I have a confession: I have a very sad library Instagram account. I know I should be posting daily (some stats say twice a day), but making the time to take photos, find relevant/popular hashtags, and posting them when teens get out of school -- it was overwhelming.
So, this challenge is for those who are in the same boat and those who want to learn how to use Instagram in the most painless way possible. I researched what worked for other libraries, shared additional programs that'll make your life easier, and provide popular hashtags that you can easily use over and over again.
Sound good? Join us on Oct. 1st and use the hashtag #5minlibchallenge so we can find each other. Feel free to complete these challenges in any order and skip what doesn't work for you. I hope you'll have fun and build up an audience along the way!
NOTE: Any hashtag in red needs to be specific. For example, a library in Boston, MA would change #citystate to #BostonMA.
1. Library Photo #citystate #libraryname
First, find your city's/town's most popular hashtag. Go to Instagram search and try your #citystate, #city #state, and any other variations you can think of. Make note of your most popular hashtag to use on ALL YOUR photos (They'll tell you in parenthesis how often the hashtag is used). Instagram is all about the hashtags -- you really need to use them to be effective. (However, you can post most of these hashtags in a comment and they'll still be searchable, if you want the description area to be pretty sparse.) Then create a hashtag for your library to include on all your photos and encourage your patrons to also use it.
Now, take a photo of your library (any part of it or room, or the whole building) and post it.
Now, take a photo of your library (any part of it or room, or the whole building) and post it.
Hashtags to use: #citystate #libraryname #librariesofinstagram #5minlibchallenge
2. Staff #ShelfieSign-up for an Instagram scheduler and post a staff shelfie. The scheduler we use is Latergramme but there are others you can use. Unfortunately, Instagram's API does not allow outside programs to post for you so all these programs can do is hold your posts in draft mode and send you a reminder to post them on the days and times you set. Not ideal, but it means that you could draft the next 29 days at once and then all you have to do is hit post!
For your shelfie photo, introduce yourself (or another staff member) and include a picture of their favorite books on a display. Or you can just take a picture of all your favorite books.
Hashtags to use: #bookish #bookstagram #booknerdigans #epicreads #igreads #bibliophile #reading #booktag #booklove #instagram #books #instareads #reading #booklover #book #becauseofreading #librarybooks #bookworm #citystate #libraryname #5minlibchallenge
3. #letmelibrarianthatforyou #repost @originaluser #iconosquareDownload a program for statistics and reposting (it is like sharing on Facebook and retweeting on Twitter) possibilities. We use Iconosquare for this. When you go through your Iconosquare feed, you can click the link on the bottom right to have them email you the repost image. Then you can upload the photo like you normally do. I *love* that Iconosquare includes the original poster's info on the image. Not all programs will do that, but I like it. Give credit where credit is due.
Search the hashtag #letmelibrarianthatforyou and find the right question that'll amuse your audience to repost.
Hashtags to use: #repost @originalposterhandle (so they'll be notified that you shared their image) #librarylife #publiclibraries #5minlibchallenge
4. #BookfaceBookfaces are so popular! It is very easy to snap a shot of a body completing a book cover image, but there are so many online, you can also use this hashtage to search for fun ones to repost. :)
Use hashtags #bookface #bookandface #citystate #libraryname #5minlibchallenge
5. #LibraryDisplayWhat displays do you have around your library? Share one of them here. If you don't have one, pull five books on one topic and snap a picture of that.
Hashtags to use: #librarydisplays #bookshelfie #atthelibrary #genre #author #booktitles #citystate #libraryname #5minlibchallenge
6. #Local #PatronWith permission, post a picture of a local patron utilizing the library. Make sure that you have something physical to hand to your patron afterwards which has your social media handle so they can easily find their photo and like it/follow you. My teens are excited to be photographed, but they never remember to follow up afterwards.
Hashtags to use: #librarylife #atthelibrary #publiclibraries #citystate #libraryname #5minlibchallenge
Pick a question you get all of the time and provide the answer, Canva is a great tool to make this image look cool on your page. We talk about this program a few times before...
Hashtags to use #QandAWednesday #publiclibraries #librarylove #happytohelp #citystate #libraryname #5minlibchallenge
8. #FollowUs #SocialMediaCross advertise all of your social media networks and email list. Email is the only network which you can guarantee that your audience will receive 100% of the time, so use all social networks to get email signups. Include in your image the words, "Sign-up now! Link in bio," and then change your link in the bio to direct audience to the online social media sign-up page. Two clicks and they're where you want them to be.
Hashtags to use: #FollowUs #SocialMedia #citystate #libraryname #5minlibchallenge
9. #Newbooks #NewBookSmellHighlight a new book or many new books in a creative image. If you search any hashtag below, you'll come across many inspirations to keep this hashtag fresh.
Hashtags to use: #bookrecs #weekendplans #newbooks #books #reading #author #genre #bookhaul #bookmail #bookphotography #bookworm #booklover #booktube #bookstagram #bibliophile #instabook #bookhaul #behindthescenes #sneakpeek #bookstagram #newbooks #tbr #bookmail #newbooksmell #librarylove #librarylife #publiclibraries #librarybooks #citystate #libraryname #5minlibchallenge
10. #Local #Schools and #Businesses of InstagramVisit your local schools’ and popular businesses’ webpages and like their Instagram accounts. (I tried hunting for them via Instagram search -- waste of time! Go to their websites instead.) Comment on their pictures. Let their followers see your name. Find an image to repost and link back to their account. Update: Ohhh, I found another trick! You can search by location. The easiest way to get there is to click on that link and then type in your library's location. Do it again with your library's name to find who posted a picture RIGHT AT YOUR LIBRARY. Too cool!
Hashtags to use: #repost @originalposterhandle (so they'll be notified that you shared their image) #citystate #5minlibchallenge
11. #LibrarianHighlight a staff member.
Hashtags to use: #librarian #PublicLibraries #LibraryLove #librarylife #BehindtheScenes #citystate #libraryname #5minlibchallenge
12. #MagMondayHighlight a magazine.
Hashtags to use: #magazine #magmonday #atthelibrary #library #libraries #citystate #libraryname #5minlibchallenge
13. Advertise #EventA fun event coming up? Advertise it here, uploading your flyer (make sure it fits and isn't blurry! Quality pictures are important on Instagram). In the description, tell people to get more details via link in bio. Then update your bio link to send them to the correct webpage.
Hashtags to use (depending on event): #familyfun #teenprograms #teenlibraryprograms #PublicLibraries #LibraryLove #citystate #libraryname #5minlibchallenge
14. #MorefollowersVisit three local “competitors” (local book shops, schools, etc.) and check out their followers. Like on their photos and follow, if you want! See if they follow you back; unfollow in a month if they don't.
Go through old pictures and share something about your library or city! Download Gramblr so you can easily upload the picture from your computer.
Hashtags to use: #TBT #ThrowBackThursday #publiclibraries #librarylife #atthelibrary #citystate #libraryname #5minlibchallenge
16. #BookClubHighlight your book group's read!
Hashtags to use: #BecauseofReading #ForTheLoveofReading #JustRead #FortheLoveofBooks #TotalBookNerd #CurrentlyReading #BookClub #atthelibrary #citystate #libraryname #5minlibchallenge
17. #IFTTT #LocalAlerts #RepostMake an IFTTT account and get updates of when people post in your area. It'll be your ear to the ground, a chance to see what your residents are posting. Like appropriate posts, follow businesses and community members, maybe even follow residents (if you want to go there). We talked about IFTTT in another post, and the "recipe" we are referencing is #13 Neighborhood Watch.
Hashtags to use: #repost @originalposterhandle (so they'll be notified that you shared their image) #citystate
18. #Books for Every #DayBe creative and pair books with the weekday hashtags! If you can't do any of the challenges on a different day, try using one of these instead.
Hashtags to use: #socksunday #tinytuesday #MusicMonday #MondayBlues #TravelTuesday #TuesdayTreat #TipTuesday #WellnessWednesday #WisdomWednesday #TBT or #ThrowbackThursday #Thursdayfunday #FollowFriday or #FF, #FridayFunday #FridayReads #Caturday, #SocialSaturday #SS or #SelfieSunday
Take a book and pose somewhere you like to read. Bonus points if it is a good library spot, but not necessary.
Hashtags to use: #WhereIRead #librarylove #librarybooks #citystate #libraryname #5minlibchallenge
20. #Awesome #Reposts #Lit
Today, search on Instagram for awesome book bloggers, book review websites, and even large library systems (like NYPL) who have people hired specifically for social media. They are a great source of what's hot and new and they have the time/resources to make super awesome photos. Save time and just share and credit them! For a list of 21 Instagram accounts we recommend, check out our October 9th's post!
Hashtags to use: #repost @originalposterhandle (so they'll be notified that you shared their image) #Bookstagram
Take a photo of a book with an awesome cover!
Hashtags to use: #CoverCrush #LibraryBooks #citystate #libraryname #5minlibchallenge
We do need diverse books, and the more we buy and highlight to our patrons, the better. I can go on and on about this, but you can just visit http://weneeddiversebooks.org/ to learn why.
Hashtags to use: #weneeddiversebooks #diversebooks #readdiversebooks #inclusion #read #reader #weneeddiversebooks #library #readwidely #oneworld #love #bookrecommendation #mustread #citystate #libraryname #5minlibchallenge
23. #Bookstairs #BookRainbow #BookSpine Poetry #top5femalecharacters
Highlight more books in your collection, in fun ways.
Hashtags to use: #Collection #Bookstairs #BookRainbow #bookaholic #librarybooks #LibrariesofInstagram #Bookstagram #Bookspines #SpinePoetry #Top5FemaleCharacters #citystate #libraryname #5minlibchallenge
24. #Caturday #BooksShare a picture of a cat with a book on a Saturday.
Hashtags to use: #caturday #meow #citystate #libraryname #5minlibchallenge
25. #TagUsRemind followers they can “Keep sharing your photos with us by tagging us @xxx or use #xxx.” in a photo. Get your hashtag out there! Keep checking to see if anyone is posting about your library. If it is positive, repost and @tag them!
Hashtags to use: #repost @originalposterhandle (so they'll be notified that you shared their image)
Use Emojis at the end of one of your statuses. Use it when you comment. People can search via emojis, use this to your advantage!
27. #LibraryCraftsDid your patrons make an awesome craft or perhaps you're going to have a craft program and you made a sample? Instagram is a perfect share here!
Hashtags to use #LibaryCrafts #LibraryLove #LibraryLife #atthelibrary #citystate #libraryname #5minlibchallenge
28. Search #CityState, #Repost
Search with your city's hashtag and like posts that are appropriate for a library to like. Repost anything that is connected to your library or community.
Hashtags to use: #repost @originalposterhandle (so they'll be notified that you shared their image) #citystate #Bookstagram #5minlibchallenge
29. #Shoutout #Please
Nothing gets followers than when your followers give a shout-out. Ask your patrons to get the word out! If you want, you can use the private message feature and ask local organizations and fellow patrons to do this. It doesn't hurt to ask. You could also post an image asking people to get the word out. You'll be surprise how a call to action makes a big difference.
30. #Stats for #More ReachNow that you have a month of posts, check out Iconosquare's statistics. When are your best days and times for responses? What types of posts resonated well with your audience? Modify for next month and start all over again!
Hashtags to use: #LibraryLife #publiclibraries #citystate #libraryname #5minlibchallenge
31. #Halloween #HappyEverythingTake a picture of a book/display that is connected to a holiday or something in the news.
Hashtags to use: #Halloween #HappyEverything #Holiday #Trending #News #atthelibrary #citystate #libraryname #5minlibchallenge
Note: We don't have an Instagram Account for 5minlib. I will participate, but it'll be via my library's teen Instagram account...
Bonus: If you're looking for another Instagram challenge, Carmel Clay Public Library is currently running an awesome photo challenge for all libraries! We did borrow a few ideas from them, with permission. Thanks, CCPL!
Please keep in mind, that whatever you post on Instagram becomes their property. That is the only reason I do not use them for my proprietary content. :PReplyDelete
I've heard this said about various social media sites and wonder just how true it actually is. I mean do they really claim to *own* your stuff, or do they simply claim the right to *use* anything that you've publicly posted through their servers. Two totally different things, but I can see how trying to read through the legalese might lead one to think the former when it's actually the latter.Delete
I just took the time to look it up, and here's the answer straight from the horse's mouth:Delete
Thank you, Keith, for getting the answer from the source! I'm sure everyone will be relieved to hear (taken from your URL): "Instagram users own their content and Instagram does not claim any ownership rights over your photos. Nothing about this has changed. We respect that there are creative artists and hobbyists alike that pour their heart into creating beautiful photos, and we respect that your photos are your photos. Period."Delete
#8 is a bit confusing. What are sign-up page are we directing them to? Is there a way to get people to sign-up for all your social media accounts at once?ReplyDelete
Thank you for asking! If you ever want to share a clickable link, the experts tell you to just post it in your bio and tell people to go there. (Much better than asking people to remember the link, go into a new browser window and retype it.) So, if you have something like a link to sign-up for your newsletter, this is how you'd get the word out. Does that make more sense?Delete
It does. Thank you!Delete
This comment has been removed by the author.ReplyDelete
Oh dear. You are right -- I changed my order at the last minute and it made #MagMonday, #ThrowBackThursday and #Caturday inaccurate. I will update! Sorry about that!Delete
Hi Jess - this challenge has been super fun so far! I was looking ahead and just wanted to let you know that #Caturday on day 25 is on a Sunday. I was planning on just switching it with day 24, but thought you might want to know! Keep up the awesome work! =)Delete
Thanks! I'll update... again. :)Delete
Hi Jessica - thanks for putting this together. Do you fear receiving any flack for #10 (reposting a business photo)? Schools wouldn't be a problem, but I know at my library we have to be careful about what/who we endorse and generally don't unless we're working with them on an upcoming event or project.ReplyDelete
Hi Liz, good question! It is interesting how libraries differ from place to place and I know a few that don't even allow social media accounts at all. If your library is concerned, you can pick one of the day hashtags from #18 and do that one instead. All of these challenges are just suggestions. :)Delete
But in general, I created this day's challenge to show that businesses and community members also post things that you might want to share. I didn't mean to share an ad, but many places are sharing the good they do in the community, the food/clothing drives, the donations/grants they hand out. Those we can support and talk about. Some even just take great pictures from around your city, and who doesn't love a great photo of their current city? If you repost these things and tag them, it may encourage these businesses to follow your account and share your posts that they think their own followers would enjoy. Kind of like, if I scratch your back, you scratch mine. If you caption your picture saying, "What a great photo from @businessABC!", then you'll be endorsing the photo and giving credit where credit is due. But if your library isn't comfortable with this, that is fine, too. That's just my reasoning behind this day's challenge.
This is very helpful! I think we can work within our policies, especially in sharing the art of the photo and not so much the "go to this place." The unfortunate part is the most tagged business in our community is Anheiser Busch, ha ha ha!!! We have a huge brewery of their's here and people post shots of the brewery tour and meeting the Budweiser Clydesdales. For now I just don't like anything attached as we've had complaints before about things alluding to alcohol (a "mocktail" party ha ha). . .but I'd sure like to repost a horsey pic someday!Delete
Thanks so much for including Latergramme in your list of tips and tools for your Instagram challenge! Very cool.
If you ever have any feedback or questions on using the app, please don't hesitate to tweet to us @Latergramme or @byStephie
Stephanie Trembath | Latergramme Community Manager
Hi Jess- are you ok if our library uses this in February of this year? We'd love to get a kick with our Instagram account, and I think this would a great way to do that!ReplyDelete
LLB, yes, definitely! I only attached the challenge to October because I wanted to inspire people to start it. It will work for any month.Delete
Thanks!! Look for Terrebonne Parish Library down in Louisiana this February!ReplyDelete
Looking forward to it!Delete