Friday, July 24, 2015

15 Viral Content Ideas for Your Library's FB Page!

What works on a Library's Facebook Page? What is considered "Viral Content" for library patrons?

To find this answer, last January I created a Facebook Group for librarians to share their viral content (The Shareable Clique). And throughout the six months, librarians shared posts that scored high reach. The ones that were generic, other libraries have reshared, many receiving the same great results.

There is a science behind posting on Facebook. These libraries (over 500 members!) have cracked the code.

So, what works? I've gone through all of the posts and put together a list of 30 different content ideas you can post on your library's Facebook Page. Today, we're sharing the first 15! (All images are linked to the original poster.)

1. Local History Articles/Pictures

Patrons love their local history (and this can be city/town or even state). Time and time again, these posts garner over 1,000 reach with an impressive number of clicks, likes and shares. "Like" your local History Society's Facebook page for precious (easy) content to reshare (Bonus points -- this also generates goodwill between organizations). And don't forget to tag other pages if they are featured in the content (i.e. for the example below, they posted a photo of the Farmer's Market in 1978 and tagged the Farmer's Market FB page).

2. Pictures of Parents with their Kids or Even Just Kids Reading w/a Quote

Is there any other image that pulls at the patron's heart strings than kids learning to love reading? People can't help but like them!

3. Articles About Reading

Patrons love to read articles that support their reading habits! Mix it up with fun one and serious ones. Try to share from sources that already have a lot of engagement on Facebook so you know you're sharing quality information (and Facebook rewards you for doing so!).

Can Reading Make You Happier?
11 Books To Read While Hiking That Are Totally Worth Their Weight in Your Backpack
Science Shows Something Surprising About People Who Still Read Fiction
Why Digital Natives Prefer Reading in Print. Yes, You Read That Right.

4. Book Humor images

People love to laugh! So, give them something to laugh about.

5. Author Quote images

Share words of wisdom from our clever writing friends. It is just as good as getting a celebrity spokesperson! The quotes can be about the library or just messages that produce a reaction from readers.

6. Bookworm Problems

What patron can't relate?

7. Interactive Articles

Quick articles that help readers learn a little more about themselves through the lens of books.
51 of the Most Beautiful Sentences in Literature
Quiz: Can Your Age Be Guessed Based on Your Taste in Books?
What Kind of Reader Are You?

8. Prompt Comments with a Great Image.

9. Where Were You?

Everett Public Library wrote a post about where staff were when Mount St. Helens erupted 35 years ago. Patrons responded with their own experiences. Do you have any local events where could you do this for your own library page?

10. Library Facts

Patrons are proud of their library! And people love info charts! Mixing them together is a win/win!

11. Library Mascots

Use mascots, action figures, and stuffed animals to highlight things in a fun way. We also talked about this in a previous article.

12. Fascinating Facts about Classic/Popular Books

Fascinating facts about classic and popular books have resonated well with patrons. Sharing posts about upcoming movies (adapted by books) and new releases (like the announcement of Harper Lee's sequel) may work well for some library pages, too.

13. Unusual Library Stories

Don't forget to include unusual library stories, putting a friendly face on your account. Did you see something amusing in the stacks? Did you come across a happy coincidence? Did something happen to a familiar library mascot? Don't forget to share it here.

14. Library Appreciation

Chances are, if patrons are following you on Facebook, they care a lot about you. Sharing quotes about libraries in general tends to get a positive response.

15. Fun Book/Library Related Videos

Bonus reach points if it is uploaded to Facebook so it automatically plays!

Ikea's Parody of eBooks

Stay tuned for next month when we share 15 more content ideas! In the meantime, you can join The Shareable Clique to learn of other things you can repost or read our other articles about Facebook and Libraries:

Happy Facebooking!


  1. This is interesting. I wonder if any research has been done to see if a viral post has an impact on attendance in the library? Also, is there any information on how to get a post to show in people's feeds? I like many libraries, but rarely see their posts so I can't share what is going on.

    1. Great questions! We wrote two other posts that will help you increase your reach. The first post -- 10 Facebook Tips Patrons Wished Their Libraries Knew ( talks about how important it is to post often and to post things that encourage people to interact with your post. I think that's the biggest thing that libraries don't do, so a large percentage of their posts aren't making it into patrons' feeds. If you want to see more of their posts, you really need to interact on them -- comment, like, or share. (You can also make their posts appear first in your feed so you will always see them, too) Facebook only wants to show you posts that you have shown them you like. Our other posts -- 8 Free Ways to Boost Your Library's FB Posts ( gives practical tips on how to get more reach on your posts. As for the impact of a viral post on attendance, that'll be hard to judge without surveying your attendees. Facebook events is getting bigger and better, so I think that'll be a better way to get people in the door than a viral post. People can show interest AND mark if they are coming, so easier to gather stats from it. We're working on a post to talk about this...