Social Media Tools, Tips, and Tricks

Social Media Tools, Tips, and Tricks

Marci Behm, Service Librarian, Des Moines Public Library Kathy Leonard, Service Librarian, Des Moines Public Library

Marci Behm and Kathy Leonard demonstrated how librarians can use social media to connect with the community by sharing their own experiences with social media, as well as some best practices. Central questions such as: 1) Who’s making the decisions? 2) What’s the endgame? & 3) Who is your audience? Provided a way in for audience members who may be thinking about starting a social media program, but might be unsure about how to begin. Behm and Leoonard stressed that answering these questions can help your team be strategic about how, what, and where to post.

The art of social media is knowing how to post good content at the right time, so Behm and Leonard shared some strategies that have helped their team at Des Moines Public Library develop an effective social media program, some of which are summarized below.

1)     Each social media platform has different times of day and days of the week in which they experience the most traffic, so knowing what those times are and scheduling your posts accordingly will help ensure that your posts are seen by as many people as possible.

2)    It is also important to give your library a distinct, but consistent, voice and personality. The social media team at DPL achieves this by reviewing all potential posts to check for consistency of voice and branding.

3)    The function of social media need not be limited to promoting the events and services your library offers, can go beyond library-related content by offering tips (i.e. tech tips), summer reading lists, or sharing popular articles.

4)    Many social media platforms will keep track of statistics for you, so put them to good use!  Look at factors such as number of followers, number of clicks, and rate of engagement to help you figure out who you are reaching, and assess the effectiveness of your efforts.

Reported by Sarah Slaughter