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Risks and rough edges: Building Genuine Relationships Through Library Social Media

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Risks and rough edges: Building Genuine Relationships Through Library Social Media

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A presentation about University of York Library Social Media, delivered at the #LibSocMed online event organised by Royal Holloway University Library.

Images are either CC0 pics or pictures by the library photographer Paul Shields.

A presentation about University of York Library Social Media, delivered at the #LibSocMed online event organised by Royal Holloway University Library.

Images are either CC0 pics or pictures by the library photographer Paul Shields.

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Risks and rough edges: Building Genuine Relationships Through Library Social Media

  1. 1. ROUGH EDGES AND RISKS BUILDING GENUINE RELATIONSHIPS THROUGH LIBRARY SOCIAL MEDIA @ned_potter | #LibSocMed
  2. 2. TWITTER The mouthpiece of the library. Mainly PGs and Academics, some public, some UGs INSTAGRAM Increasingly important, huge percentage of UGs are there. Most time- consuming platform YOUTUBE Much more interest in video across the pandemic – great for updates and explainers FACEBOOK Abandon hope all ye who enter here
  3. 3. 2010 2011 2012 2016 2018 2019 2020 2021
  4. 4. 0 2000 4000 6000 8000 10000 12000 14000 16000 18000 Link Clicks ReTweets Likes Replies Link Clicks ReTweets Likes Replies 15 months of the pandemic 9600 2867 17300 1482 15 months prior to the pandemic 1756 1215 6046 146 TWITTER COMPARISON Percentage increase 447% 135% 186% 349% 160% Impressions 1628900 4232500 +349%
  5. 5. WHY ARE THE NUMBERS UP? People are online more during the pandemic. We’ve prioritised communication – time and resource has been put into it and we’ve tried really hard to do it well! The Services we’re talking about are really good. It’s the work of the staff on the ground that we’re celebrating. People love the library – that makes our comms job immeasurably easier. 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 Views Watchtime PERCENTAGE INCREASE OVER PREVIOUS 15 MNONTHS YOUTUBE PRE-PANDEMIC / PANDEMIC COMPARISON
  6. 6. 1. Core principles 2. Logistics 3. Hits and misses
  7. 7. CORE PRINCIPLES: UOYLIBRARY VOICE AND APPROACH
  8. 8. WE ARE AS INFORMAL, FRIENDLY, AND HUMAN AS POSSIBLE
  9. 9. WE ARE AS INFORMAL, FRIENDLY, AND HUMAN AS POSSIBLE
  10. 10. WE ARE HERE BECAUSE WE WANT TO ENGAGE.
  11. 11. WE ARE HERE BECAUSE WE WANT TO ENGAGE.
  12. 12. WE ARE INCLUSIVE.
  13. 13. WE ARE INCLUSIVE.
  14. 14. WE COMMUNICATE EARLY AND OPENLY.
  15. 15. WE COMMUNICATE EARLY AND OPENLY.
  16. 16. OUR USERS ARE THE CAKE; EVERYONE ELSE IS THE ICING.
  17. 17. WE USE THE PLATFORMS TOGETHER, BUT NOT THE SAME
  18. 18. WE USE THE PLATFORMS TOGETHER, BUT NOT THE SAME
  19. 19. WE ARE NOT TRYING TO PLEASE EVERYONE
  20. 20. WE ARE NOT TRYING TO PLEASE EVERYONE
  21. 21. CONSISTENCY IS OVERRATED (To clarify, it’s not that consistency isn’t desirable – it’s that it isn’t essential. Better to have more than one personality than no personality. If consistency is preventing risk, it’s too high a price to pay.)
  22. 22. IF IN DOUBT, SAY IT LIKE YOU WOULD OUT LOUD, ONE TO ONE JOIN IN WITH CONVERSATIONS
  23. 23. DON’T WASTE TIME ON FB: JUST REINFORCE KEY MESSAGES
  24. 24. WHAT MATTERS ABOVE ALL IS THE SUBJECT OF THE IMAGE PROMOTE WITH STORIES; CULTIVATE COMMUNITY WITH THE MAIN PROFILE
  25. 25. LOGISTICS: UOYLIBRARY TOOLS AND PEOPLE
  26. 26. THE LIBRARY COMMS GROUP
  27. 27. THE LIBRARY COMMS GROUP Three of us to do most social media. (Plus the Library photographer also posts to Instagram.) Two more involved in planning and other work (e.g. website). Senior managers for sense-checking, feeding in key messages, and keeping us in the loop. Constant communication via Slack, rather than meetings or emails.
  28. 28. THE LIBRARY COMMS GROUP Written guidance on using Instagram, Twitter and Facebook which everyone reads before they start posting. Peer to peer support always available. Aim for empowerment rather than control! No targets or quotas. No formal rota. Annual analytics and Report to track progress.
  29. 29. THE LIBRARY COMMS GROUP We also use lots of tools within the platforms themselves Pinned Tweets, Threads, Tagging useful accounts in images, Alt-Text, Twitter Video, Gifs, Twitter Analytics, Stories, Reels, IGTV, Split-Panoramics, Alt-Text, Insights Playlists, Custom Thumbnails, Timing-Links in Description, Thumbnail Links at the end of the video, Featured Video / Channel Trailer, Embedding in relevant webpages
  30. 30. UOYLIBRARY HITS AND MISSES
  31. 31. Generally speaking, our Twitter profile works very well. Risk of over-prioritising. Our YouTube channel works well, but takes a lot of time for variable return. Our Instagram profile is in a new phase where we’re trying to make it a much bigger focus of our communication – it’s a work in progress. Our FaceBook account barely works at all. eBook SOS example sums it up. Our TikTok account… doesn’t exist.
  32. 32. WHIMSY
  33. 33. EDUCATIONAL We’ve promoted this so hard! But it lacks a shareable hook…
  34. 34. THREADS
  35. 35. POP CULTURE
  36. 36. POP CULTURE The Twitter part of the study etiquette worked brilliantly, but it was harder to translate to Instagram where the UGs are (all of whom are too young to get that particular reference!).
  37. 37. NICHE CONTENT
  38. 38. NICHE CONTENT
  39. 39. SASS
  40. 40. SASS Staff on the ground expressed worries, so we canned the campaign.
  41. 41. WHOLESOMENESS
  42. 42. These are cherry-picked examples of things which have worked well. Ultimately we have a fair amount of social media output that falls slightly flat – we’re not Orkney! But this doesn’t matter too much. We don’t mind the rough edges, we don’t ever try to go viral, and we don’t post if we don’t have anything to say. We don’t aim for a uniformity of tone – just a uniformity of helpfulness and friendliness, and genuine empathy.
  43. 43. The abiding lesson we’ve learned from the pandemic is that prioritising communication is worth it, and we’ll continue to do this going forward even in (fingers crossed!) more normal times…
  44. 44. QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS? HAPPY TO ANSWER THEM IN THE PANEL!
  45. 45. THANKS FOR LISTENING! @UOYLIBRARY #LibSocMed | @ned_potter

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