefully non-users.
How will we connect? Engage? Contests? Polls? It is not to follow individual students on social media. Will the library’s social media presence not end up being a way of pushing out of information?

WHERE?
Viable platforms should be identified according to the preference of our students. Snapchat and Instagram are reportedly most popular, but the local population should be polled (Anderson & Jiang, 2018).

WHEN?
A study will have to be made, but general knowledge about behaviour patterns suggests:

  • during peak commuting times
  • at night when students are typically socialising online
  • on weekends

Note that all these times are outside of the working hours of the library team.

HOW?
Convince regular library users to “follow” the library online. Advertise the library’s social media presence at prominent places, include links on the website, flyers and other promotional material (Wetta, 2016).

Issues to address:

  • Social media posting will clearly be influenced by constraints on time, expertise, and human resources (Peacemaker, Robinson, & Hurst, 2016, p. 101). How will this be dealt with?
  • To measure success, and the contribution of social media presence to furthering strategic goals, regular and ongoing evaluation of governance, strategy, and content is essential (Peacemaker et al., 2016, p. 102).

References

Anderson, M., & Jiang, J. (2018, May 31). Teens, social media & technology 2018.

Children, teens, and reading infographic from Common Sense Media. (2014, May 12). Retrieved May 14, 2019, from Common Sense Media website: https://www.commonsensemedia.org/children-teens-and-reading-infographic

The Digital Shift. (2014, March 10). What’s Not to ‘Like’? Rethinking Restrictive Social Media Policies. School Library Journal. Retrieved from https://www.slj.com/?detailStory=whats-not-to-like-rethinking-restrictive-social-media-policies

King, D. L. (2015, January). Library Technology Reports: Analytics, goals, and strategy for social media. Retrieved from American Library Association website: https://journals.ala.org/ltr/article/view/5611

Magee, R., Naughton, R., O’Gan, P., Forte, A., & Agosto, D. (2012). Social media practices and support in U.S. public libraries and school library media centers. In Proceedings of the 2012 ASIST Annual Meeting (pp. 1-3). Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1002/meet.14504901334

Peacemaker, B., Robinson, S., & Hurst, E. J. (2016). Connecting best practices in public relations to social media strategies for academic libraries. College & Undergraduate Libraries, 23(1), 101-108. https://doi.org/10.1080/10691316.2016.1134244

Social media and the school library. (n.d.). Retrieved May 14, 2019, from National Library of New Zealand website: https://natlib.govt.nz/schools/school-libraries/library-services-for-teaching-and-learning/your-school-library-online/social-media-and-the-school-library

Wetta, M. (2016, February 3). All about Instagram. School Library Journal. Retrieved from https://www.slj.com/?detailStory=all-about-instagram

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