My New Book – Face2Face: Using Facebook, Twitter, and Other Social Media Tools to Create Great Customer Connections

My new book - Face2Face: Using Facebook, Twitter, and Other Social Media Tools to Create Great Customer ConnectionsMy second book – Face2face: Using Facebook, Twitter, and Other Social Media Tools to Create Great Customer Connections – is out! The official “just released” date is in September, but it’s showing up in Amazon already, so I’m sharing now.

Here’s a short blurb about Face2Face:

Consumer-centric organizations know that social media can be used to engage with customers, leading to increased satisfaction and the acquisition of new customers through the power of viral marketing—yet relatively few firms are doing it well. With Face2Face, David Lee King (Designing the Digital Experience) presents a practical guide for any organization that aspires to create deep, direct, and rewarding relationships with patrons and prospects.

Going far beyond Facebook and Twitter, King demonstrates how a range of Web 2.0 tools and techniques can be used to start and sustain conversations and humanize the organization in the eyes of those it seeks to serve. He suggests ways to connect with customers using photos and video, communities and networks, and specific tools such as blogs and location services. He uses real-world examples to illustrate the do’s and don’ts of responding to criticism, and explains why and how listening, tone, human-centered site design, and measuring results are all critical components of any customer engagement strategy. (from Information Today’s page about the book).

Why did I write Face2Face?

I’ve read a lot of books on social media and the emerging social web. For the most part, they tend to focus on large, multi-national corporations like Ford, or extremely innovative startups like Hulu. Great examples of companies doing it right … but how about the small mom-and-pop shop down the street from the library? There are a TON of organizations and small businesses that have a web presence and/or a social media account set up, but they don’t really know how to use those tools to connect with customers and potential customers.

My book provides practical next steps for these organizations to start connecting with their customers in online settings. Great for libraries, non-profit organizations, small businesses … and anyone wanting to improve their social web skills!

More info:


iPads at the Airport

Like iPads, and think they could work in a public space? Check this video out! I recently saw a bunch of iPads at the Delta terminal at LaGuardia airport in New York, and took a short video of them. Here’s a link to some photos, too.

Basically, here’s what I saw – hundreds of iPads in the airport terminal gates, secured to tables with a cable. Each iPad had airport info, news, games, a restaurant menu, and web access apps installed. You could order items from the restaurant via a credit card swiper beside the iPad. No signup, no waiting list – just find an empty iPad and start using it. Here’s a couple of news articles written about this experiment.

The only real problem I saw was one of sorta gross smudges on the iPads. Thankfully, I also saw someone walking around, cleaning the screens.

iPads in the airportI think this type of setup could easily work in a library setting! Here are some starter thoughts on potential uses:

  • catalog-only computers
  • computer “overflow” – get out the iPads!
  • Simple browsing stations. Who needs PCs?
  • Complete mobile technology in the library – no PCs needed (with those handy self-service tablet checkout machines that were being shown in the exhibit hall at ALA Annual). Just check out an iPad, then take it wherever you want to in the library.
  • Out-of-the-building events
  • For staff, they could work nicely as roving reference tools.

Question – how does your library use iPads or mobile tablet technology? I’ll start: so far, we have some iPads that staff can check out for a learning opportunity, we have experimented with them for roving reference, and we teach a class on using an iPad. How about you?

Vote for my SXSW 2013 Panel Session on Community!

SXSW Interactive 2013Update – ok. It’s really for SXSW 2013. Not changing the link, since it’s already been tweeted out. Hee. Maybe I should write a post on proofreading? :-)

Have you ever thought about attending SXSW Interactive (March 8-12, 2013)? It’s not a librarian conference, though a growing number of librarians have been going the last few years.

But it IS a great technology and emerging trendsconference, and usually has some really big names in the tech world presenting on a ton of topics – everything from monetizing blogs to how to use social tools for businesses, to the future of the web.

It’s a really good learning and networking opportunity … which is why I want to present there! SXSW has a unique way of figuring out who presents – they let their community vote on the potential topics, using the SXSW PanelPicker.

This year, one of the potential sessions includes me, Michael Porter, and Amy Buckland. Michael and Amy presented at SXSW last year, so here’s hoping! Here’s what we plan to talk about:

Title: We build online communities. Really, we do.


The concept of an online community means more to libraries than simply having a chatroom and a blog for folks on which to comment. It involves making resources freely available, teaching our communities how to access these resources, and getting local community members to interact and work together in ways no other civic institution can.

Be it digital collection or ask-a-librarian, libraries have been building online communities since before we were “supposed to be” online. In most cases, our technology is not particularly cutting-edge, and our SEO tactics are sometimes lacking, yet our communities love and use our online resources and want more.

Even with the unique success stories we have there is room for you to help libraries build community and succeed, especially as technology evolves and makes new services and outreach possible. Hear about how libraries made it online, and help us figure out how we can keep making it better in the future.

Here’s what I’d LOVE for you to do – vote for our session! You’ll need to set up an account to do it (it’s easy to do). We really want to see more librarians at SXSW Interactive. We have some really good insight into user communities and content trends that the business world simply doesn’t have. So this is just one way to get librarians and our unique knowledge out into the greater world.

So please vote us in!

Handheld Librarian 7 is Next Week

Handheld Librarian 7Have you ever attended the Handheld librarian online conference? I have, and have enjoyed them – they’re usually full of great ideas on using technology, mobile tools, etc.

I am one of the presenters at next week’s Handheld Librarian 7 (it’s being held on August 15-16)! I’m giving the last presentation of the day on Wednesday – here’s what I’ll be talking about:

Title: Face2Face: Using Social Media Tools to Create Great Customer Connections

Description: The average library or organization has yet to embrace emerging social tools. In fact, many haven’t even started. Yes, they have a website. But the content is mostly ABOUT the organization – there’s no face 2 face engagement between customers and the organization. Social tools like Facebook or Twitter? Relatively non-existent. If they DO exist, they are used primarily as one-way broadcast mediums. Not as a way to connect with and deepen relationships with customers.

What are these organizations missing? Real, online connections with their customers. In this presentation, David explains how online engagement works, and provides practical ways to start and sustain conversations with customers.

Other speakers include Earnestine Adeyemon, Robin Ashford, Jason A. Clark, Bohyun Kim, Breanne A. Kirsch, John Larson, Chad Mairn, Willie Miller, Mary Minow, Iman Moradi, Dawn Nelson, Ken Petri, and Sue Polanka. Ellyssa Kroski and Lee Rainie are both keynote speakers. Find out more about the sessions/speakers on the HHL Presenters page.

It’s a great conference, and there’s no travel involved! If you’re interested, make sure to register now.

Share the Right Info

windspeedIf you’ve ever flown on a plane, you’ve probably heard the pilot say something like this: “The wind is blowing south southwest at a speed of 10 miles an hour.” They usually say this like it’s either extremely interesting, or it’s highly useful information that everyone needs to know.

Does anyone really care about that? Does knowing how fast the wind is blowing and what direction it’s coming from really help make your plane ride a better one?

I’m guessing not.

Here’s what I’d much prefer hearing from a pilot: “this is the best plane I’ve ever flown, it should be a smooth ride, and I’ll get you there 15 minutes early.”

And maybe from the flight attendant: “the ginger ale is really yummy today!”

Some organizations share the wrong information. Information that’s inward-facing. Information that’s really important to the organization (i.e., windspeed to a pilot), but not really all that important to the customer. Libraries are certainly guilty of that – anyone ever seen a description of a library database? For example, here’s how Madison Public Library describes EBSCOHost:

EBSCOhost is a collection of databases provided by EBSCO and funded through a statewide contract with BadgerLink.  Most databases reference collections of magazine articles or newspaper articles, each with a different focus.  You may search all databases, or use only the collection that interests you by connecting to individual collections below.  A few EBSCO products, such as the Auto Repair Reference Center, have different search functions and interfaces due to the nature of the content.

This is on their “more info” page. Their more customer-focused description is better (on their main list of databases page):

EBSCOhost includes thousands of indexed magazines, many full-text, for over fifteen years. Magazine coverage ranges from the popular to the academic.

Is this the right info to share with customers? Do either of these descriptions tell customers what they’ll find if they use EBSCOHost? I think the smaller paragraph does. I don’t think the first paragraph says much of interest to a library customer.

And that’s just one example, for one small part of a library’s website. My question – do you do that on your website (I’m sure my library does)? Do you do that in other parts of your organization?

And more importantly – have you asked your customers if you are sharing the right info with them? Something to think about.

photo by Alex Marshall