In the last few years, many people have written about setting up social media channels and using them to market and promote an organization, a business, or a brand. There are even books, articles, and blog posts about how to use social media for libraries. However, there has not been much written about the process of managing social media channels for libraries, setting goals and strategy for those channels, and measuring the success of efforts using social media in a library setting.

That is the focus of this issue of Library Technology Reports. The process of implementing, managing, and measuring social media channels in a library setting will be discussed. Tips include:

  • creating strategy and goals for social media channels
  • creating teams to run the library’s social media channels
  • connecting and communicating with customers using social media
  • tracking usage and engagement levels using analytics and insights

Here’s a summary of each chapter:

  • Chapter 1: Why Use Social Media? This chapter provides reasons why a library should use social media to communicate with customers. Current social media trends are discussed.
  • Chapter 2: Landscape of Social Media for Libraries. This chapter provides an overview of current popular social media channels, suggests activities that can be done with each of them, and includes examples of libraries successfully using each type.
  • Chapter 3: How to Connect with and Communicate with Customers. Setting up a social media channel is easy, but connecting with customers using that channel can be tricky. This chapter provides tips and tricks on how to connect and communicate with customers using social media. Included is information on how to create connections, how to start and continue conversations, and how to effectively share library news using social media.
  • Chapter 4: Social Media Teams. This chapter discusses a great way for a busy library to create social media content—by creating social media teams. Discussions include why a team-based approach is a good idea, who should be included on a social media team, and effective ways for a social media team to function.
  • Chapter 5: Analytics, Goals, and Strategy for Social Media. An effective social media channel needs to have goals and strategies to meet those goals. Two types of goals are discussed: goals for the social media channel itself, and ways to use a social media channel to meet the larger strategic plans of the library.

    This chapter also provides an in-depth look at social media analytics: the types of analytics available for each social media channel and ideas on how best to use those analytics to provide insights.

  • Chapter 6: What to Do from Start to Finish. The final chapter details the steps of setting up a new social media channel. Included are how to initially set up the social media channel, how to create goals for the channel, who to friend, how to create content, and what to measure using analytics.

So roll up your sleeves, grab a mug of your favorite drink, and let’s begin!


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