I want a Facebook page for our library but I'm not sure where to start. What do I do?

I don't have all the answers. I don't want them all either. What I do have is lots of interesting conversations with people who work in libraries and are lucky enough to be in social media as well, and this is the kind of thing we talk about in person/by email. I also have lots of opinions and sometimes they're spot on. Sometimes they're not. Only you can decide which camp you sit in on that, really. Knowing that, read on!

Query: I want a Facebook page for our library but I'm not sure where to start. What do I do?
Short answer: Play librarian!

More thoughtful answer: I'm serious. Play librarian and research other pages. I call this 'market research.' Think about libraries you like/admire and check out their pages. Look at their style, take note of their tone and personality. Get a feel for how often they post, and what kinds of content they post. See what gets the most likes or comments. How controversial are they? How conservative? Is there one person running the page? Or more? How many more? Stalk the crap out of their pages. And then - here's the trippy part - contact them. Email them, tweet them, Facebook message them and ask them if they can put you in contact with their social media person/people. And when they reply, ask them some,or all, of the following (add your own, too):

  • What social media guidelines or policies do you have? Can you share these?
  • How do you train your staff?
  • What support do you have from management?
  • Who composes your posts?
  • Are you one person or many?
  • Is social media something you do ON TOP OF your daily job? Or is it your entire job?
  • How does your library handle feedback?
  • How much input does your marketing team have in your social media streams?
  • What kind of stats do you keep? How often do you report? Do you have a template you can share?
  • I'm not advocating that you make your page exactly like theirs. Hell to the nah. One size does not fit all. (Regardless of what the stupid dress tag reads). Take what they give you, take what you've seen yourself, and use that to turn your library's page into the best damn online community you can make it: Strong and relevant and informed.

    This is your chance to ask this library everything social media-ish you ever wanted to know about them. Take advantage of it. Don't be afraid to put yourself out there. Look local, look national, look international. Ask local, ask national, ask international. Indulge your fangirl/fanboy self and ASK ALL OF THE QUESTIONS. The worst they can tell you is no. I won't ever tell you that. You ask me and I'll give whatever I can. (Just quietly: every library I contacted responded and sent me whatever they could. And I am eternally thankful for that and will pay it forward however I can).

    One last thing: Don't make that initial overture your only. Don't make that market research moment your only. Keep in touch. Keep looking at pages you like. Keep making your online communities that much more awesome because, honey, the world needs more awesomeness and it begins with you. If you don't do it, who will?

    No comments:

    Post a Comment

    Kia ora! Please leave your comment below :)