Hello, everyone! Last month I wrote about the first four tips and tricks for managing your library’s social media account which included 1.) know your audiences, 2.) know your platforms, 3.) pick your lanes, and 4.) check your analytics. Now I’m back with the final four handy hacks to make your library’s socials stand out.
5. Diversify your media
In order to make your accounts three-dimensional, you’ll want to vary the ways in which you post content. Like I mentioned in last month’s article, there are a ton of ways to post on each platform. You don’t have to use every way, but you shouldn’t confine yourself to one type either. Just as a reminder, here are several ways to post on the three major platforms:
- Instagram: feed posts, stories, Reels (short videos), IGTV (long videos), IG Live
- Twitter: text tweets, photo tweets, video tweets (RIP Fleets)
- Facebook: text, photo, and video feed posts, live broadcasts, stories
6. Let your audience help you
Who better to tell you what your audience wants than your audience? Don’t be afraid of this option or think it’s cheap, people LOVE giving their opinions. Here’s the thing though, you want to make it as easy as possible for people to do it. I’ve found that asking for an action as simple as a swipe or click gets the most participation. Don’t worry, you can still ask for whole words or even sentences too. Here are some simple and effective ways to engage your audience:
Call for comments: This one is a classic. At the end of your post, ask your audience a question or prompt them to contribute to a conversation: “What books are you planning to read this summer?” “What one of these is your favorite?” “Feel free to leave additional tips in the comments!”
Hashtags: Ask your audience to use a hashtag, which you can later search. That way, you can see what everyone who used the hashtag is saying about your topic, event, or whatever it was you were promoting.
Polls: Each platform has a poll option, which is a super easy way for your audience to engage with you. It only involves a single click too, so people are more likely to participate.
Question box: This is a great way to get answers for your questions that have a lot of possibilities. Make sure that you tailor your questions so that they necessitate short responses only! Remember, it’s way easier for viewers to scroll away from your content than to devote anything more than a few seconds to answering.
Sliding sticker: I’m seeing this a lot more and I think it’s such a creative way to get people to interact with your account. It lets you ask more nuanced questions when you want to know what your audience feels about something. You can also use them to get people to choose from a set of things.
7. Be timely
The 24-hour news cycle is no joke, but you can use it to your advantage. The only thing is you have to be quick. If you have the ability to post about a piece of news that is relevant to you and your audience on the same day that it occurs, you’ll get way more traction and attention than if you wait.
For example, the law library recently has been following the #FreeBritney legal battle. When her new lawyer was announced, we realized the same day that he was an alumnus of our law school. We jumped on it immediately. With a little bit of research, we were able to make a post about it in thirty minutes. Throw in the hashtag #FreeBritney (which increased the post’s visibility by over 300%) and it became our most popular post by almost every single metric: likes, reach, shares, follows, and more.
8. Choose your favorite (if you have to)
Chances are that social media management is not your only duty if you work at a library. To be completely on top of all your platforms with daily posts would be a full-time job. Since the trick with social media is consistency, if you don’t have the bandwidth to do every platform, pick one and really give it the attention it deserves. Trust me, it’s better to do a stellar job on one platform than a lackluster job on three. Choose the one where your audience is most engaged and pour your energy into that. I promise you, you will see results.
I hope that I’ve given you some broad-strokes lessons that are widely applicable across your social media channels. If you ever want to talk about nitty-gritty strategies and the finer details of posting, feel free to contact me! Also I’d love to hear about other people’s tips and tricks if they’ve got them. There’s always more to learn!
Melissa Grasso lives in Boston and will begin at Simmons University in the fall. She works as a library assistant where she specializes in course reserves, copy cataloguing, and social media management. You can find her on Twitter @grassbro or LinkedIn.