Drafting a library marketing strategy using social media

INF506, Module 6 OLJ question:
Based on your understanding of your library and your exposure to concepts and strategies presented in this section of Module 6, outline how you can apply these ideas to develop a draft marketing strategy for your organisation.

Some of the strategies I’d look to employ are general business strategies. Strategies that I’ve long been familiar with, but wouldn’t previously have considered applying to a social media approach. LePage (2014) identifies S.M.A.R.T goals, for example. These are goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Fernandez (2009) suggests a S.W.O.T analysis – whereby Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats are considered. Such business models can be perfectly applied to any organisation’s social media strategy – and why not? Social media is a very important business tool. Certainly they’d be models I’d be using if implementing a social media strategy at a library.

Of course, any organisation must also have stated goals it is pursuing. A library is no different. LePage (2014) states that specific, concise and achievable goals are best. In coming up with goals: an assessment needs to be made about where things are currently at; where you want them to be in the future; and which tools can best help achieve that (LePage, 2014). As far as social media goes, Facebook, Twitter, Blogger and YouTube are all platforms the CSU library has chosen to adopt at this current moment in time. It’s important that a few different platforms are adopted, as different social media platforms will better connect with different groups of people (Ramsey & Vecchione, 2014). I assume these platforms are currently working well for the CSU library, but that’s not to say that things will never change. There is a constant need to re-evaluate strategies and goals to ensure they remain relevant (Ramsey & Vecchione, 2014).

Constant evaluation and re-evaluation is clearly going to be essential. One of the great growth areas in social media use in recent times surrounds the field of analytics. This is evidenced by the emergence of social media monitoring tools such as Klout, SumAll and StatCounter. In obtaining the best picture possible the use of such monitoring tools can be quite advantageous. What’s more, analytics also have a role to play in other areas. Olavsrud (2015) notes that data security is one such area. He points to intrusion detection and malware protection as a couple of examples. That said, to be most beneficial analytics must be more than simply measured. King (2015) points out that deciphering what this information is actually telling you is the real challenge.  What does the metrics of activity; audience; engagement; referral; and, return on investment tell us? And how can we use this information to do better in a library environment? Such questions would need to be carefully explored.

A final key pillar I’d be looking to incorporate is people power. Collaboration is a must. Ramsey and Vecchione (2014) highlight that by connecting with other departments a wider scope of what works and what doesn’t can be obtained. It also helps to establish the library as a centre of organisational communication and networking. This is surely what any library should hope to be.

References:

Fernandez, J. (2009). A SWOT analysis for social media in libraries. Online, 33(5), 35- 37. Retrieved from http://digitalcommons.library.umaine.edu/lib_staffpub/7

King, D. L. (2015). Analytics, goals, and strategy for social media. Library Technology Reports, 51(1), 26-32,2. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/docview/1646465071?accountid=10344

LePage, E. (2014, October 29). How to create a social media marketing plan in 6 steps. [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://blog.hootsuite.com/how-to-create-a-social-media-marketing-plan/

Olavsrud, T. (2015). 8 analytics trends to watch in 2015. In CIO. Retrieved from http://www.cio.com/article/2881201/data-analytics/8-analytics-trends-to-watch-in-2015.html

Ramsey, E. & Vecchione, A. (2014). Channelling Passions: Developing a successful social media strategy. Journal of Library Innovation, 5(2). Retrieved from http://www.libraryinnovation.org/article/view/359

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