So many decision to make… How often should our library post on each of out platforms… hourly, daily, monthly? What time of the day should we post? Should we post more on Facebook than Twitter? What are we going to post about? What is important… what needs more attention than our cat YouTube videos?!
Reading this has probably put you off using social media at your library as it sounds like a lot of hard work and time for what!? There are two simple words that will help you with this… “get organised!” By creating a simple social media calendar, in conjunction with a social media policy for your library, you will be able to organise your social media, have clear guidelines on your postings and all with very little effort.
Yes creating your calendar and policy might take a bit of time, but once you have these in place it’s smooth sailing!
A social media calendar can be as simple as a wall planner with all of your events and happenings that are on in your library. Your policy can then lay out the library’s guidelines for posting on social media. Your policy should include things like copyright, how staff should conduct themselves on social media (really important if there is more than one staff member posting), what the library can and can’t post about, how the library will reply to comments and handle unsavoury messages.
Here are some great examples of social media policy’s from large companies:
Everyone loves a template… why reinvent the wheel!
We would love to hear from library’s that have a either a social media calendar or policy or both and let us know what works and what doesn’t work.
So much to share, so little time!
The wonderful thing about public libraries is that you you can pretty much post about anything (within reason!). You have such a huge array of subjects that you can blog, Tweet, Facebook about, create wonderful Pinterest boards and interesting Instagram photos or videos.
So when it comes to ideas for posts, the world is your oyster! However, therein lies the problem. Posting about anything and everything at anytime can be the possible downfall of your social media empire. You need to manage your content, ideally with a Social Media Content Strategy. Here you need to think hard about the content you are putting up and start asking yourself:
- Who is our target audience?
- What kind of content do we want to post (and what works best) on each of our platforms?
- Do we need to start planning our social media calendar for the year? (Check out our blog post on social media calendars to see what this involves).
Having some form of structure to your posts will not only give your content relevancy and direction, but will also make it easier to manage. For example, if you have regular events in the library, make sure you advertise on the same platforms, on the same day every week. You can go one step further and look at what time of day is best for posting on each of your platforms:
Or you can look at your analytics of your platform… what time of day is your audience most active?
So I think after you have done all of that you are ready for a very large G&T! Yes I know it takes time, and probably time you feel that you don’t have to spare, but I think it is definitely time well spent and you will hopefully reap the rewards with increased traffic not only to your social media platforms, but also to your library.
If your library is going to get serious about social media, it’s essential that you use a good social media management tool. Hootsuite and Buffer are two of the most well known platforms. They both are free to use on a basic level but do offer offer more options in their premium packages.
Social media management tools like this allow you to monitor your different social channels, schedule content, assign tasks to team members and check analytics, all in one place.
I personally love Hootsuite best. After trying Buffer, Tweetdeck and then Hootsuite, it won by a landslide. The user interface is easy to navigate and organise which is a major plus when trying to coordinate multiple platforms. The Hootsuite team are also super responsive and helpful in dealing with any problems or queries you may have.
The thing I like most about Hootsuite are the scheduling and analytics reporting features. You can create custom reports and get them sent to you every month. This is so handy and makes my life a lot easier come monthly report time! You can also schedule as many tweets as you like ahead of time. This is great for promoting upcoming events or reminding followers about public holidays.
If you have any social media management tools you use and love, comment below-we’d love to hear your recommendations!