So somebody told you your library should be on Twitter, the wildly popular microblogging site, but you’re not really sure how or why or what the heck you’re supposed to do on it.

First the what. Here’s the description from Twitter’s about us page:

“Twitter is a real-time information network that connects you to the latest stories, ideas, opinions and news about what you find interesting. Simply find the accounts you find most compelling and follow the conversations.

At the heart of Twitter are small bursts of information called Tweets. Each Tweet is 140 characters long, but don’t let the small size fool you—you can discover a lot in a little space. You can see photos, videos and conversations directly in Tweets to get the whole story at a glance, and all in one place. ”

As for the how and what: you want to give people a reason to follow you. For a library that would mean posting information about your programs, maybe live tweeting some events (especially authors coming to visit), and sharing publishing world news that your patrons would find interesting.

Besides how you tweet, who should a library follow? Authors, publishers, news sources, the ALA are just a few off the top of my head.

Do you think its worth libraries learning to utilize Twitter?

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2 responses »

  1. Trista Nelson says:

    I almost feel like a library needs to pick one avenue of social media and really stay up on it. I’ve looked on Facebook for other community college libraries that have pages to see what we should be doing for our library and what I found was that many libraries A) Didn’t have a page or B) Had one but did absolutely nothing with it. This may not be the case for public libraries as I only researched small community colleges. The point is if you’re going to do it, you really need to do it right. You need to make sure you’re posting and personally responding to patrons. You don’t want your library to get lost on their “like” page to never be heard from again. So I personally think (unless you have the staff) picking one site medium and really working with that is the best way to go.

  2. Richard A. says:

    Trista,
    I agree that there definitely needs to be a strategy for Social Media. I wonder, however, if a rotating strategy might work best. Many social networks have some moderate ability to link to each other, and I think that it could be passable to maintain older profiles while focusing on a new format. I also think that it might be good for libraries to use their profiles to discuss the social media platform itself.

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