Top 5 Social Media Tips from “The Art of Social Media” for Libraries

I’m always on the lookout for great business books, and recently came across The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users. Written by former chief Apple Evangelist, Guy Kawasaki, and social media marketing consultant Peg Fitzpatrick, this short book is still incredibly relevant despite its 2014 publication date. Here are my top 5 social media tips for libraries from the book The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users.

(See my previous post for tips from The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users for Crowdfunders)

1. Post often. Guy and Pat give clear outlines for the amount of content you should likely be sharing. You should be posting several times a day on Facebook, and several more times a day on Twitter (with lots of suggestions for other social media sites as well). Many of the posts can be links and reposts to other content though. I would venture that most libraries are not prepared or staffed to meet these goals, but it’s vital to see how the business world operates by comparison.

2. You don’t always need to be on brand. Don’t fall into the trap of being too specific/limited in your messaging. Guy and Pat recommend using NPR as a model of a site that shares a wide variety of subject matter. Not all your posts have to be about books! (I assume I am preaching to the choir, but just in case.)

3. Don’t pay for external social media consultants. Pat and Guy stress the necessity of immediate and authentic action on social media. You know your brand. Social media marketing by external consultants is just too slow for the amount of content needed to be active, flexible, and relevant online.

4. Promote the heck out of your hashtags. In order for a hashtag to catch on, Pat and Guy recommend putting the hashtag in several different places. Put your library hashtag on print materials, computer screensavers, your newsletter, and anywhere else you can think of. This works especially well for creating content during large-scale events, like library comic-cons.

5. Don’t leave social media up to you intern. Many companies (and libraries) relegate their social media to the youngest intern with a Twitter account. It’s not to say that an intern can’t create great social media, but you want someone who really understands your brand creating your content. Pat and Guy recommend that if you do give an intern the keys to your social media account, you check-in and coach them regularly at least for the first few months.

Have any other favorite social media strategy reads? Let me know in the comments. Also please subscribe to receive my quarterly newsletter full of resources and updates on existing design projects!

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