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Social Media and Community Engagement

Social Media and Community Panel

Social Media and Community Panel

In what has to be the all-time record for the largest panel ever at CIL, 9 people gave their perspectives on social media and community engagement.. Characteristics of the panel are available on the conference website. Here are the social media platforms that they use.

Social Media Platforms Used

Social Media Platforms Used

Panelists’ goals for social media:

  • Give your population an understanding of the value you bring to your community and the tools you use (this goal is the overall “macro-goal”),
  • Outreach and marketing,
  • Build community online,
  • Remember that the library is there and is a place they can go,
  • Delight users and make the interaction fun,
  • Reach people and who are online but don’t come into the library any more, maintain a relationship with them, and increase the number of people who know what’s going on at the library,
  • Make contact with freshmen students and present library services to them; make them aware that the library is there to help them, and authenticate the voice behind the social media; blend social media with fun,
  • Be a gateway to the library; get students, faculty, and staff to engage with each other,
  • Encourage access to library services online; and
  • Bring startups to libraries; expand the sphere of influence.

How they are reaching out to non-users?

  • Use meetup; open the library after hours and play games;
  • Survey users who had used the library in 2 years ago but not in the last year; hire a phone surveying company;
  • Collaborate with larger entities on campus; give them something funny they can share with their friends;
  • Meet people in person, which is more powerful than social media;
  • Surveys asking what people use for social media; communicate with professors face-to-face; make sure your presentation is very professional;
  • Find someone who is a central node in a network and is therefore well connected and get them to help you get your message out to other non-users; post comments on pages that are frequently viewed;
  • Establish a relationship with large campus-wide accounts; meet with student groups in person; distribute paper flyers; and
  • Shoot blanks into Twitter and hope something sticks; comment on tweets which are free advertising; attend conferences that are not library conferences; have strong LinkedIn and Twitter presences.

How or when do you shut down an account?

  • Focus on only one account and let the others lie derelict;
  • Let things linger; use Instagram which automatically posts to Facebook;
  • Recognize that your time is valuable and many campuses require many approvals to establish an account, so focus on one account;
  • If the account does not get traction; and
  • Make sure your account has an influence.

If not Facebook, then what? Many people in the audience mentioned Tumblr, which autoposts to Facebook.

Don Hawkins
Conference Blogger

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