Leveraging the Power of Social Media


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Presentation given at the Indiana Library Federation Conference. Links to original sources for PDFs, images, infographics and articles used throughout this presentation can be found at http://pinterest.com/amystarkreality/research/

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  • Today I’ll quickly go over the survey resultsThen I’ll go through the social media concerns listed most in the open ended questionsThen We’ll talk about how you defined success while giving you ideas for content and engagement. FINALLY I’ll give away This lovely Tweeter’s Almanac…. To whomever asks me the TOUGHEST question. I have 40 slides so let’s get right to it. Oh… If you see a short phrase on a slide in this blue color, It is a tweet sized takeaway that will help you remember key lessons. Feel free to tweet or post to heart’s content.
  • As a reminder I asked you to rate your level of activity on various platforms where1 means your library doesn’t have an account on this platform.5 means you have an account and find it useful sharepertinent information, and 10 means you are leveraging itspower by cultivating library evangelists on this platform - These evangelists help you with the day-to-day curating. Quite a few of you have a facebook presence and you’re finding it useful to get your message out. Over 10% of you are leveraging its power … That’s my favorite answer.
  • Very few of you are using YouTube.
  • or Twitter.
  • Almost 80 % of you Blog ---- I was glad to see many of you using Pinterest, tooLinkedIn –Almost 20%Flickr – Over 40% I was surprised to see some of you using Google+ -- the major demographic for google+ is 20-50 year old male geeks … Believe me…. I use that as a term of endearment. Stumble Upon can drive traffic so you may want to consider adding a Stumble Upon button alongside your other share buttons – because it makes it very easy for your patrons to share. Here’s your first tweetabletakeawy -- Being able to share your content EASILY is a key ingredient of engagement.
  • 75% of the respondents have at least 1 person using social media and a large proportion of that chunk indicates quite a few of you have 2-3 staff members who managing your digital properties – the more the better.
  • How much time does your library currently spend on social media per week? Orange is LESS than an Hour, Blue is 1-3 Hours per week, Purple is 4-7 hours – Salmon is 8-12 and green is over 12 hours per week.
  • How much time COULD your library spend on social media per week?
  • The majority of you thought you could spend a little more time each week. If you set things up correctly with a couple of management tools – it will not take as much time as you think.
  • This survey question was, “Of the four topics listed, which two are the most important.”Salmon = Engagement which is about 50% and roughly 30% said Content -- the Purple pie. Brand Management and Fundraising aren’t as important to this group -- so we won’t look at them in depth.
  • Online Brand or Reputation Management was not a priority, but it should be considered. You’re only as good as your reputation, and – to quote Winston Churchill, “A lie gets half way round the world before the truth as a chance to get its pants on.” At minimum set up some google alerts with different variations of your library’s name so that IF there’s some nastiness out there on personal blogs or platforms, you will know about it sooner rather than later. The only defense against misinformation online is flooding the space with truth.
  • With so many stories about decreased funding, I’m surprised very few of you thought fundraising was the most important topic. I could talk all day about raising funds with different social media platforms… I have great case stories. Maybe next year I’ll be invited back to talk about social media fundraising.
  • We are living in the Information Age.., and you can easily find sources to answer most of your questions through a carefully worded google search. I recommend limiting results to the last few months – You’ll notice this is dated October 18th of this year … If this had been written in 2009 it would be completely outdated. You will find a link to this PDF -- along with links to all the infographics, resources and images used in this presentation -- on Pinterest. Go to Pinterest.com/AmyStarkReAlity – then scroll down to find the board labeled “Research”.
  • Now on to the open ended questions. -- The first one was “What is your biggest concern regarding your library's social media? ” I put a word cloud together from your answers using tagxedo.com and "Lack" was the most common word used. You can tell because the more the words are used, the larger they appear in the word cloud. You listed a Lack of Money, Staff, Time, knowledge, social media Policy, Relevant Content, Access, Participation, and Control.
  • The LACK of access to Social Media in Schools is a BIG concern of mine – several of you stated that social media was blocked at school. Students are already participating in this space --- it would be to their benefit to know some best practices that will keep them from doing something stupid that might jeopardize their ability to get into college -- it’s best to assume college admission officers are googling students name’s before making decisions, and everything on these platforms is public.The quote on top made me wonder -- why is it OK for Teachers and Students to meet one-on-one behind closed doors – but NOT allowed to exchange information publicly for the everyone on the Internet to see? It just doesn’t make sense to me.
  • As I mentioned 2 slides back - finding resources to help put together a school usage policy is as easy as asking google. I’ll be uploading this presentation to slideshare so that you can find active links to the resources I discovered. I’m not endorsing any of these, merely using them as an indicator of how easy it is to find a template from which to start your own social media policy. This information will also be on my research pinterest board.
  • I typed in “social media policy for libraries” and received about 700,000 entries. That number becomes even more remarkable when you consider I limited the search to things posted within the last month..
  • Another concern listed questioned the ROI of social media. Have any of you heard ofErik Qualman? He wroteSolcialnomics . When people ask me “What is the return on investment ” – I quote Erik who said, “An organization’s ROI for social media is that they will be around in five years.”Imagine being a business in 1910 and thinking you really don’t need a Telephone because you prefer to talk to your customers face-to-face. Or maybe you’re a blacksmith who thinks, “I’ll just keep my head down and continue making horseshoes -- because the automobile will never catch on” Social media is not going away and it’s only going to get bigger.
  • This made me laugh: Not enough time Not enough time, Not enough time... you can almost hear the desperation. The thing that takes the most time in social media -- is the learning curve and finding the right tools to help you with daily tasks. Once youraccounts are set up – download some free tools such as Hootsuite and Bufferapp. Once everything is in place work on getting into a routine. – Very soon you will find it only takes 10 – 15 minutes per day to load up your posts. Then have a couple of “Digital Hall Monitors” check the accounts every now and then to make sure nothing needs to be addressed. The most important thing is to establish a routine and then stick to it.
  • A few of you expressed concern about giving too many staff members permission to post. There should be some common sense guidelines in place, of course. One rule of thumb I suggest to people is “Don’t post anything that would embarrass your grandmother -- if it were in a thought cloud over your head on a billboard.” As I mentioned -- it isn’t difficult to find social media policies out there written by other organizations. Use them as a template - then make it your own. Be sure to give credit where credit is due. If you use someone else's policy, post a public thank you and make sure to link to the original material.
  • Any staff member who deals face-to-face with patrons should be Encouraged to help with the social media duties if they show an interest. It gets back to the one-on-one scenario with a teacher and student. If you trust your staff to interact privately with a patron when they’re checking out material, why wouldn’t you trust them to interact publicly for the whole Internet to see on facebook? I know this can feel scary, but since the dawn of social media -- you no longer have total control over your brand message anyhow.
  • Here’s another concern that popped up a few times in your answers. You will NOT be able to keep comments on track unless you restrict the viewers’ ability to post --and then you’ve thrown engagement right out the window. It’s REALLY not as scary as you think. -- I’ll give you a tip to curate your audience - so that this becomes less of a concern over time.
  • Please don’t be afraid of losing followers. You could post something totally innocuous that might offend someone -- and if they’re that sensitive -- you don’t want them to follow you anyhow. They’ll just be trouble. Forget about numbers, sustained organic growth is the best measurement of social media success.
  • I’ll talk more about where to look for content toward the end. But I wanted to share a personal revelation I had last year while managing a school’s social media, --I thought for sure all the teachers would race to “like” the facebook page and interact by sharing lesson plans, or craft ideas, or cool educational websites. In actuality they didn’t – and I think it’s because they didn’t want to give their employee access to personal information on facebook. Some of your staff will interact, but don’t force the issue.
  • One of you expressed concerns about customer posts and copyright infringement. I asked Kenan Farrell – a social media friend and Copyright Attorney – to clue me in and he shared some great information. Don’t worry about being held liable for a post on your facebook wall from a patron. There’s a three prong test that I’ll show you on the next slide that gives you immunity. As far as copyrighted material -- you cannot KNOWLINGLY share it, but there are hundreds of sources that are public domain or under a creative commons license. I’ll just reiterate here -- You should always give credit where credit’s due – If you feel like it, give Kenan a shout out – his twitter handle is @KLFLegal
  • For those who understand legaleaze – This issue is dealt with in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. If you access this presentation on slideshare, you can just click the link and it will take you to a wikipedia page that gives you lots of examples.
  • For the most part – I’d say even 97% of the time – you won’t have to deal with nastiness. Since social media platforms are transparent, it’s harder to be anonymous. --- Because of this --people are generally just as nice online as they are in person. I think it was the person who wrote this answer who also added, “By the way, what does ‘We are leveraging social media's power by cultivating library evangelists who help with the day-to-day curating’ mean? Sounds like a lot of double-speak for ‘we use staff who are enthusiastic about social media and the library, to get our message out.” It made me smile. It does sound a bit haughty… but knowing my audience would be smart librarians -- I wrote questions and reworded them several times in order to jam pack meaning in each word. First of all Social media is not just about getting a message out, it’s about conversation. Using staff is great, but I said “cultivating library evangelists” because you should include volunteers. AND I used the word curating because it’s best to envision gently molding your audience – where you reward good behavior with Likes, Shares and RTs AND ignore bad behavior whenever possible – as you would with a child. If someone does post some nastiness, I recommend answering, “We’re sorry you feel that way and appreciate your feedback” Most of the time that’s enough, especially if you have a whole slew of evangelists acting as Hall Monitors for you.
  • Now on tosocial media success – I’ll give you content and engagement ideas as we go through some of your answers. There’s no real surprise in the most common words used … information, patrons, programs, social, -- but there was one word missing that should be in there… and that’s “Conversation.” Think of social platforms as digital networking events, or virtual cocktail parties that run all the time. -- Having lively conversations with different groups of people is a sign of any great networking event, online and off. The only difference between virtual and face-to-face networking - is the conversation is NOT restricted by space or time -- and conversations make GREAT content. One of my favorite responses to the open ended social media success question was only three words long……
  • Two Letters PR – Some variation on getting the word out about what the library has to offer WAS the top response. Which gives me the ideal jumping off point for content ideas… Any press release - e-newsletters – all print marketing pieces you have -- internal memos that contain information that could be shared publicly – employee of the month type information – These are all perfect places to look for valuable content to share. If they are stored digitally, it makes it even easier to use by simply copying and pasting.
  • One of my favorite phrases since 2008 has been, “Devices with a connection to the Internet signals the DEMOCRITIZATION of information” .. so I love the phrase proliferation of information. -- You don’t need ME to tell you that libraries do SO much more than let people check out books. Most libraries provide access to digital equipment that not everyone has --- and being able to apply for jobs online is critical for people looking for jobs in today’s world. This infographic estimated 13,000 libraries offer career counseling and assistance with job applications. -- It must feel wonderful to provide digital connections to those who need it most. This is only a small piece of the entire infographic about libraries that can find on my research pinterest board.
  • Not only did this response make me laugh right out loud, it also highlighted a serious point. Too often the social media duties are handled by the IT guy. How many gifted Information technology professionals do YOU know that also have good people skills? Just because social media uses technology as a vehicle -- doesn’t mean the people who are adept at making it work should be creating content or engaging with your patrons. Don’t get me wrong… I adore geeks and consider myself to be a social media geek, but individuals who are excellent at writing code are rarely good conversationalists.
  • Providing up to the minute crisis communication is a brilliant use of social media. Let’s hope it’s only a small portion of your overall content, but if you are connected with news organizations on facebook – like TV Radio Newspapers – or their media personalities - they might share your posts that affect the community in general -- which will expose your social media brand to their audience. The first step in connecting with any News organization is to LIKE their page.
  • Beyondconversation -- you can use event planning tools to get real time tracking of who you can expect. Whoever sent in this answer raised a great question– how many times during the past year did you pick up a paper brochure and throw it in the recycle bin before reading it? Whenever you have a special event – try using event planning tools and then take it a step farther and plan it “out loud”. For example if you have a committee working on an event -- encourage them to have a public twitter discussion using the event’s hashtag’. With each tweet you’re giving a little bit of exposure to your brand and your event. Since very few of you have a presence on twitter, I won’t go TOO deeply into ideas for tweet chats and lists -- but for those of you who are on twitter, I encourage you to send ME an @mention. I promise to respond in the public timeline and each one of those tweets will expose you to my 16 thousand followers. It’s just another way to build your follower base.
  • WooHoo! I was so happy to see “ambassadors and advocates” in a definition of success. Have you ever heard anyone say, “Word of mouth is the WORST form of advertising?” Word-of- mouth is at the very HEART of social media success. It becomes more powerful in the digital age because it is no longer restricted by space or time. Be sure to take Bonnie Raitt’s advice and give ‘em something to talk about, and then make it easy for them to share.
  • One way to get ‘em talking is to ask general questions -- and Facebook is the perfect place for this. One of my friends, Robby Slaughter, asks a question every morning on facebook. Since he sometimes gets dozens of answers, his engagement level is off the chart. Questions you could ask can range from, “Who is your favorite author” to “What was your favorite childhood book?” Because libraries offer so many different products now, you could also ask things like “Who is your favorite jazz artist” or “Whose version of White Christmas is the best” or even “Who used to watch The wonderful world of Disney on Sunday nights?” I’m dating myself aren’t I? Using social media as a suggestion box is another great idea. Have any of you used facebook polls? We’re winding down and my last three slides are jam packed with places to find content.
  • You should “Like” the National Archives on facebook – they post interesting stuff every day that you could share AND they have a Wikimedia Commons Project where virtually everything is public domain – I found this image entitled Charlestown, Indiana. Education, Library Services. 1943. It’s kind of a spooky picture. The Library of Congress is also a great content source -- actually anything from the government should be public domain- Images of Stamps from around the world are public domain, too. You can also look for things under a creative commons license -- where you’re only required to share a link to the original post. I found Lots of things to share just by doing a google search – like this flickr account from Library_mistress with Albums entitled Library Humor, Simply Libraries and Libraries and me. The facebook account “I Love Libraries” posts wonderful book quotes and other shareable stuff. This Lemony Snicket quote was shared 43 times in 7 hours.
  • And Let’s not forget humor. I found the book “Nympho Librarian” for 2.99 on Amazon.com if you’re interested. It may not be suitable for any of you to post, but the tag line made me laugh so I had to share…“The prim miss took off more than her mask of respectability behind the stacks…” If you do a google search for “Library humor” you’ll find lots of things to share, like this video compilation of funny signs that a Canadian library put together and posted on YouTube. Every once in awhile you’ll find an ecard fly by in your facebook stream that makes sense to share. How many of you have had a book hangover? I added three additional links of “library humor” aggregators that you might find useful.
  • So that’s it! I’ll leave you with just one more tweetable thought. The more you share your stakeholder’s information - the more they will share yours – . When someone does share your posts - be sure to say thank you… It goes a long way in building community and encouraging them to share more in the future. I hope you found this presentation useful. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to send a tweet to @amystark. I appreciate your attention.
  • Leveraging the Power of Social Media

    1. 1. Stark ReAlity Check @AmyStark #ILFannual12 #SRCLeveraging the Power of Social Media
    2. 2. ASK ME TOUGH QUESTIONS• Survey Results• Social Media Concerns• Social Media Success• Engagement and Content• Almanac Giveaway
    3. 3. Facebook
    4. 4. YouTube
    5. 5. Twitter
    6. 6. Other PlatformsBeing able to share your content EASILY is a keyingredient of engagement. #ILFannual12 #SRC
    7. 7. Admin Access?
    8. 8. Time Spent Now
    9. 9. Time You Could Spend
    10. 10. Difference ?
    11. 11. Engagement and Content
    12. 12. http://cindyshanley.wordpress.com/tag/reputation/The only defense againstmisinformation is floodingthe space with truth. #ILFannual12 #SRC
    13. 13. Very Few thoughtsocial media fundraising was most important.
    14. 14. http://pinterest.com/AmyStarkReality --- Research Board http://www.cal-webs.org/files/57527834.pdf Standing Out Socially:Making Your Public Library Shine on Facebook and Other Social Media Sites
    15. 15. Concerns
    16. 16. “Almost EVERYTHING is blocked atschool! Staff has been told NOT tohave any contact/friends with any students on social media!”Our campus President dislikes social media and we have not been able to convince her that we (theLibrary along with several other Academic and Student-related departments) need to use theseresources for outreach and other legitimate school-related activities. As a school we are not encouraged to use these, and these sites are actually blocked on our school network.My elementary school library does not have Not open by my schoolaccess to most, they are blocked by ourcorporation. I am in a high school library, and most social media sites are blocked from our patrons. Additionally, our school board policy regarding any internet use is very outdated and prohibitive.
    17. 17. School Library Resources How to Create Social Media Guidelines for Your School http://www.edutopia.org/how-to-create- social-media-guidelines-schoolhttp://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/high-school-notes/2012/05/14/facebook-edutopia-collaborate-on-social-media-guidehttp://www.ala.org/aasl/guidelinesandstandards/learningstandards/gdoutlinehttp://edudemic.com/2012/06/school-social-media-policy/http://www.eschoolnews.com/2012/03/27/developing-sound-social-media-policies-for-schools/
    18. 18. “Return for investment of staff time.”
    19. 19. “Not enough time. Not enoughtime. Not enough time. Im ‘it’for 1850 students & 10 teachers.”
    20. 20. Decentralizationof Social Media Duties Does NOT meanLoss of control over brandTotal control over your brand message was lost with the dawn of social media. #ILFannual12 #SRC
    21. 21. “…free speech issue, not being viewed as limitingspeech or comments but keeping the comments on track…”
    22. 22. “We are striving to become moreconsistent to keep our audience engaged.We dont want to lose followers.” Forget about numbers. Sustained organic growth = Social Media Success. #ILFannual12 #SRC
    23. 23. “… lack of knowledge of what to post besidesannouncements of events. I would like our Facebookactivity to be more interactive with the library staffposting interesting and creative text …”
    24. 24. “…copyright infringement and legality of customer posts/comments…” Generally you will not be found liable if someone NOT from your organization posts a public comment on your Facebook Wall. Three Prong Test If you knowingly "Share" copyrighted or libelous material from another source you may be held liable.Thanks for the Legal Tip @KLFLegal #ILFannual12 #SRC
    25. 25. Three prong test -- Quoted from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Section_230_of_the_Communications_Decency_Act#Defamatory_informationIn analyzing the availability of the immunity offered by thisprovision, courts generally apply a three-prong test. A defendant must satisfyeach of the three prongs to gain the benefit of the immunity:1) The defendant must be a "provider or user" of an "interactive computer service.“2) The cause of action asserted by the plaintiff must "treat" the defendant "as thepublisher or speaker" of the harmful information at issue.3) The information must be "provided by another information content provider,"i.e., the defendant must not be the "information contentprovider" of the harmful information at issue.Section 230 of theCommunications Decency Act
    26. 26. “My biggest concern is the negativity that can sometimes occur from nasty comments or unhappy staff.”http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/technology/antisec-claims-the-fbi-has-12-million-apple-device-ids/2012/09/04/98868584-f68e-11e1-8b93-c4f4ab1c8d13_story.html
    27. 27. Success Conversations are GREAT content. #ILFannual12 #SRC
    28. 28. “Two Letters – PR” Printed marketing materials make a great source for social media content.#ILFannual12 #SRC
    29. 29. “… One of the maingoals of any literaryinstitution is theproliferation ofinformation in allforms and socialmedia allows us tobridge the gapbetween books andinformation in printand digital…”
    30. 30. “… The IT guy controls that and theydont want to have a ‘run in’ with him.”
    31. 31. “…issues with the webpage … our patrons [can stillcheck] Facebook … phones go down, we send a tweet…” “…provide up-to- the-minute information when needed (closures because of weather, etc.)…” Connect with news organizations. #ILFannual12 #SRC
    32. 32. “…more engagementfrom fans… If peoplejust pick up a papercalendar… I dontknow if they threw itaway or are actuallyusing it … create anevent on Facebookand people canrespond if they areplanning onattending…”
    33. 33. “ “…our customers become ambassadors,advocates and our word-of-mouth marketing.” Ask library friends to spread the word, and make it EASY to share. #ILFannual12 #SRC
    34. 34. “… connect with library users in thedigital realm …opening a line of communication to discover what they want…” ASK open ended questions that strike an emotional chord or memory #ILFannual12 #SRC
    35. 35. www.flickr.com/photos/library_mistress
    36. 36. Games, Contests, TriviaAnn Arbor District Library http://play.aadl.org
    37. 37. http://www.youtube.co m/watch?v=CrE8X7bH7Ichttp://www.libraryhumor.com/pathfinder.htmlhttp://www.sldirectory.com/libsf/resf/humor.htmlhttp://www.dmoz.org/Reference/Libraries/Library_and_Information_Science/Librariana/Humor/
    38. 38. Stark ReAlity Check@AmyStark Thank YouKarma and Gratitude are underlying principles of#SocialMedia Success. #ILFannual12 #SRC