I recently wrote about dropping everything but email and FB for your online strategy but I thought I should also mention some thoughts on everything else. I’m absolutely still advocating for your library to focus its use on just those two things, but of course there’s a bit more to it then that.
While you should focus your library’s resources on these two platforms, you should most definitely claim your library’s name across as many as you can. This is mostly because we may one day find a use for things like G+ and you don’t want someone else to have your name claimed. It’s also almost always free to sign up for a social media platform and at the very least capture your library’s username so why not do it. There are sites like http://www.knowem.com that will do the work for you if you want.
The other reason you should capture your library’s name is a bit more sinister. As Jason Griffey pointed out when Dale Askey was being sued by Edward Mellon Press, the law firm that was performing the lawsuit starting buying up any version of the URLs that could be associated with his name. This is just part of the due diligence of lawsuits in information age. We have also seen political campaigns buy their opposition’s URLs and claim usernames on social media as part of their counter campaign. This is not something that you want the opposition to your library or library campaign to do. Might as well get them while you can!
Using All the Others
Am I saying that you should NEVER touch another social media platform? Well, no. Not exactly. My post was about the most effective platforms for advocating for your library whether you’re in a campaign or just want to tell people about your library. There are ways to use other social media platforms that you might find useful. Here are some of the ways that I’ve seen social media platforms be used in a meaningful way by librarians-
- Pinterest– You can find great Arts and Crafts, DIY program ideas
- Meetup– Find local groups of people interested in specific topics that you can promote programs too
- Twitter– Online reference. You can search by location and for people asking questions and then answer them. Think of it like digital roaming reference
- Flickr– For the love of GOD!!! Please stop using clipart. You can find really good creative commons pictures for your signage and displays and ads.
- Goodreads– I have seen some libraries do excellent reader’s advisory or organize book clubs
- Instagram– It is so quick and easy to connect your Instagram account to many of your social media accounts if you want to share pictures across them. Why not?
- LinkedIn– For your own career or to find quality and experienced presenters in your community on a variety of topics
- Tumblr– It is a newer and younger growing community and I think it’s still best for librarians to use it for themselves as a kind of professional portfolio more than anything else at this point. But we’ll see what happens.
- Second Life– LOL!! Just kidding.
Whatever you do, you can still play with all the others. There’s no real harm in it after all. You might find something fun and exciting to use them for and you’ll be learning some new skills and how to critically apply new tools to your library.
3 thoughts on “The Only Online Platforms you Need (part two)”
YES. It’s so important to grab your library’s name on as many platforms as possible. I’d also say you should consider doing this for your own personal name, too. Even if you don’t currently have a website or social media accounts, you should claim them for the future. I actually know people who have given domain name registrations as baby gifts! Second Life… thanks for the giggle. 🙂 Hadn’t heard of KnowEm before, either. Thanks for the tip.
Could you elaborate more on the use of e-mail? I think many libraries are concerned about being branded as spammers. Who do you think are using e-mail most effectively? Thanks for two posts with plenty of food for thought.
Hi Daniel, while I totally understand that line of thinking in theory, in practice I can say that people generally don’t think it’s spam. The thing about spam is that it’s typically from organizations that bought those email addresses without permission and almost never has anything to do with what the person wants to know about. Whereas with the library, you’re emailing people who specifically gave you their email addresses. If you sold the addresses, or passed them to a third party, I can see where we would have that issue. However, from my practical experience, and as an example, here in Sunnyvale we have 140k residents and almost 70k people on our email list with a very very low drop-off rate. So no, plain and simply, people don’t think of emails about the programs and services at the library as spam in general.