when social media fails to inspire: transforming your library's social media presence

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Like many libraries, Columbia College Chicago Library created a blog, Facebook, and Twitter accounts, but our users just weren’t interested. Why were the same tools that have been instrumental in over-throwing governments failing for us? After some experimentation, we established a new focus and strategy for social media. Our approach centers on listening, building relationships, providing alternative service points, and responding to users. Hear how we are now using social media to effectively connect with our users. -Presented at ACRL 2013, Molly Beestrum, Kerri Willette, and Amy Wainwright


  • 1. When Social Media Fails to InspireTransforming your librarys social media presence

2. PART I: THE STORYKerri WilletteEmerging Technologies LibrarianUniversity of Wisconsin-Parkside 3. Initial goals Use social media to broadcast announcements Promote the library and library related events Increase website SEO Keep it as low maintenance as possible 4. Early Twitter activity 5. Early Facebook activity 6. #cricketsBlog Analytics 2010 7. New goals Listening Being where our users are and knowing what theyre talking about Following blogs, hashtags and lists that relate to our community Actively participating in our community Establishing alternate service points Being likable 8. ListeningHootsuite Streams: http://hootsuite.com 9. Sharing interesting, relevant content 10. PART II: THE DETAILSAmy WainwrightAccess Services AssistantColumbia College Chicago Library 11. At the height of our success Core group of 3 people managed social media But what did that look like in reality? 12. Supportive and interested coworkers9 contributors3 contributors1 contributor3 contributors10 contributors 13. Organization Monthly meetings with the blog contributors Hootsuite to schedule and track posts Policies for claiming comments and tweets Content driven by what our users needed and wanted 14. Why is this all in past tense? Lost one member of the core group Facebook posting is spotty, twitter coverage is skimpy,and blog posting has mostly withered away Need to have a dedicated Social Media position 15. PART III: TAKE-AWAYSMolly BeestrumLibrary Instruction CoordinatorColumbia College Chicago Library 16. Lessons Learned Form a team Define your vision Pick a few tools Define success Learn from failure Prioritize social media Listen 17. Team ApproachIdentify staff with interest in specific tools9 contributors3 contributors1 contributor3 contributors10 contributors 18. Define your Vision Public services or Marketing?social media as alternate service point or a way of promoting resources and services Communicate shared goals Agreed upon vision 19. Pick a few tools Dont try to do everything Pick a couple of tools that fit your audience Patrons already using it Solves a problem Highlights collections Works in tandemwith other tools 20. Define Success Counting hits, reach, follows, pins Success can be fleeting Success can be bittersweet Improvement is success Success from failure 21. Learn from Failure Try it and see what happens Dont ask for permission Call it a pilot or keep it in beta Even if it didnt work, you still learned something 22. Prioritize Social Media Dont treat social media as an afterthought Communicate successes to administrators Press for investment; dedicated position(s) 23. Listen Put down the megaphone Become a member of the community 24. Questions?Columbia College Chicago Libraryhttp://www.lib.colum.edu Facebook: facebook.com/ColumbiaCollegeLibrary Twitter: twitter.com/LibraryTweet Tumblr: ccclibrary.tumblr.com Pinterest: pinterest.com/ccclibrary