Social Media for Outreach


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This presentation was created for the Center for Distance Education at Mississippi State University in June 2013.

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  • I’m glad you liked the template! It’s very … exciting. 
  • Why social media for libraries? You could say it’s because we need to stay relevant. You could say it’s because we need to preserver our place as the tech center of our communities. You could say it’s because it’s become the distribution means for information and resources our patrons need. And all those things are true. But at base, it’s because it’s where our patrons are. In the physical world or in the virtual world, if we aren’t part of their lives, we aren’t able to fulfill our mission—meeting the needs of our patrons.
  • How do you decide from all the ones out there—pick the one with traction in your community. Don’t do anything just to do it…none of us have time for that! One of the brilliant things social media has the potential to do is create the kind of community around the library we all dream about. In order to make a stab at that, we have to start where they are. That’s not to say we shouldn’t experiment with other things, but the bulk of your efforts should be reserved for those that are going to give you the biggest bang for your buck. We are going to focus on three of those today.
  • These are the big three right now that seem to be getting the most minutes of the day from the people we serve. Facebook is the monster, of course. 1 billion users. 552 million daily users. It’s so big it’s become it’s own internet, and you need to have a website on the Facebook Internet, because that’s where people turn first to find anything. Twitter may or may not be big in your community, but it’s a fantastic way to engage users in a conversation that’s not possible on the Facebook behemoth. If you can use it, you need to know about it. Pinterest is the dark horse for libraries…it’s come out of nowhere practically to be a place libraries can meet their community in a way that we’ve seen work effectively.
  • As of October 4, 2012, there are 1 billion people on FB according to this press release: Should we also mention that it is worth the libraries noting their particular demographic when looking at “best” and “worst” times to publish posts? This is generalized over 1 billion people (or sort of), so “micro-communities” in small towns in MS are possible, for example.
  • Facebook is first up. It’s a huge monster, but it can be tamed to your needs. You have some options about how to “be” in Facebook. Generally every library should have its own Facebook Page. It has your basic info like hours, contact information, a map. It can also feed information into individual news feeds, if your users choose to add it (this is a relatively new development). We haven’t had an opportunity to get into the daily lives of our patron this way, and it’s more than worth exploring. It’s essential. Groups can be an effective way to extend the conversation for a specialized group—teen book group, scrapbookers meeting in the library, any group with a common interest that would be served by a place to have an ongoing conversation “hosted” by the library. Individual profiles are definitely worth having—your patrons will want to friend you. You can create a profile that has the flexibility to accommodate patrons using friend lists, privacy settings, and limited updates.I think this is worth investigating to mention:
  • Did not include subscribing since it only applies to individuals
  • A screenshot from us, if it’s helpful
  • Point out the number of people “seeing” the post.Point out that people (tagged people) increase the viral possibilities of a post. And people like pictures of people. Same # of people saw Collaborate post and picture. 39 liked the pic. 1 (librarian) liked the words-only post. FB shows (some of) your demographics.
  • Sorted by “reach” – pic of librarians with maroon. Note “virality.” Sort by any of these.
  • Explain hashtags-Added two bullet points
  • Social Media for Outreach

    1. 1. A M A N DA C L AY P OW E R S , M S U L I B R A R I E S J U N E 5 , 2 01 3
    2. 2. MSU Libraries Follow Us @msu_libraries
    3. 3. MSU Libraries Follow Us @msu_libraries
    4. 4. MSU Libraries Follow Us @msu_libraries
    5. 5. MSU Libraries Follow Us @msu_libraries
    6. 6. MSU Libraries Follow Us @msu_libraries FACEBOOK – WHO, WHEN?  1.11 billion users, including 751 million mobile users, 665 million daily active users, 50 million ―Pages‖  60% Male Vs. 40% Female  Largest user age group: 18 to 25 (29%)  Avg. time (minutes) per user per visit: 20 Source:;;
    7. 7. MSU Libraries Follow Us @msu_libraries FACEBOOK PAGE TYPES Profiles o For individuals o Only one page per individual Groups o Private/invitation-only/open options o For discussion and community-building Pages (fan-pages) o For organizations, businesses, and institutions o ―Like‖ or ―Subscribe‖ to your page o Multiple administrators/managers o An interactive website / ―yellow pages‖
    8. 8. MSU Libraries Follow Us @msu_libraries Make sure this is checked while you are setting the page up
    9. 9. MSU Libraries Follow Us @msu_libraries Add multiple administrators for more ideas / help / interest.
    10. 10. MSU Libraries Follow Us @msu_libraries FACEBOOK – ENGAGEMENT Build audience o Invite your contacts (from multiple sources) to ―like‖ your page o Market to build an audience (website, twitter, etc.) Interacting with ―Likers‖ o Private messages: Can only reply to messages sent to your page, cannot initiate a private message o Posting/Commenting/Liking o Pictures are the most popular
    11. 11. MSU Libraries Follow Us @msu_libraries Recent activity on your page
    12. 12. # of times shared on other pages # of people who had the post on their screen Click to see your followers.
    13. 13. Use this sort to evaluate the types of posts that are most popular.
    14. 14. MSU Libraries Follow Us @msu_libraries FACEBOOK PAGE BEST PRACTICES Pin important posts to the top of your Page Be casual and conversational Use images Post consistently Source:
    15. 15. MSU Libraries Follow Us @msu_libraries
    16. 16. MSU Libraries Follow Us @msu_libraries TWITTER – WHO, WHEN?  200 million monthly active users; 500 million registered, 60% mobile  Majority of users are ages 18 to 44  Avg. time (minutes) per user per month: 170 Source: Zintro;;;;
    17. 17. MSU Libraries Follow Us @msu_libraries TWITTER – WHAT IS IT? Real-time micro-blogging tool Tweet = Short-to-the-point updates (140 characters) Handle = Your username (@amandaclay) Feed = tweets from people you follow that show up on your home page Direct Mention (DM) = private message between accounts that follow each other Mentions = @mentions: mention a particular user in your tweet using the ―@‖ followed by the username Retweet (RT) = Attribution (MT = Modified Tweet; HT = Hat Tip (credit for the idea/link); Via = retweet)
    18. 18. MSU Libraries Follow Us @msu_libraries SIGN UP, SIGN IN, GET IN THE CONVERSATION
    19. 19. MSU Libraries Follow Us @msu_libraries SEARCH & ADVANCED SEARCH • Search • Follow hashtags • Find individuals, general topics, etc. • Advanced Search • Proximity searching • Boolean searching • Use operators in normal search once created: • library OR librarian OR Mitchell OR chat near:"39762" within:15mi • Hashtag (#) Magic • Conferences (#ALA13 or #IL2012), • Topics (#HAILSTATE), • Events (#debates), • World-wide news (#syria, #olympics) • Current trends ( • TV / movies / video game reviews & conversations
    20. 20. MSU Libraries Follow Us @msu_libraries TWITTER BEST PRACTICES  Engage – respond in a timely manner  Follow first!  Find your community  Take advantage of  Mine related accounts for followers  Retweet others for reciprocation (@msu_libraries, @msstate)  Use hashtags and @ to enter conversation (#FollowFriday, #FF, #MaroonFriday, etc.)  Be valuable!  BE PATIENT!!!
    21. 21. MSU Libraries Follow Us @msu_libraries 7 TIPS FOR BUILDING YOUR AUDIENCE 1. Be reliable. Post regularly. Respond quickly. 2. Make sure people know how to find you – put your Twitter handle or FB ID on all your virtual and print materials. 3. Success isn’t necessarily about numbers—it’s about engagement. Think quality, not quantity to begin. Quantity follows. 4. Use URL shorteners to track ―clicks‖ 5. Use Facebook Insights and Twitter tools to track engagement 6. Compare stats and content to uncover your audience’s interests 7. Develop a ―personality‖ – make choices about who you are and what your goals are for the venue. Your Twitter account will likely not have the same ―identity‖ as your Facebook accout.
    22. 22. MSU Libraries Follow Us @msu_libraries 5 IDEAS FOR MANAGING SOCIAL MEDIA WORK 1. In general, the more voices contributing, the more likely you will reach your audience. 2. Build a team with a common purpose. Establish a mission and get consensus. Social media shouldn’t be lonely work. 3. Trust your employees/colleagues to post responsibly. 4. No one can be made to ―do‖ social media—empower the people that want to do it. 5. Have fun and celebrate successes!
    23. 23. MSU Libraries Follow Us @msu_libraries TOP TEN GUIDELINES FOR ADMINISTRATORS 1. You are your employer on the web—all the same standards apply online as they do in person. 2. Remember your audience—post to them, not to yourself. 3. Be friendly, informal, accessible, but still professional. 4. If you are in doubt, don’t post it. Think twice, post once. 5. Stay away from posts related to politics or legal issues 6. Be accurate and add value—always. You are the University! 7. Do not post confidential information. Remember FERPA. 8. If conflict happens, respond immediately to diffuse it. Best practice is to solve it publicly, and not suppress it, if possible. 9. Don’t promote commercial establishments. Delete commercial posts. 10. Cite and link to sources. Attribution is critical.
    24. 24. MSU Libraries Follow Us @msu_libraries QUESTIONS? Amanda Clay Powers Associate Professor Social Media / Extension / Agriculture Mississippi State University Libraries @amandaclay @msu_libraries