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ROI and Social Media

That libraries are jumping into social media with the same joy that small children evince about jumping into swimming pools on hot days is indisputable. Measuring the impact of these social media is another thing altogether. Michael Porter, Communications Manager, WebJunction, and Amanda Clay Powers, Virtual Reference Librarian, Mississippi State University Libraries, walked their audience through the process of analyzing, evaluating, and communicating the value of web presence, while admitting we’re at an early stage for this. Even counting the number of tweets, for example, can be problematic. Transforming numbers into data that means something for the library’s administration, board, and even skeptical co-workers is a greater challenge. I found it interesting that many in the audience were not yet even attempting to write ROI reports on their social media activities. Clearly this is an area that needs much more attention.