Coming soon – Using Social Software in Library Marketing: Facebook, Twitter and More (ALA TechSource Workshop)

Some of you might be interested in attending this webinar coming up on December 1 and Decomber 8 (two part series) that Robin Hastings and I are leading.

Here’s the details (and here’s where you can register):

The popularity of social networking software—tools like Twitter, Facebook and blogs—continues to skyrocket, particular among younger populations. For libraries in the 21st century, a presence on these social networking sites is an essential part of library outreach and patron services. In this exclusive event, librarians and social software experts David Lee King and Robin Hastings will teach you about what tools you can use to engage with your patrons and the best practices for using them.

You’ll learn about:

  • Collaboration with libraries and patrons using YouTube, Flickr and Dropbox
  • Marketing your library with Facebook and Twitter
  • 4 things your library must do when signing up for any social media tool (listen, plan, respond, and opening up)
  • Time-savers and tools to use for maximizing your library’s social media reach

About the Instructors

Robin Hastings is the Information Technology Manager for the Missouri River Regional Library in Jefferson City, Missouri. She manages the library’s network, websites and training classes, as well as social networking projects for the library. Recently, Robin went to England, Jamaica, California, Chicago (twice), St. Louis and Columbia, Missouri, giving presentations on Web 2.0, Learning 2.0, Library Mashups, RSS, OpenID and Web 3.0. When she’s not traveling, she spends most of her free time in front of a computer blogging at or writing articles, a book chapter on mashups in the library and a chapter on using Google Apps in the library, an issue of Library Technology Reports on Collaboration and a book on lifestreaming and microblogging.

David Lee King is the Digital Branch and Services Manager at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, where he plans for, implements, and experiments with emerging technology trends. He speaks internationally about emerging trends, website usability and management, digital experience planning, and managing techie staff and has been published in many library-related journals. David was named a Library Journal “Mover and Shaker” for 2008 and recently published his first book, Designing the Digital Experience. David writes the Internet Spotlight column in Public Libraries magazine with Michael Porter and maintains a blog at

Interested? Go register today!

That library smell – it’s the smell of death

Stephen Abram recently posted Are Books Smelly? Fun read – learn all about why old books smell!

And I have to admit – I’ve been thinking about “that old book smell” that some libraries have for awhile now. Here’s why – it seems to me that the smell some of us relish in a library is:

  • the smell of books that haven’t moved off the shelves in a very long time
  • which equals =
  • the smell of a library NOT BEING USED
  • which equals =
  • the smell of death

Have that lovely smell of rotting glue and mold in your library? It means that your stuff isn’t relevant, and it’s been sitting for too long. You have two choices:

  1. pay people to move your stuff around
  2. get better stuff

OK – probably more than two choices – you could also learn to market and promote better, actually weed your collections more often (ie, we still have Windows 98 for Dummies – both copies are available!), etc.

Yep – another way to look at change, with a sorta-kinda-measurable tool (ie, the smell-o-meter). Get people using your stuff, get rid of the stuff that’s no longer moving. Left with nothing? Maybe you’re buying the wrong stuff.

Quoting Seth Godin – “change is a bear, but it’s better than death.”

pic by antmoose

Podcamp Topeka – Social Media ROI

Social Media ROI – presented by Eric Melin at Spiral16

Who owns social media?

public relations – crisis management
marketing – brand reputation management
sales/bizDev – lead generation
customer service – engagement/retention
product development – competitive intelligence
IT – deployment/integrating new solutions

IE – everyone owns social media

Social Media isn’t free – it takes valuable time
You need human resources for planning, creative insight, content creation, product management, measurement, etc

What does ROI mean?
It’s challenging to define gains and costs with social media efforts

There is no way to calculate social media ROI with a one size fits all equation. People who claim that really just made a tool for their business and goals – not everyone.

Needs to be specific to your business.

ROI is difficult because it’s a financial metric. Hard to define that with social media, because it’s not based on financial gains inherently

Make sure you have clearly defined business objectives first. Then make sure your social media initiatives support your business goals.

Common metrics (like twitter follower number) – ask yourselves which ones matter to your business

2 ways to implement:
– figure out how SM can support existing company initiatives
– create new sum initiatives that help

Online data that matters:
– semantic results
– sentiment
– volume/frequency
– where does it live

Developing strategy – set up timelines and expectations – help measure if you reached your goals or not

He likes correlating traditional metrics with online metrics
Ex – actual sales = positive/negative sentiment
Retail traffic = message reach

Can you see spikes in sales in correlation to your social media efforts

Podcamp Topeka – Patrick O’Keefe

We just held our second podcamp at the library – Podcamp Topeka 2010. It went well! Here are notes from our keynote presentation:

Patrick O’Keefe gave the keynote presentation

talking about the Social Technographics Ladded

people who contribute to online forums are influential with purchases – 79.2%

participating in communities and forums as a marketer

– find the right community first – figure out who your audience is and go where they go

– every participant is a marketer

Actually want to be there

– if you don’t really want to be there, it will show

Observe first, act second

– view the community’s social norms

Read the guidelines

– follow them and do NOT violate them – it makes you look bad

In Doubt? As the staff for the forum

– never take chances or assume

Fill out your profile, especially your signature

– in the manner allowed by the guidelines

Don’t Mention Your Stuff
– don’t talk about your company, your articles, etc
– your signature gets you traffic
– your signature is how they find you

Giving example of traditional media who claimed her 1 link in a post was more valuable than 95% pof the posts on the forum … but – the forum had 80,000 posts, had been online for 8 years.

She was wrong.

They asked her to stop, and she refused. So Patrick reached out to her editor/boss.

Building your community on twitter
– brand your profile consistent with your business
– looking for good content to share and sharing, RTing, etc shows that. It builds your credibility.
– interact with people.
– Reply and start conversations with twitter.

Telling the story of flying first class on Delta – because of flight screwups. Delta answered his questions and replies on twitter.

Patrick is showing a search for the hashtag #podcamptopeka.
– explaining that the hashtag search was part of his life for the last month and a half.
– he interacted with people talking about and attending the event
– trying to help people see value in the event, answering questions, etc

– it really helped build up the event! (DLK here)

No one ever asked “what’s the ROI of talking? Which is what twitter is” – scott straiten, @unmarketing

Gary Vaynerchuk – telling the story of how his following started.
– big part of how Gary did that was social media.
– took 2-3 years for his daily wine videos to take off
– he kept at it
– he went to wine forums – he just talked to people. Never mentioned his stuff in threads and posts.
– did the same thing with twitter. He did searches for chardonnay, then simply answered the questions.

Made an app – Ask Gary. That’s all it does – sends a question to Gary, and he answers it.

Yay – he’s looking at Topeka Library’s Facebook page – said we’re doing a good job of monitoring it.
– people don’t friend buildings.
– they friend people.

Explaining how he interacted with people in the area before the event. Started with the people he knew, then spread it out to influencers, traditional media, etc.

Showed how it wasn’t any one person that helped bring people to the event – it was everyone tweeting, helping, volunteering and sponsoring.

5 Tips for Dealing with Difficult Patrons on the Web

I have been working on a video series for WebJunction, and the first video is up! I have it embedded in this post – so you can watch it here.

This video focuses on dealing with difficult online patrons. I give 5 tips that I’ve used and seen in action that seem to work. And I’d love for you to chime in and add your own observations, too.

But it’d be more fun to click through to the WebJunction site, and comment there. I think you have to log in at WebJunction to comment, which is cool – they have a lot of great content there. For example, the managers at my library are taking a WebJunction-hosted course on change management right now – good stuff.

So – do you have a tip for dealing with difficult patrons on the web? Please – go share it over at WebJunction, and enjoy the video too – there will be more.

PS – looks like I made the WebJunction Crossroads newsletter, too – go check it out as well, if you’re not already familiar with it.