Pinterest for Business: Library Pathfinders and Marketing


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A presentation for Upstate New York Special Library Association, Fayetteville, NY on November 8, 2013. Learn to leverage Pinterest and other visual social media for service-based organizations such as academic, public, and special libraries. Included is a pecha kucha-style flash history of pathfinders! Ask yourself: Are you using Pinterest to maximize your SEO as a business? As the fourth largest traffic driver world-wide, Pinterest is a platform for sharing, collecting, and organizing library resources and promoting your website. Learn the tips and tricks to use Pinterest right, when to pin, what content and tools to

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  • 1. More than a silly little recipe collector. We cannot dismiss these facts:10.4 million registered users, 9 million monthly Facebook-connected users, and 2 million daily Facebook users, according to Inside Network’s AppData tracking service. 47% of U.S. online consumers have made a purchase based on recommendations from Pinterest. Conversion rates for Pinterest are 50% higher than conversion rates from other traffic. (Pinterest drives more traffic). (4th LargestTraffic Driver world-wide.)Total unique visits increased 2,702.2% since May2011. (its growing). Average time spent on site (15.8 minutes) is higher than Facebook (12.1), and Twitter (3.3) and almost as high as Youtube (16.4 minutes). 80% of pins are repinswhich means the possibility of your images being repined is crazy high. This tells us people trust Pinterest networks to recommends quality Products. 2. Libraries are notoriously bad at “selling the invisible,” that is, marketing library services. Become Pinterest power-players, re-purposing Pinterest’s digital space to gain popularity through re-pins and increased followers on Pinterest. Strategize.
  • 1. Libraries are fundamentally changing. Librarians are hackers, re-purposers, and business people in the service industry. Through clever improvisation, librarians and MLIS students have been quick to adapt traditional services to the social media scene. If our mission as librarians is to engage, inspire, and teach, then embedding in a familiar (and, let’s be honest, fun) digital environment is an intuitive next action. 2. But is a Pinterest pathfinder viable? What sets a Pinterest pathfinder apart from traditional pathfinders? And what does Pinterest have to offer as platform for librarians to advocate and educate? Can social media be an authoritative source of information? Does a hyperlinked format contribute to information overload rather than combat it?
  • Flash history. Improve your SEO…no techy skills required! Best practices and a tour of Pinterest examples.
  • You know what it is. But it’s important to establish the core concepts (speak like Brendan). The essence of the subject guide is the orientation of the user so that their search strategy conforms to the nature of the library’s resources. Accordingly, subject guides have a structure appropriate to the user’s needs, user searching habits and collection holdings. They serve as an introduction to the key basic resources on a topic, but also the key themes and terminology. Being introductory, they are designed to provide an approach to research and not to provide a comprehensive bibliographical list or information set. They should be concise; not confuse or disorient the user. Hyperlinking to other resources is an issue, in the online sprawl. In extreme cases, it may contribute to information overload rather than combat it.
  • -Precursers: 1950s (public libraries prepared lists of recommended reading on various subjects)
  • -1960s when some libraries provided annotated lists
  • First appearance of library subject guides in 1970s in academic libraries, as 8.5 x 11 ring-punched sheets. Brief description. Very specialized. E.g.: “wastewater treatment-sedimentation.” Strict sequential structure. Introductory. Still localized but more user focused design. Comprehensive, yes, but criticized for “inhibiting independent navigation.” Tried to duplicate across academic libraries, felt like re-inventing the wheel. Generic pathfinders failed because “Each library needs subject guides that take into consideration its local holdings and the college or university’s curriculum.”
  • Webliographies:Unsystematic, unstructured lists. Still get key library services of evaluating, endorsing and sharing information – but they did not organize it, as subject guides would later do. OPAC record creation for subject guides. Raise subject guides’ visibility, accessibility and portability. Collaboration Now we can share!Identity-crisis. Directory of links? Database?
  • 1. Concept –crisis: The library used be a collection of all the materials a library had. web is interlinked. It’s a network. Pathfinders are linked. There are pathfinders for pathfinders. When we redefine our profession, we have to go back to the core concepts and also redefine, reimagine, and re-invent, new ways to use these tools. Let’s hack Pinterest and make pathfinders. 2. The web and web 2.0 have breathed new life into subject guides. Now we must ask:What’s a pathfinder really? What is Pinterest, really?3. Collaborate. Pinterest is a uniquely “librarian” way to connect and share ideas. Owner of Pinterest, Dave McLean: “It spawned a sharing frenzy.”“Pinners” can share in multimedia formats across wide-reaching regions and learning types, reinforcing a librarianvision: to facilitate a democratic environment of intellectual expression and engagement.
  • Millions of people use pinterest in their lives and work. In the scholarly literature on subject guides, there is also “uncertainty over the extent to which subject guides can be made user-centered (Hemmig, 2005). [twitter][/twitter].
  • Like the bulletin board in your room, or refrigerator. Follow people, have an account homepage, have a newsfeed.
  • Strategize. Libraries are notoriously bad at “selling the invisible,” that is, marketing library services. It is possible to leverage Pinterest as a marketing tool, increasing a library’s traffic, and marketing events for massive growth in a library’s marketing campaign. Under the radar, librarians across the country have become Pinterest power-players, re-purposing Pinterest’s digital space to gain popularity through re-pins and increased followers on Pinterest.What kind of content you should be putting on a page if you are selling services. Law of reciprocity—the more you give to someone, the more they will want to give back to you. Things that you could illustrate in a visual manner. If you want to get some residual traffic without having to pin everyday. Optimize your images to have higher engageemt on the platform. You want people to pin things from your site, as much as possible.
  • Pin it button to your website. Hover-overs for all images so people can pin your content.
  • You may be wondering: “Allright Sarah. I’ve got a lot of things going on in my library. I don’t have time to sit around creating marketing.” “I don’t have the money to hire a graphic designer.” The minimum amount of effort to get the maximum amount of return. Use Allows you to work from their templates. You can plug in data-points, statistics, insert statistics, incredibly high-end professional infographics. It’s a wonderful resource to position yourself with credibility. If you have info or statistics, show current trends in circulation, library statistics. Think about educating your audience. Create quality content doing cool, innovative things with library materials. Show people with tutorials how to USE the library item.
  • It’s much easier to rank your pinterest page than your website. Google knows that it’s a treally big important website. Very important root domain. Ranked for search terms is much easier, and definitely a strategy you want to go after. Help rank your pins and boards and your full account (pinterest page) based on search terms. Board titles, account description, put keywords here. Getting your page ranked on Pinterest is easier because Pinterst is a very important root domain. SO put keywords in as many areas as possible. Keywords: general and specific. Clever Captions. "wow" "pretty" doesn't do it. The librarians I’ve seen on Pinterest have been jargon-y. Even I fouled up and made my link “subject guides” Use Key words like “weddings” or “gifts.” CTA The first most essential part is the call to action. Increases engagement by 80%. They are much more likely to do what you want them to do if you tell them to do it. Tell them to: “REPIN THIS COMMENT BELOW.” Actually TELL people what you want them to do.
  • Birchbox. As Steve Jobs said: “good artists copy, great artists steal.” Saturday mornings are the most popular time. Pinterest for business account.Who you follow & repin implicitly endorses.Create value around your business and put it in a visual format. People need visual cues and reminders beneath content of your site. Turn value-adding by creating pins to relationship building. IF you feel overwhelmed, its not that difficult to do. It’s a few simple things to do to set up. You KNOW how to market, you’re on the cutting edge in your industry, you KNOW how to not only get new patrons, but BUILD YOUR BRAND.Because let’s face it, libraries are a business.Be a smart business onwer who is ACTUALLY USING SOCIAL MEDIA to improve their business.
  • Simply search Pinterest for “subject guides” and see for yourself! There are exciting examples across the nation (like Library People’s reader’s advisory). CONCLUSION1. Pinterest pathfinders ultimately address an exciting opportunity for scholarship in action, and have the potential to propel a revolution in self-directed learning. 2. If the library is more than books, then we can pin social media as authoritative sources! Podcasts, blogs, tweets, citizentube etc. 3.Still get key library services of evaluating, endorsing and sharing information, endorsing and sharing information.
  • Negatives:Info overloadBetter descriptionsPositives:1. More user-centered. (studies show that the current and future generations of students are more comfortable with electronic forms of library services than traditional face-to-face  services (OCLC, 2006). 2. Drive traffic to library site.3. Low-cost, low time investment. (search engines aim to be high-tech ref librarians for you).4. Facilitates independent searching. Source: Sherriff, 2008.QUESTIONS1.What challenges might the creation of a Pinterest for you library present? Technological learning curves?2. How to instate Quality-control: Does a Pinterest pathfinder have the same integrity credibility as a Lib Guide made by a librarian?
  • Pinterest for Business: Library Pathfinders and Marketing

    1. 1. On a scale of 1-10, do you know how to use Pinterest for Business? Do you have a Pinterest account?
    2. 2. recipe collector? reference tool? traffic driver?
    3. 3. Road Map 1.Pathfinders 2.Pinterest for business 3.Examples!
    4. 4. The Pathfinder -bibliographic guide on a particular topic -introductory/ concise -in search strategy order -library resources available -key themes and terminology
    5. 5. Flash history Precursers: 1950s
    6. 6. 1960s Annotated lists
    7. 7. 1970-1980s 8.5 x 11 ring-punched sheets
    8. 8. 1986 online guides appear
    9. 9. Virtual Pathfinders Reimagining our tools
    10. 10. The librarians’ toolbox reopened: Pathfinders 0 Structured introductory research guide Pinterest 0 Organizing and sharing things you are interested in. Pinterest subject guides 0 An opportunity to lead patrons to high quality, organized content through social media.
    11. 11. 0 What is it?-A virtual bulletin board for sharing interesting things you find online. 0What can you pin?-Visual content 0Why is it considered social?-Other people can repin your content.
    12. 12. for business 0 Improve techy skills required! 0 Learn the secret to creating pins with the crazy high engagement.
    13. 13. Promote pinning 0 Add a pin-it button. ( 0 Analytic tool for businesses. (
    14. 14. Create Content “People are in Discovery Mode on Pinterest! They want to learn.” 0 infographic 0 checklist 0 tutorial 0 quiz 0 video
    15. 15. SEO • Teaser Text • Keywords + Hashtags=metadata • Company logo • CTA (Call to action!)
    16. 16. examples 0 Historic Architecture of Syracuse, NY 0 Local History and Genealogy at OCPL 0 Fayetteville Free Library
    17. 17. questions
    18. 18. sources 0 Dunsmore, Carla. “A Qualitative Study of Web-Mounted Pathfinders Created by 0 0 0 0 0 0 Academic Business Libraries.” Libri. Vol 52. 2002. pp.137-156. Duncan, Melanie. “Pinterest for Business.” Webinar. Accessed: October 14, 2013. Polard, Gillian. “5 Pinterest Stats to Consider.” Social Media Today. Oct. 20, 2013. Accessed: Nov. 4, 2013. Sherriff, Graham. “From Pathfinders to LibGuides: a chronological survey of library subject guides.” 23 November 2008. Web. Accessed: 10 October 2013 OCLC. (2006). College Students’ Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources. Retrieved January 26, 2008. useful links