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A library social media manifesto | #VALA2022

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A library social media manifesto | #VALA2022

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My talk for the #VALA2022 conference in Melbourne. Watch the full video of it here: https://youtu.be/rkLFM2SddCM

This is inended to apply to all sectors of librarianship, and is potentially relevant to all non-profits. Discussing purpose, personality, coordination, empathy and analytics - to refresh and re-energise your organisational social media and marketing.

If you want to book a marketing or social media workshop for your organisation, get in touch at www.ned-potter.com

My talk for the #VALA2022 conference in Melbourne. Watch the full video of it here: https://youtu.be/rkLFM2SddCM

This is inended to apply to all sectors of librarianship, and is potentially relevant to all non-profits. Discussing purpose, personality, coordination, empathy and analytics - to refresh and re-energise your organisational social media and marketing.

If you want to book a marketing or social media workshop for your organisation, get in touch at www.ned-potter.com

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A library social media manifesto | #VALA2022

  1. 1. A LIBRARY SOCIAL MEDIA MANIFESTO @ned_potter #VALA2022
  2. 2. Social Media is problematic in all sorts of ways, but as library marketers it is perhaps the greatest opportunity we’ve ever been given. We get to go to where our audience are and converse with them, inform them, and entertain them – perhaps breaking down some barriers too.
  3. 3. From Statista. The numbers go up and up – we can be confident that time invested in social media is worth it… Active social media users as percentage of the total population in Australia from 2015 to 2021
  4. 4. Despite all these positives, it’s actually very easy to social media without ever asking: why are we there? What is it that we, as organisations, are trying to achieve by being on social media?
  5. 5. we will have PURPOSE
  6. 6. Often (always?) library social media presences are built the wrong way up: join a platform, find a use. Ideally it would happen the other way around – an obvious user need would present itself, with a social media platform being the best way to fulfil it.
  7. 7. Often (always?) library social media presences are built the wrong way up: join a platform, find a use. Ideally it would happen the other way around – an obvious user need would present itself, with a social media platform being the best way to fulfil it. It’s not too late to do this – we all just need time and space to think about it.
  8. 8. Keeping users up to date with news & events Getting user feedback Improving the library’s reputation / brand Answering questions Making the library more informal / fun / approachable Recruiting new users Keeping the library in the mind of existing users Promoting specific services Promoting resources / collections Engaging the users in dialogue Being part of a wider conversation Critical service updates during the pandemic Supporting your library’s marketing plan Increasing awareness of what the library does Instigating partnerships Marketing upwards (to funders / parent org] Tips, tricks, and hacks Providing something light, fun, and distracting [intentionally left blank: you’ll probably be able to think of some great reasons I’ve not listed here…] PICK FIVE: MAKE THESE YOUR FOCUS
  9. 9. A simple way to refresh and reenergise your social media is to establish its purpose. Wipe the slate clean and work out your goals - then aim squarely at them. Your users will benefit from that intention too. Focus and momentum count for a lot in social media – when you become known for something, your job becomes easier.
  10. 10. we will Coordinate
  11. 11. When you post critical information over multiple channels, more people see it - and of those, more people see it more than once
  12. 12. The aim is not to produce identical content for every platform, but variations of the same message, adapted to suit.
  13. 13. Because different parts of our community are on different platforms. How do we know which ones?
  14. 14. 83 79 71 60 43 19 1 3 8 15 25 24 4 7 6 8 6 5 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Aged 65+ Aged 55-64 Aged 45-54 Aged 35-44 Aged 25-34 Aged 16-24 Which social network do you use most often? Data adapted From Statista.
  15. 15. Generally speaking… Fairly universal. 3rd most popular site on the internet, so your users ARE there. Video is really useful tool but needs proper promotion to be worth the time it takes Still the most popular social network by miles. Increasingly deserted by younger people. Use this: specifically aim your FB content towards older demographics. By far the most even spread among age groups of all the major social networks, but most popular among 35-44 year olds. Great for interaction and dialogue. Growing all the time, increasingly important for libraries and worth putting time into. Useful for all age groups but especially for younger people. Completely skewed towards 16-24 bracket, very hard to do well without appearing on camera… You need someone know KNOWS TikTok to do this well. See @toonlibraries for inspiration, but personally I’d be prioritising Instagram over this!
  16. 16. So strategise. We only have so much time to spend on social media – which platform needs a higher percentage of your attention? Factors to consider: 1) Your strategic priorities: in particular which demographics are you most interested in engaging? (Top tip: prioritise the ones where you can make the most tangible gains!) 2) Historic prioritisation. Is your FaceBook page 15 years old and incredibly successful? If so it may be time to divert more energy to a platform which hasn’t benefited from so much work already.
  17. 17. Keeping users up to date with news & events Getting user feedback Improving the library’s reputation / brand Answering questions Making the library more informal / fun / approachable Recruiting new users Keeping the library in the mind of existing users Promoting specific services Promoting resources / collections Engaging the users in dialogue Being part of a wider conversation Critical service updates during the pandemic Supporting your library’s marketing plan Increasing awareness of what the library does Instigating partnerships Marketing upwards (to funders / parent org] Tips, tricks, and hacks Providing something light, fun, and distracting Are certain platforms more important for certain aims? Which of the aims below would be a focus for Twitter? Which for Facebook, which for Insta and which for YouTube? (NB: I’ve put examples below – there is no ‘correct’ answer to this)
  18. 18. Don’t be afraid to kill social media accounts! NB: if the answer to ‘Why are we there?’ for a particular platform is ‘I don’t know’ or ‘we were originally here for X but it’s not happening’ then shut it down!
  19. 19. we will show PERSONALITY
  20. 20. Consistency is overrated.
  21. 21. more than one personality beats no personality
  22. 22. Social media is mostly ephemeral. There is simply so much of it that it constantly buries itself. This means taking risks on social media is not like taking this sort of risk…
  23. 23. There is no objective, perfect level for formality. Every sector has different expectations. But when communicating online the aim should be… be as friendly as you possibly can. Spell things correctly. Use capital letters and punctuation. Retain your credibility that way, and allow the words themselves – the voice - to be as informal and human as you would be in person.
  24. 24. An unscientific study of popular posts. TAKING OPPORTUNITIES FOR LEVITY…
  25. 25. SASS
  26. 26. WHIMSY
  27. 27. Virality isn’t the aim. Engaging your community is the aim. KEEP IN MIND… If you do this with sincerity, or humour, or sass, or whimsy, or grabbing opportunities when they arise, going viral may be a happy by-product. But the aim is to use these techniques to engage your particular audience, and increase the chances they’ll pass your messages on to their peers.
  28. 28. we will empathise
  29. 29. So what? Would I act on this if it was all the info I had? What does it take to make me change my plans?
  30. 30. Empathetic libraries: Use Calls To Action >> Reserve your place beats find out more Frame messages in terms of benefits, not features >> Find a job that makes you happy beats we have resources for job-seekers Where appropriate focus on feelings rather than function >> That new book feeling beats search our catalogue to find thousands of books
  31. 31. Empathetic libraries: Don’t duplicate messages >> Adapt your messages across the different social media platforms Use the platforms as the users wish them to >> For example, use Instagram Stories for News and the Grid for soft- marketing. Use Twitter for conversation not just broadcasting Learn from their users >> You don’t need to be an Analytics guru to be responsive to your community – their actions will tell you what they do and don’t like!
  32. 32. we will ANALYSE
  33. 33. A word on comparative metrics… The only comparisons which matter are A) your Facebook* metrics versus your previous and future FB metrics and B) the engagement you get on FB versus the other ways YOU communicate… *Same goes for Twitter, Instagram, YouTube
  34. 34. Don’t let analytics overwhelm you. You only need to learn enough to say: our community appears to engage more with this, and less with that. Twitter Analytics, Facebook Business Suite (for FB and Insta) and YouTube Analytics are free and are simple enough that any of us can get – forgive me – actionable insights from 10 minutes’ work…
  35. 35. The easiest way to improve your Instagram engagement is to check the Likes and learn from them. That’s it. You need Likes for your own audience to get shown your pics, so unless there’s a good reason not to, it’s best to do more of the things your audience responds best to. It’s that simple.
  36. 36. Our manifesto in full
  37. 37. Thank you for having me #VALA2022! ned-potter.com @ned_potter

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