For the most part, libraries aren’t “selling” things, but we do strive to promote ourselves, what we offer, and our value to the communities we serve. One way libraries promote themselves is through social media. Many of us are still struggling with this though. Just posting something doesn’t always result in anything. Some libraries are questioning whether their Facebook or Twitter presence is worth the time it takes. But maybe we’re just not doing it right. A relatively recent study shows that people get annoyed with entities who post too often, use slang and jargon, and don’t have any personality. That could be the case with many libraries!
I think we also forget that social media isn’t just for broadcasting, but meant to be a two-way interaction. After all, that’s why they call it social media. It’s not just about followers:
Gaining followers is one thing, but connecting with your audience, getting engaged followers, is far more powerful. If you’re able to entertain them and better align them to your brand and offerings, that will significantly increase the chances of that person going on to become a paying customer.
So, I say, do social media. But do it well. You may also want to read:
- Understanding Social Capital (American Libraries, 2013)
- Why Social Media Isn’t Working for Your Library (Public Libraries, 2013)