Friday, January 9, 2015

10 Facebook Tips Patrons Wish Their Libraries Knew

Every library knows it should be on social media. After all, that is where patrons are. But what they don't know could actually be hurting them. Thankfully, you have the 5 Minute Librarian here to tell you the ins and outs.

1. Post Often or Not At All

A Facebook page is not a Facebook Person Account. Your followers are not going to see all of your posts. If you're not posting often, they're very likely not seeing many of them. All of that work, for nothing... Might as well just close your account.

2. But Not Too Often

Of course, if you post too often, people will stop following you. One rule of thumb that I keep hearing about for libraries is to post twice a day. A serious library post in the morning and a fun post in the evening. In a future blog post, we’ll talk about scheduling posts, the pros and cons and 3rd party applications that can make your life easier.

3. Don't Be So Self Focused

Everyone in social media will tell you that you blog 1/3 of the time on your content and 2/3s you share outside content. This is actually a good thing. If you are posting twice a day, you will have to post about more than your library. Thankfully for you, there is much at your disposal. You can repost from local businesses, newspapers, schools, communities, and your city/town. You can share information about books and movies based on books. You can connect to current events with your collection... Stay tuned for a future blog post about how to easily find things to share and boost your post numbers.

4. Pictures are Worth a Thousand Words

Always include a visual with your posts. Studies show that it greatly increases the amount of people who click on your content. As we mentioned in a previous post, you can go to Library Market and sign up for access to a Dropbox Folder of Library content you can publish. And you can easily create your own using Canva.

5.  You Live and Die by Clicks and Likes!

Do what you have to do to get interactions from your followers. The bottom line is - the more people who interact with your post, the more Facebook will share it onto other people's feeds. This is a good thing! Even click bait is a worthy technique (i.e. click here to learn...), if your patrons like to click on the links and they're being redirected to worthy content. NOTE: We just started a new Facebook Group called The Shareable Clique for libraries to share their successful posts. Join the group to find new content to reshare on your own library page and to post about your triumphs!

6. Don't Kiss and Tell

You don't need to post EVERYTHING on Facebook. Yes, your library may offer a lot of programs, but you can skip the ones which aren't of high interest. Remember - if you post things that people aren't interacting with, it hurts your future reach.

7. Pay Attention to Your Facebook Insights

So, what are people interacting with? Well, Facebook has an insight page that shares exactly this information. Check it out frequently. Try new things and see what resonates with your followers. Then imitate. If you need a list of ideas of things you can try, check out Boom Social's 17 Killer Facebook Posts for Small Businesses.

8. Seriously, You Have Time for Facebook Insights

I cannot stress enough how important it is to pay attention to what your readers are responding to. Here is a gold mine of what they like, what information they want, and what time they're able to read it -- why not tap into it and get the most bang for your efforts? The more readers who see your content, the more they'll know about your library and the more they'll care about you, too. We're working on a future blog post that will talk about different ways people have succeeded on Facebook that you can try out.

9. Tell Followers They Can Be Notified of ALL Your Posts

If your patrons do not want to miss a post from the library, tell them that they can sign up for notifications for every post. They just need to go to your page and click on the arrow on the "Liked" box and then check off notifications. Advertise this fact often!

10. Try a Facebook Ad 

It is actually very successful for some libraries. It isn't that expensive and it actually reaches your nonusers in a way that no other library advertising can -- right in their homes.

BONUS Tip: Be Kind To Other Libraries

One thing that many librarians do is follow other libraries. If you're doing this, please interact with their pages. Just lurking will actually hurt their outreach numbers.

Interested in Facebook? Check out our other blog posts!

8 Free Ways to Boost Your Library's Facebook Reach

15 Viral Content Ideas for Your Library's FB Page! (Part 1)

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