Organising your content


A key component of social media success is regularity of your posts. Over time your followers will come to expect Facebook posts from you every day or x amount of tweets per day.

Having a plan for what content you’ll be publishing can really help you organise your days and weeks.

There are several ways to do this. I personally use a combination of a couple of methods-one is “old school” and the other slightly more modern 🙂

I have a whiteboard where I plan out our Facebook posts for the week. I really like using a whiteboard because of the flexibility it offers. Quite often our Facebook posts get shuffled around and it drives me crazy trying to update this on the computer or rubbing out pencil marks in my notebook. So far, it’s been working really well and makes it super easy to adjust scheduled posts as the need arises.

2) My second method is using Hootsuite to plan my tweets. I tend to schedule Facebook posts within Facebook itself as there are multiple people that need to see the scheduled posts. But, for tweets, Hootsuite is my one true love. The publisher feature is awesome for seeing all your scheduled posts at a glance. It’s also super easy to move them around, change the time they will be posted or simply delete them.

Hootsuite also has an auto-schedule feature, where an algorithm automatically figures out the most effective time for your tweet to be posted. Alternatives to Hootsuite are Buffer or Tweetdeck.

See here for my post all about why I love Hootsuite and the features it offers to make managing social media so much easier.

How do you organise your content? I’d love to know! Leave a comment below or send me a tweet @JuliadeRuiter.



Why it’s OK to fail


keyboard-621832_960_720I imagine the reason a lot of  people are scared of starting a social media channel for their library is failure. That they won’t get followers. That their posts won’t perform well. That they don’t have the skills needed.

Please, don’t let that stop you! You just need to give it a go. I’ve been working with social media for the last five years and if there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that you can schedule posts according to when the most people are online, on the best day of the week, with a post that you just know will be a hit and then only 20 people see it! For sure, it can be discouraging when your reach numbers are low on Facebook or none of the great links you’re sharing on Twitter are being clicked on. But, don’t let it get you down. I’m going to share with you an example that happened to me quite recently.

In December 2015, I had the great idea ( or so I thought) to run a competition over the summer holidays where people would take a  photo of their summer reads, post it on our Facebook page and then go in the draw to win a prize.

I designed an eye catching poster, promoted it on our social media channels, all the usual promotion person entered. One. It was a little embarrassing and I felt quite discouraged after that.

But, that’s the nature of social media. Sometimes your posts will be super popular with your community and sometimes they’ll be an epic fail.  Just roll with the punches, keep the enthusiasm and continuity going and things will pick up again soon.

Have you had any bad experiences with social media? Let me know in the comments below, or send me a tweet @JuliadeRuiter




Pinterest for Reader’s Advisory


Social media, in particular Pinterest, can be a great addition to  the traditional reader’s advisory methods used in libraries.

At Waitaki District Libraries we’ve recently started incorporating Pinterest as a reader’s advisory tool. As more and more people access library services from home, we feel it’s important to provide reader’s advisory services online too.

If you’re not familiar with Pinterest, it’s like an online bulletin board. You create different boards according to your interests and then you can ‘pin’ different content on them. For example we have genre boards like ‘Australian Rural Romance’ ‘Sexy Books’ and ‘Dystopian Books’. We can then pin items from the library catalogue to the relevant boards. Here’s the link to our library Pinterest account if you want to check it out.

Be sure to only pin book titles that you know your library holds. You can install a pin it button into your browser to make it super simple to add pins from websites you’re browsing.

Pinterest is a great way to streamline the combined book knowledge of staff and provide an online source for patrons to browse. One thing to note is that you have to have a Pinterest account to browse the boards. This can limit some patrons but is a compromise that I think is worth it.

If your library doesn’t have social media or you don’t feel comfortable using technology, there are websites like What shall I read next?  where you input the title and author of a book you liked and it gives you suggestions of other books you may enjoy. This can help you to incorporate technology in your reader’s advisory interactions without the commitment of signing up to social media platforms.

We’d love to know if your library uses social media for reader’s advisory! Leave a comment below or tweet me @JuliadeRuiter.





Hootsuite for social media management


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!

5 ways to use Pinterest in a school library


Pinterest is a fantastic tool for school librarians. Here are 5 ideas for using it in your school library:

  1. Create genre boards to aid in readers advisory. You could create an adventure board, true story board, books similar to Geronimo Stilton board and so on.
  2. Use it to find inspiration for displays. As well as beautiful images, Pinterest also has some great DIY ideas.
  3. Make a social media board and pin any tips and tricks you want to try with your library social media account
  4. If  all the kids at school are studying a certain topic, why not create a board full of resources for them to use?
  5. Pinterest has a function where you can make a board secret. This is super handy for planning events, or prepping a board that you’re not quite ready to make public yet. The social media board idea I mentioned above would also be a great candidate for a secret board as it is something that is not strictly relevant to the students/teachers/parents.

I hope you found these ideas helpful, and please let me know if you have any other ideas or experiences you’d like to share.

Library People to follow on Twitter

Twitter is an awesome tool for professional development. You can follow world leaders in the library industry, keep up with what other libraries in your region are doing, and follow other librarians. Below is a list of the top 10 people we recommend you follow on Twitter to kickstart your professional development via social media.

LIANZA @lianzaoffice

LIANZA President @LIANZAPresident

Sally Pewhairangi @sallyheroes

Auckland Libraries @Auckland_Libs

Orkney Libraries @OrkneyLibrary: With 20.5 K followers, winners of Library of the Year 2015 and a great sense of humour, Orkney Libraries are a must follow. Their tweets are always hilarious and show that you can have a more relaxed approach with social media while still being professional.

Christchurch City Libraries @ChristchurchLib

Laurinda Thomas @laurindathomas

Sarah Gallagher @sarahlibrarina

Girl with a fox tattoo aka Kim Tairi @kimtairi: Kim is a university librarian in Australia and totally rocks Twitter.

Open Culture @openculture: This is a good account to follow for the best cultural & educational media on the web.

Australian Library and Information Association @alianational

American Library Association @alalibrary

CILIP(Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals) @cilipinfo: The UK equivalent of LIANZA.

The Power of the Hashtag


Hashtags have become an essential part of social media. They were originally used as a way to tag or mark topics in a post on social media. For example I could tweet about a library event without a hashtag which would be perfectly acceptable. But if I added the hashtags #Oamaru #Library and #NZ it could increase the amount of people who would see the tweet, because anyone who searches for those hashtags will see the post. They can also be used as a professional development tool, for example, following the hashtag from a conference to see all the tweets.

Below are some resources that go into more detail about how to use the hashtag like a pro:

The do’s and don’t of how to use hashtags via Hootsuite 

How to use hashtags on Facebook

How to use hashtags on Twitter

How to use hashtags on Instagram