JSTOR’s Use of Social Media: One Organization’s Story

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The Education & Outreach team at JSTOR wanted to connect with users and librarians. They set some goals- meaningfully and quickly respond to support questions via social media, do it free or very low cost, and get meaningful feedback for improvements to JSTOR.

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  • JSTOR Facebook page, Facebook JSTOR search app screen shots taken Nov. 3, 2010.

  • JSTOR Facebook page screen shot taken Nov. 3, 2010.

    “We try to learn about the people who use both social media and online research tools: we listen to their comments and take note of their pain points. We use this information as anecdotal evidence to support our quantitative and qualitative studies when appropriate. We also look for clues as to usability problems in tweets and Facebook comments and sometimes test those problems out during in-person studies. And while we’re still exploring the validity of recruiting for in-person usability studies on social media sites, we definitely use social media as one means to distribute online surveys and other research activities, like card sorts. While social media is just one way we’re staying in touch with researchers, it has yielded some very rewarding relationships for us.”
    -Christina York, User Experience Manager
  • JSTOR Twitter, HootSuite pages screen shots taken Nov. 3, 2010.
  • JSTOR YouTube page, about.jstor.org screen shots taken Nov. 3, 2010.
  • Screen shot of public images and posts, JSTOR Facebook page, taken Sept. 20, 2010.
  • If Facebook users are confused about a new feature, we might add a video about how to use it.


    Screen shot of public images and posts, JSTOR Facebook page, taken Sept. 20, 2010.

  • Screen shot of public images and posts, JSTOR Facebook page, taken Sept. 20, 2010.
  • Interesting- US is our biggest country, but Jakarta is our biggest city; English looks okay to use for posts, with Spanish far behind.
  • Even while we inform users about useful things, we can gather feedback through comments and reply to individuals if appropriate.

    Screen shot of public images and posts, JSTOR Facebook page, taken Sept. 20, 2010.
  • Some is noise, but patterns emerge, and sometimes direct, useful feedback is gathered. It doesn’t take much time to tune in, so the resources used are minimal. For example, if lots of people are tweeting about how to download JSTOR articles, we might tweet instructions.

    Screen shot of public images and posts, JSTOR Twitter page, taken Sept. 20, 2010.
  • Some are librarians, many are students.
    Some tweet directly to @jstor, and we answer directly.


    Screen shot of public images and posts, JSTOR Twitter page, taken Sept. 24, 2010.
  • JSTOR Plants home page screen shot taken Nov. 3, 2010.

    Video from Vimeo, Facebook widget, social media links (vimeo, twitter, flickr, WordPress, RSS feed.)
  • We can often tell what the current mood is, especially about any new features or changes we’ve made. We can see how JSTOR is portrayed by users and librarians to each other. We only comment on public blogs if a direct plea for a response has been made, or when it is clear that we can easily clear up a question and the audience would be responsive to our comment.
  • JSTOR Plants blog screen shot taken Nov. 3, 2010.
  • Photo: Chuck Sipperley, User Services Specialist, monitoring the JSTOR Facebook page on Oct. 28, 2010

  • JSTOR’s Use of Social Media: One Organization’s Story

    1. 1. JSTOR’s Use of Social Media: One Organization’s Story Nov. 4, 2010 Charleston Conference Jenny McKillop, Education Coordinator
    2. 2. ITHAKA is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping the academic community take full advantage of rapidly advancing information and networking technologies. We serve scholars, researchers, and students by providing the content, tools, and services needed to preserve the scholarly record and to advance research and teaching in sustainable ways. We are committed to working in collaboration with other organizations to maximize benefits to our stakeholders. Our Mission
    3. 3. • Ithaka S+R works with initiatives and organizations to develop sustainable business models and conducts research and analysis on the impact of digital media on the academic community as a whole. • JSTOR helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive of over 1,000 academic journals and other content. JSTOR uses information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. • Portico preserves scholarly literature published in electronic form—more than 10,000 e-journals and 28,000 e-books—and ensures that these materials remains accessible to future scholars, researchers, and students. Our Services
    4. 4. The Agenda… Introductions- Stories Examples Tips Take-aways Why are we here? What’s our experience? (Yours and mine)
    5. 5. The Stories… Facebook 73,106 page likes
    6. 6. The Stories… Facebook The User Experience Team set up a Facebook group so people who wanted to could help with user testing online. As of Nov. 3, it had 493 members.
    7. 7. The Stories… Twitter
    8. 8. The Stories… YouTube
    9. 9. The Examples: Facebook We connect with end users and sometimes librarians via social media, including opening comments to the public
    10. 10. The Examples: Facebook We listen to concerns, likes, and feedback, so we can improve services.
    11. 11. The Examples: Facebook We answer direct questions to help users on a real life, personal level.
    12. 12. The Examples: Facebook Stats (“Insights”) come in handy to see who our audience is.
    13. 13. The Examples: Facebook We provide relevant info to users, librarians, etc.
    14. 14. The Examples: Twitter Twitter Listening to users and librarians via Twitter: Can we see patterns? It is time to tweet a certain useful tip?
    15. 15. The Examples: Twitter Twitter is an excellent venue to communicate useful info. JSTOR had 3,315 followers on Nov. 3, 2010; mostly libraries, librarians, and students.
    16. 16. We listen to blogs as well, helped by Google alerts. What’s the current mood? What are people saying about JSTOR? The Stories: Social Media Integration for JSTOR Plants
    17. 17. We listen to blogs as well, helped by Google alerts. What’s the current mood? What are people saying about JSTOR? The Examples: Blogs
    18. 18. The Examples: Blogs- JSTOR Plant Science
    19. 19. Getting Started with Social Media •Set goals •Make a plan for ongoing maintenance •Allow two-way conversation •Get support of decision makers •Keep true to brand •Know your audience •Know your venue •Get the word out •Content, content, content •LISTEN to your audience! •Drop what doesn’t work
    20. 20. Questions, comments? •Facebook: jstor •Twitter: @jstor •Email: support@jstor.org •Phone: 888-388-3574 •Contact Us form: www.jstor.org

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