Using Twitter as a Powerful Social Medium for Libraries


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Presentation given in LaCrosse, WI on October 26th, 2012 for the Wisconsin Library Association.

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  • Good Morning!I’m Judy Pinger from Milwaukee Public Library.I’ve been a librarian for over 20 years.Became extremely interested in social media about five years ago.I’ve seen firsthand the many benefits that Twitter has brought to our library.A quick show of hands…how m any of you have a Twitter account at your library?
  • The objective is to get as many followers as possible to click on your headline and read the content.
  • There is a lot of chirping going on!
  • Twitter originally called Twittr as it was inspired by the spelling of Flickr.Developed to be used as an in-house communication tool but quickly mushroomed.
  • Using the @ sign also ensures that the same tweet will appear in the targeted tweeter’s feed.
  • People have been participating in forms of social media for centuries. Abbreviated text is nothing new.Back in the 19th century, telegraph operators used GM, SFD, and GA meant good morning, stop for dinner, and go ahead.
  • Keynote address : Lewis Feldstein and social capital
  • Using Twitter as a Powerful Social Medium for Libraries

    1. 1. Using Twitter as a Powerful Social Medium Judy Pinger Coordinator of Business and Technology Milwaukee Public Library WLA LaCrosse – October 26th, 2012
    2. 2. What is Twitter?Definition:A microblogging system that lets a person sendbrief text messages up to 140 characters inlength to a list of followers.Source :
    3. 3. Limited to 140 character updates Twitter is a scrolling series of headlines.
    4. 4. Twitter StatisticsThere are 500 million users in 2012.There are 340 million tweets sent daily.Source : Wikipedia
    5. 5. Brief History of TwitterLaunched in July 2006 by Jack Dorsey, anemployee of then podcasting company Odeo.
    6. 6. Dorsey’s Original Sketch for Twitter
    7. 7. A Quick Review of Twitter Vocabulary
    8. 8. What is a Hashtag?A hashtag is a search meant to label a topic orfilter a conversation.#WLA, #MilwaukeePubLib, #ALA
    9. 9. Hashtag How To’s• If you Tweet with a hashtag on a public account, anyone who does a search for that hashtag may find your Tweet.• Dont over-tag a single Tweet. (Best Practices recommend using no more than 2 hashtags per Tweet.)• Use hashtags only on Tweets relevant to the topic. From
    10. 10. #WLA12
    11. 11. The @ sign in TwitterUsed to assign attribution to another Tweeter:
    12. 12. Why Use Twitter at your Library?- Connect with patrons who don’t visit thelibrary.- Broadcast real time library updates.- Succinct communication.- Network with other community tweeters.
    13. 13. Using Twitter Builds Social Capital
    14. 14. Tweet and be Retweeted!
    15. 15. Excellent for Time Sensitive Posts
    16. 16. Encourages Transparency and Trust Keeps the library relevent in the digisphere andon people’s minds.
    17. 17. Encourage Real Time Conversation
    18. 18. Tweet about special collections
    19. 19. Tweet about Programs!
    20. 20. Spotlight Important Library WeeksExamples:Teen Tech Week – in MarchNational Library Week – in AprilBanned Books Week – in October
    21. 21. Tips for Effective Tweeting• Time your tweets for maximum effectiveness.• Hootsuite or Tweetdeck useful for setting up timed Tweets.• Do not bombard your followers with Tweets.
    22. 22. Humanize Your Library’s Voice Followers need to have the sense that a personis conversing with them.
    23. 23. Leave Formality at the door, be casual in tone.Do : “Hey, it’s so hot outside – that we’re stayingopen so you can avoid melting into thesidewalk.”Don’t: “The library is open for extended hoursdue to the heat advisory.”
    24. 24. The best person to tweet for your library may not be a librarian --Assign staff who already enjoy social media.-Are conversational and convey warmth.-Has a sense of humor and will interact well witha wide variety of followers.
    25. 25. Eschew Library Jargon.Bad example : “Use the RFID machines to checkout current periodicals.”Good example : “Hey! Current mags nowavailable for check out with a swipe of yourlibrary card!”
    26. 26. Encourage the Good, the Bad and the Ugly!Do not be afraid of negative comments. It’s allpart of the conversation!The good news:most followers are very enthusiastic andsupportive.
    27. 27. Quickly respond to any interaction. Even 24 hours is a lifetime in the social media realm!
    28. 28. Link to, Retweet, Share whenever your library is in the news-MKE_CC Oct 11, 2:47pm via Web MKE residentsmay register to vote at City Hall or any@MilwaukeePubLib until Wednesday, October17 - call 286-3491 for addl voter info
    29. 29. More ways to engage followers:Author Birthdays-Favorite library quotes –“Outside of a dog, a book is mans best friend.Inside of a dog its too dark to read. GrouchoMarxUS comedian with Marx Brothers (1890 - 1977)”
    30. 30. Tweet about Standard Library FAQ’SHow to apply for a library card.How to reserve a meeting room.How to download ebook/audiobook content.
    31. 31. Ideas for Twitter PostsShare reminders about civic services:-Where to vote.-Property tax bill schedule.-Municipal Trick or Treat schedule.
    32. 32. Tweet about…-Library Programs-Digital Collections-Super Readers!-Databases-Old Library Photos-Exhibits
    33. 33. Contests and GiveawaysEx: The first five correct responses will win a setof tickets to the Milwaukee Film Festival!
    34. 34. Behind the Scenes “Nuts and Bolts”
    35. 35. Twitter Clients• Hootsuite• Tweetdeck• Twitpic
    36. 36. HootsuiteMost popular of the Twitter dashboard clients. - Updates content from blogs and Facebook. - Assign work teams to Twitter account. - Schedule Tweets ahead of time. - Automatically converts content into Twitterformat using extension. - Tracks statistics. - Fee based but basic account free.
    37. 37. Tracking your Twitter ActivityTweets stay on Twitter an average of 4 days.Twitter soon to make archiving available.Twitter Client such as HootSuite keeps Tweetslonger.
    38. 38. Measuring Usage
    39. 39. Thank you for attending this session.
    40. 40. Questions, Comments,Thoughts? e-mail : Judy Pinger