What’s a Social Media Strategy Worth?

Our blog has discussed various aspects of social media marketing in a library context. We’ve covered different platforms and highlighted some real-life examples; we’ve explored the ways in which a library is both similar and dissimilar to a business; we’ve discussed some of the potential drawbacks of using social media; and we’ve examined different ways that libraries can provide interactive library activities in a social networking environment. And now we want to know what you think after reading our posts: what’s the value of social media in a library setting? Everything requires resources and libraries have to make choices about where to expend them. Do you think that a library should make sacrifices in other areas in order to free up the resources for a social networking strategy? And if so, what areas should they make those sacrifices in? We hope you’ll take a moment to fill out our poll. And thanks for reading!

Still Think Social Media is a Fad?

Think again. Let me add to the list above, your LIBRARY PATRONS don’t think so!

In my previous job as a digital marketing consultant my customers always seemed to act like social media would go away eventually. Over the past few years its just gotten more and more of a constant. Which makes it as necessary as having a website. Social media is where the people are, so that’s where as a business you need to be. Here are some cold hard facts that prove it but in a brightly colored graphic package! Enjoy the infographic after the break!
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Impact, Engagement, and the Value of Social Media

For my last post, I’d like to discuss some library-friendly alternatives to ROI. We know that a social media strategy, when executed correctly, can be beneficial to a library, but we also know that measuring the success of that strategy may be difficult. If we eschew the more traditional focus on financial outcomes—profits and losses—what other measurements are still available to us? In other words: how do we, as librarians, know whether our social media strategy is working… or whether we should abandon it?

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Are you Winning the Zero Moment of Truth?


Zero Moment of Truth

Google put out a free ebook last fall about the new Zero Moment of Truth(ZMOT)  in marketing. Proctor and Gamble proposed the first moment of truth years ago. To explain these are the basic moments in marketing that engange consumers:

Stimulus – an ad, tv commerical, etc. What first introduces the product to a consumer.

First Moment of Truth (FMOT) – shelving, store displays, packaging, in store coupons, etc. What the consumer sees in the store that helps make their buying decision.

Second Moment of Truth (SMOT) – using the product then telling other people about your experiences.

The digital marketing revolution I talked about has drastically changed this process. Google proposes that there is now a NEW moment of truth, before the First ever occurs. This is their ZMOT, the time before you even get to the store when you’re researching the product online through various channels and this is now when consumers make their purchasing decision. If businesses aren’t participating in the online Zero Moment of Truth, then they are assuredly losing business.

You’re probably thinking, yeah that sounds great, but what about libraries? Just like consumers, library patrons have moved online as well. Continue reading

Corporate Fear, ROI, and the Library

In my last post, I talked about how for-profit organizations determine the ROI of a social media strategy. But how would a library calculate this? And, perhaps more importantly: should it even try?

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Potential Strengths of Social Networking Book Clubs

If it could be pulled off, a social networking book club would have many advantages over traditional models. The modularity of content would allow patrons to discuss or share whichever elements of the club are of interest to them. Supplementary components such as author info, historical context, literary criticism, or comparison texts can be made available without necessarily demanding attention. This also allows for a variety of participation levels.
Social media tools can also enhance the experience. In addition to how shareable components might be, interactive elements such as surveys and tagging might gather data which could further spur discussion. The archival potentials of these discussions might contribute to a feeling that patrons are building an experience within a title, rather than just chatting about it.
The types of titles conducive to discussion also shifts with the transition to social media space. This same framework could be applied to graphic novels, films, music, video games, public lectures, and other formats which are not well suited to in-person discussion for reasons of formatting.
In light of this, might the social networking library become a place where thoughtful content is posted, to be contrasted against the general pulp of the Web?
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5 1/2 Twitter Best Practices

The key to Twitter is quality NOT quantity. You want people to retweet you and NOT to unfollow you because you’re gunking up their feed with random tweets. Always keep in mind, would I want to follow me? Am I being informative or at the very least FUNNY! Amusing tweets are very popular and can keep you on someone’s follow list more than posting boring updates about your latest event. So get creative with your 140 characters and try to amuse your followers as well as inform them. More advice in the infographic after the break. Continue reading

Potential Issues with Social Networking Book Clubs

Library activities cannot seamlessly be translated to social media space. Many issues arise or are made more volatile by the virtual space. One such issue that arises is the loss of library branding. Patrons who visit the library in person are actively immersing themselves in the library environment. This brings with it a certain level of openness to marketing events and library services. However, patrons who participate in virtual library activities are primarily utilizing social media, and only secondarily utilizing the library. As such, marketing efforts need to be in line with the patrons’ primary interests in using social media.