Any online platform that allows users to link to each other and share content. Social networks, FacebookSocial news sites like Reddit or DiggWikis – wikipedia or wikiaVideo and photo sharing sites – YouTube, Vimeo, Flickr, PhotobucketBlogging and microblogging, WordPress & TwitterBook sharing sites, GoodreadsCommunity Q&A sites, Ask.com, Yahoo AnwersVirtual worlds, SecondLife, World of WarCraftPeople from all age groups, all walks of life, all areas of the globe are using these. They have pervaded our every waking moment.
We’re dealing with more “noise” in the information ecosystem than used to be there. We used to be the ONLY place to get information, but now we’re having to compete.With budgets shrinking and libraries’ relevance constantly being called into question, the need for us to reach out the our users and have them advocate on our behalf is more important than ever. But it takes time and effort to build the relationships necessary to create advocates.
This stuff matters because… Everything that we do is social in some form or another – none of us could survive from birth without the social assistance of others. Many of us share even our solitary pursuits with others – whether it be reading, watching movies, listening to music, exercise, etc. When we enjoy something, we want to celebrate it and share it with others.
This stuff matters because… Libraries are social networks for ideas No idea is its own island – it came into being because of other ideas coming together to create something new Libraries are the repositories for all those ideas, allowing others to mine the minds of the past for inspiration and new contexts for ideas However, no one can access any of these ideas if they’re unfindable We are the cheerleaders of our users, our collections, and humanity’s collective knowledge and history. It’s a big job, but I think we’re up to the challenge!
This stuff matters because… You are part of this connected web of people and ideas. As you spread your ideas and information, it will in turn spread to others.Social media is the way in which we make these connections with both people and information, and the two of us will be your guides! So let us briefly introduce ourselves…
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Before we get into the details of the technology (which we’ll cover in Part 2), let’s step back and take a look at the bigger picture of how to make all this stuff SUCCEED
Here’s a graphical representation of the phases of social media management—it breaks down the processes that we’re going to be covering today and next week. You’ll see strategic planning, the first part of the process, on the right, and project management, the second half, on the left. Let’s start with a very brief definition of those two things:-- Strategic Planning is the process of defining a strategy or direction, then making decisions about how you’ll allocate your resources, both monetary and human, to pursue that strategy. The term strategic planning conjures up a terrible mental image for a lot of people, but it can actually be a quick and intensely helpful process. -- Project Management is planning, organizing, securing and managing resources to bring about the successful completion of specific project goals and objectives.-- A combination of planning and management will help to ensure that your library’s social media presence is on-track and successful.Assessment and communication, which we placed at the top and bottom, kind of straddle the line between the two halves, and that’s intentional, because they will be a part of both strategic planning and project management. We’re going to start the whole process with some pre-assessment, to help determine what approaches we’ll take with the social media we choose, and then finish with some assessment to see how we’ve done. After you pre-assess, square one, you’ll want to take some time to interpret the data that you’ve gathered. Then, you can actually create your plan. This includes a few different things: selecting a target audience or two, selecting an approach, and identifying some content threads that will speak to the target audience and get them what they need. It’s also the point where you can start assigning responsibility to individuals and consider how you’re going to measure your success later on. After that we’re going to talk about the importance of communicating your decisions internally, to colleagues and administrators, and externally, as appropriate. Presenting your plan internally is arguably the more important piece, because it can help lend credibility and weight to a project that, even today, a lot of people feel skeptical about. Implementing, of course, is the phase we all know with any project, but we’re going to break it into two parts—part 1 is doing the work (making the accounts, writing the content, making the Tweets, putting up the videos) and part 2 is documenting those work processes and procedures. Documentation can help you to make sure that everyone knows their job and is accomplishing it. Scheduling out your social media projects, either in detail or just roughly, depending on your style, makes it possible to work on several projects at once, and to keep all the pieces moving forward without problems. And with that, we’re back up to the top, with assessment, where you actually determine whether you’ve achieved success, and whether or not you want to tweak your approach in order to get better results. The timeline that you set for accomplishing the first iteration of this cycle can be up to you—some people like shorter time frames, maybe six months, and others prefer to take it out to a year. If this is all new for you, then a shorter timeframe may be more manageable. Then, once you get into the swing of things, you won’t need to discuss the process as often.
You may be thinking to yourself that this is going to take much more time than just getting on Facebook and putting up a post once per week. You are correct, though you may find that it doesn’t take quite as long as it seems like it might, and it can also save you a lot of time and stress later on. Facebook and Twitter are free, but your time isn’t free—your time is very valuable--so you’ll save a lot of that. We’re essentially frontloading a lot more of the work—much more than we could when social media was brand new and nobody knew anything about it, and we were all just randomly trying everything to see what would work best. I like to equate writing up a plan to creating a travel plan before you head out to drive cross country. You can probably still get to Maine or Oregon or Ohio without a plan, but you’ll have to stop and get directions much more often on the road. Using this model, you can create a targeted social media presence that hits the individuals who are interested and likely to engage on the platforms that they are likely to use. More and more research is coming out of the business and non-profit world about using social media to market, to create community, and even to educate or drive users to educational content, and we can definitely use that even though we aren’t trying to sell anything.
End at 10 mins
Okay, so now that you’re all hopefully psyched to make a strategic plan, let’s move forward into how you can get that accomplished. Pre-assessment is our first step! We want to ask people what they want, where they want it, and what would make the content most compelling to them. You don’t have to do a full-scale scientific study with a representative sample to make your assessment worthwhile. If you want to publish this later, you may want to get all gung ho and do IRB and stuff, but if this is just for you, then ask as many people as you have time to ask—somewhere between a dozen and thirty is totally reasonable. You’re not an alien who knows nothing about social media, you’re just trying to get a feel for the temperature of the water before you jump in, so that you can set up feeds that the patrons want, rather than feeds that are full of what you want or what you think they want.
Of course, you have to figure out who you’re going to ask before you start asking. You want to consider which populations you’re going to target with your messages or posts. You have to set a target if you want to hit a target. One size doesn’t fit all in most cases, and if we try to take that approach, we’re putting ourselves at great risk of appealing to nobody instead of to everybody.There are a few possible ways to approach this step. You can pre-identify some target populations and ask them questions, you can ask everyone and include demographic questions, then choose a target population based on who seems most interested, or you may also have a population already in mind, based on your job description, discussions amongst yourselves, a group targeted in your strategic plan, or some other thing. When you’re choosing, think about starting with high-impact populations—the people who will appreciate your message, benefit from it most, and perhaps even share it. Don’t set yourself up for failure by targeting people who don’t ever use the library. You can try that later, but don’t start with it. If you start off with failure, it will damage your morale and also may cause others to question whether social media outreach is worth the time at all. So what populations are good to target? That will depend on you, but I’ve seen public libraries target school teachers and mommy bloggers, because they were in positions to help spread the word. Some places like to target regular users, like maybe members of a book club, because they’ve expressed a clear interest that can be addressed. I’ve also seen media specialists and academics target particular groups that are likely to benefit highly from educational content, like new students or new teaching faculty. One thing that I’m invariably asked at this point, and it’s a great question, is whether ALL content needs to be aimed at the group or groups that you choose. The answer is definitely not. A lot of your content will be aimed at that group, but not necessarily all. Those are just the people who you’re going to keep in mind as you lay most of your plans, and the people who you envision when you create most of your content. End at 16 minutes
NEEDS WORKThere are a variety of different assessment tools that you can use to get the pre-assessment step accomplished. If you don’t feel like your population is over-surveyed, you can send them a short survey via email, or embed one in a place where they’ll find it—on your website, or maybe on your existing social media. When I say short, I mean six questions or fewer. Because we’re talking about an informal service, consider keeping your marketing message informal. If you put up a button or link on your homepage, include some kind of challenge. Make it a game. I’ve personally had great luck with recruiting people in person, either to fill out a survey on an ipad or laptop or to answer a few questions verbally. I’ve been involved in projects where we did this very small scale, where I had a book truck, a sign, some snickers bars, and a little tape recorder or an iPad, and I also helped to survey a representative sampling of all our incoming freshmen while they were standing in line at the mandatory freshman orientation—so this can be big or small, depending on your needs. IF you are, like me, introverted, then this approach can seem a little bit stressful, but as long as you present yourself as a library employee who wants to ask questions about a service, instead of a salesperson, people are generally amenable. If you’re not super keen on approaching strangers in person, a captive audience can also really help you to feel less intrusive. Find people while they’re in line and already waiting, and you won’t feel like you’re imposing as much. Focus groups can also be very useful, because you get them in a group, and they can bounce ideas and opinions off of each other. The ideal number of people for a focus group is between 3 to 8 people, and about 5 is ideal. These are the hardest thing to get off the ground, unless you can offer pizza or food or millions of dollars, just because they can take a little bit more time.
These things are applicable to whatever format you choose—in person interviews, online surveys, or focus groups, though the phrasing may be slightly different.
You’ll probably want to stick pretty closely to what they say they want in some ways—in terms of requested platforms, style of communication, frequency of communication.You can also sneak in some vegetables with their cake, so to speak, and give them instructional messages that are sort of disguised as fun. You’re the expert—they may know what they want, but they don’t always know what they need or everything that you offer. They probably aren’t going to explicitly state every little thing that they need, so don’t be shy about sneaking that broccoli in there. Here’s some tomato and greens cake to help illuminate that point.
If you feel anxious about writing these questions, there are a lot of great resources online.Keep things concise and clear—avoid jargon, keep questions shortDon’t ask superfluous questions that have no pointEnd at 27 minutes
After you’ve done your assessing, whatever form you decided it should take, you can start to look for trends, and use those trends to make decisions or plan particular projects. Definitely try to get three or more people to participate in this phase. The participants don’t have to be committing to doing anything more with social media—they’re just helping you to review your data.If you did something very cut and dried like a survey, it should be relatively easy to determine which platforms or things have come out on top, but sometimes you may not see consensus, and you’ll have to make some decisions about which approaches or endeavors are worth your time. You may also get some suggestions that are great but that aren’t really feasible for you to accomplish, so you can brainstorm smaller or different ways that you can keep the same spirit of the suggestions. For example, if you get a lot of people who are totally in favor of you doing a Pinterest or Youtube stream, but you don’t think you can keep up with their demand.You also want to consider your history. If you’ve already tried a certain thing and it’s failed repeatedly, that doesn’t mean it’s not worth trying again, but it may be worth trying something else. Sometimes patrons will like an idea, but liking something and actually using it are different, so you may see disconnects there even when you get the most overwhelming responses. For example, when we did the survey of the freshmen, they overwhelmingly said they wanted to get information via games, so we planned some games for them. Some people played, and we tried at different times of the term, times of the day, times of the week—but we just didn’t get as much action as we hoped for. So, we ended that after a while and started trying other things. On the flipside, if you can tie an idea of theirs with something that’s already been very successful with your target population, then definitely give that a try.
This part can take a little bit longer than people expect it to, and I recommend planning to take more than an hour, if it’s at all possible. You don’t want people to feel rushed to come to conclusions, so having somewhere between 2 and 4 hours.
Just mention brieflyhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cognitive_biasesSee things as they see them, not as you see them. Don’t worry about how much time you’re spending or will have to spend at this point—just think big, then think about how you can accomplish those things within your constraints.
If people are struggling to get out of their own heads, have them do the magic button exercise.This was presented to me by Nancy Fried Foster, an anthropologist who’s just taken a job with Ithaca S+R.After we’d read all the responses carefully—in this case our target audience was university faculty--she had us draw a square on a piece of paper, then draw a circle inside. Once it was drawn, we each stood up, turned in a circle three times, then sat down again. She said—welcome back! You’re all now teaching faculty members. This is your magic button. Keeping the information that we just read in mind, when you press the button, what would the library provide for you? Money and time are no object. You can easily change this to meet your target population, and limit to things that you can facilitate via social media. It’s a great way to divorce people from their librarian mindset, and also to stop them from dismissing ideas too quickly. Because the button is magic, no idea is too crazy. This is an extremely truncated version of the exercise, so if you like it, check out the CLIR ethnographic research workshops—they’re great.
Once you’ve pre-assessed to ensure that you’re giving your patrons what they want, and you carefully reviewed what they’ve said to ensure that you’re on the right track, you can start laying your plan! By this point you’ll already have a lot of ideas, so you’re probably just going to be hammering out details and formalizing everything.
Be sure to map your plan to any larger documents. Set a vision and outcomes for your social media. What do you want to do there? How will you do it? What good will come from your efforts?This guide from Columbus Metropolitan Public Library focuses on general strategic planning, but it is just as true for social media planning.How does your social media support your values, purpose, and vision? What will your strategies and outcomes be?
Get definitions of goals, initatives.
In addition to assessing what your patrons want and will use, you have to consider how much time you have to commit to your social meida. Think of your social media platforms like puppies—each one requires love and care and attention. How many puppies can you care for? It’s better to underestimate how much time you have to commit and to start off doing a stellar job with one thing than it is to overestimate and have to scale back immediately. It’s better for your image, for your workflow, and for your morale.
This may need to be moved. I’m not sure if it fits in with my flow any more. Seems like part 2.
Remember, these can’t be too granular. You’re not telling the people how they’re going to accomplish each thing. You’re setting up a plan with concrete goals and deliverables, and assigning someone to take on that task. They can determine how to best meet those goals, as based on the assessment data.
And, last but not least in our strategic planning, you want to consider how you’re going to gauge your success. What metrics will help you know which of your efforts have been worth the time?As with most things, there are a few good ways to get this done. A good starting place is to assess the success of your individual posts or post types. Which ones resonate?You can easily look at views via the analytics built into most social media, and you can also pretty easily measure more active engagement too—clicks, comments, shares. It’s a good idea to compare posts to other posts initially, rather than trying to set a percentage of people that you want to reach with each post. Use your first month of posts to create benchmarks for yourself, and then aim to do better than what you did. A lot of people think that they’re going to a huge percentage of their target audience right away, and then they feel like failures. So, a successful advertising campaign hopes to get a 2 or 3% click through rate—that means that if 100 people see a post, two or three of them actually take action by clicking. We are bombarded with marketing messages every day, and not all of them get through any more. So if you’re looking for a view or click rate of 75%, you’ll be disappointed. Keep in mind that a post on Twitter may not be as popoular on Facebook. A blog post that you day may not be as popular as a similar post on Facebook. That is all okay. If you’re cross-posting, which Cliff will talk about next week, then that will happen. Different things are popular on Twitter than are popular on Facebook. I have found that asking for specifical, small actions gets a huge response on Twitter, and virtually none on Facebook. I hope it’s because everyone is wary of the like-farming phenomenon on Facebook… but who knows.
You may also want to get deeper into this and determine whether the things you’re posting are leading to some kind of learning, and a bit of pre-planning will help. So, instead of assessing whether the content is being seen or acted upon in a basic way, you’ll try and assess that it’s having an impact on our patrons. There is still a lot of research being done on how social media helps or impedes learning, and how it can meaningfully supplement the formal learning environment. If you want to get into this, great, but maybe tackle them a little bit later in your process, after you’ve done the basics. You can decide to target a particular group, perhaps a particular class or a book group, for pre and post-assessment. Did the members who engaged in social media with the library in addition to just the basic work exhibit better retention, understanding, or engagement with the material? Did they learn more, or was the experience more meaningful for them? If you want to do this, you have to set some learning objectives to begin. You can also assess levels of general library knowledge between frienders and non-frienders to determine if your marketing online is having any impact. There are other variables that may be difficult to extract, though, so you’d have to think about those... For example, maybe they had a really library-savvy teacher, or maybe they also came in for library instruction. If you can control for some of these variables, then your assessment will be more meaningful.
This is a great guide for NIU administrators: http://niu.edu/marketing/socialmedia/analytics_tutorials.shtml#Intro
A project is a temporary endeavor with a defined beginning and end (usually time-constrained, and often constrained by funding or deliverables), undertaken to meet unique goals and objectives, typically to bring about beneficial change or added value.Processes & Documents will save your behind. (repeat 3x)This also involves Change management: It’s a matter of building up agreed upon habits. Habit changing for one person is tough, habit changing for a crowd can be insanely tough. But again, processes and documents will save your behind.
*A communication strategy should be built into both the strategic plan and the project management.*Internal and external communication are both vital.1 Elevator Speech – be able to communicate what you’re doing (big picture) and where you’re at (small picture) in two minutes or less.2 Convince the nay-sayers first.
*A communication strategy should be built into both the strategic plan and the project management.*Internal and external communication are both vital.1 Elevator Speech2 Convince the nay-sayers first3 Open houses work great as a way to invite folks to see what you’ve done.4 Again, the key word is balance – strike a balance between communicating everything (where you becoming a clanging gong in the background that no one wants to listen to), and never communicating enough (becoming a bottleneck of information, where projects derail because of lack of information flow).5 If you do technical work, you’ll need to have good hi-tech / low-tech translation skills.
It would be great if all it took was pushing a button, but there are a few more steps!
A process is just a series of steps to accomplish a goal. What you’re looking at here is an abbreviated form of our Technology Project Request process. The person with the awesome idea fills out the Technology Project Request form (LINK LINK LINK), and then the awesome idea is reviewed and approved. After an informational meeting to gather the details of the project, a Requirements Document is drafted to make sure that everyone is on the same page – literally. Then the real work begins of creating social media accounts, building widgets, plugins and scripts, or scheduling content. Once it’s ready to launch, we make sure to celebrate the success of the project, and then check in regularly to make sure everything is going according to plan.This is our process, but yours may be different.* It can be an interesting team-building exercise to write down the process from starting with an idea at your library, all the way through calling the project “finished” and moving it into a maintenance cycle. You’d be surprised how many folks have differing ideas about what exactly goes into getting things done around the library.Gliffy for making online diagrams for freeApprovers should have a metric in place to rank the projects – this makes it so that the approvers can see how they’re ranking ALL the projects in terms of importance. The stakeholder meetings are VITAL, so that everyone can be kept in the loop, and so that it can be made clear exactly what is needed.
Having one document to talk about prevents miscommunication and hurt feelings. It’s too easy for this stuff to be handled by phone calls, individual emails, and hallway conversations, which end up leaving someone out of the loop.Also, if it’s a controversial project, or one where people have differences of opinion, they can talk about the document, rather than about each other (or each other’s ideas).Document Modification History – when did it change, what changed, and who changed itProject DescriptionService Need – How do we know that this is needed? Has there been any pre-assessment? Project Purpose & Scope – What will success for this project look like? What is inside of the scope of this project, and what is outside of the scope of this project?Technical Challenges / Issues – Right off the bat, what are the problems that we’re going to encounter?Timeline – When does this need to be completed? I always like to double my estimates for time and cost.RequirementsFunctional Requirements – what do we need it to do?Technical Requirements – what tools do we need to acquire and modify to do what we need it to do?PolicyRequirements – what new rules, procedures and processes will support this?Accessibility Requirements – how can we make sure that this tool is accessible to everyone?Project ConstraintsTime constraints – schedule and production rateCost constraints – Human resources, material resources, budgetScope constraints – Features, performance, quality. Do they want it to do more? It will take more time and resources. Communication Plan – How are we going to tell people about this? Internal? External?DocumentationAdministrative – How much it costs, when and who made itTechnical Documentation – How it works and how to fix itEnd-User Documentation – How to use itReferences and Related Documents – what other projects does this relate to? How will each impact the other?The other nice thing about the requirements document is that you can show it to administration so they can see the progress.
If you are in charge of managing multiple projects, you need to have an organizational system – the more organized you are, the more simultaneous projects you can manage in a healthy way. I prefer the Getting Things Done system by David Allen.Stay flexible, because things change quickly. The more projects you have going on, the faster things will change.Rely on the tiered priority system – as the Approvers approve projects, they should make it explicit which ones come first.There are lots of articles on how to schedule resources for projects, using calendars, gantt charts, etc.Best practices also include things like having backups, making sure that you have separate “testing” and “production” versions of all your tools, so you don’t break the live version.Be aware of dependencies – Do you want to install a blog? What if the blog requires Ubuntu Linux? Will that require a new server or virtual machine?Once you go to live production, make sure to celebrate the success! Have a little party, or at the very least pass around some thank-you cards and pieces of chocolate. Hard work and long projects should be recognized!
It would be lovely if the work ended once the product goes live, but that’s when the work transitions to production mode. This is where it transforms from a project into a service.What documents do you need to support the content creation, monitoring of comments, etc?Blog management document/posting checklist?IEAP blog marketing initiative details?
We already talked through this part earlier in the presentation—you hopefully will have planned out some of your assessment when you began. You also have room to assess things that crop up, of course, that you could not foresee, but the main goal is to ensure that the social media projects that you’ve created are hitting the mark. Remember that it can take time for social media to get off the ground. If you’re not seeing the response you want, try changing up your approach—sometimes even small changes can have a fairly dramatic impact. If you still don’t see traffic, then you can go back to the drawing board and try something else, or commit more time to another platform or project that is succeeding. Not everything will be a blockbuster, and that’s okay!
A More Effective Social Media Presence: Strategic Planning and Project Management
A More Effective
Social Media Presence
Part 1: The Plan
What is Social Media?
Why this stuff matters
Humans are Social Creatures
Libraries are social networks for ideas
We are all part of the social web
(online or offline!)
Who are you
• Honors, Nursing, and
Librarian @ Georgia
• Author, Strategic
Planning for Social
Media in Libraries
• Social Media Editor,
College & Research
Who are you
• Web Services
Librarian @ Georgia
• Author, A Social
• Inconsistent blogger,
Today you will learn how to…
• Make use of strategic planning and project
management methods to set up (or fix up)
your library’s social media presence
• Define success for your social media presence
and demonstrate that it’s having the effect
• Identify the best practices employed by other
libraries in their social media management
Next time you will learn how to…
• Craft a Facebook page and Twitter account
that will represent your library online;
• Save time and energy by updating multiple
services at the same time;
• Reach new library users by building social web
connections with existing users;
• Build community by advertising events and
programs through the social web.
THE BIG PICTURE
The Strategic Planning Part
Does your library have a plan or strategy for social media?
a. Yes, we have a formal plan.
b. Yes, we have an informal plan.
c. One person manages all our social media, so we don’t need
d. Nope, we don’t have a plan.
What Should I Ask?
• “Which social media platforms do
you use most often?”
• “Which do you use for school/
research/ choosing what to
• “Which would you consider using
for school/ research/ choosing what
• “Would you connect with the
library on any of your social media
platforms? Which?” (Don’t be shy
about naming some for them.)
• “How often would you like to hear
from the library on
What Should I Ask?
• “What would motivate you to
connect with the library via
social media? Games?
Contests? Trivia? Current
information? Community? All
of the above? Other ideas?”
• You can also gauge their
interest in hearing about
particular services or
collections that might be
relevant or interesting to
Want + Need
10 Commandments for Writing Outstanding
Introduction to Writing Questions
from Penn State
Take a Retreat
Watch out for Biases
• Confirmation bias
• Illusory correlation
• Sunk cost bias
• Recency effect
• Curse of knowledge
• Information bias
• Negativity bias
Keep Your Abilities in Mind
• Create a posting plan (# of
posts per week, days of
week, time of day)
• Consider content threads
that meet your goals
• Assign responsibility
Set Your Goals
GOAL: Inform incoming freshmen of core library
• Step 1: Get them to friend us on Facebook and/or Twitter
– Create marketing materials for website, LibGuides (Sarah Steiner with
marketing coordinator, due 8/31/2013)
– Target incoming students at orientation with marketing message
(Sarah Steiner, due 9/1/2013)
– Market to freshman leaders (Student Gov Assn, Honors Ambassadors, etc.)
(Cliff Landis, due 9/1/2013)
• Step 2: Generate content
– Post about a service once weekly (use chart on intranet)
(Sarah Steiner, begin 8/1/2013)
– Manage one social media game/contest in first half of term, one in second
half. (Cliff Landis)
– Post one “freshman pick” each Tuesday afternoon (use chart on intranet)
(Sarah Steiner, begin 8/1/2013)
The Project Management Part
Communicate Your Plan
• How many of you have a “naysayer” at your library?
• I fail to see how this poll question will have any relevance
to the future of librarianship, since this question is probably
just a fad, and especially considering how much I’m already
being asked to do every day, how can I ever be expected to
answer this question too?!?!