Creating Social Media Teams

Every once in awhile, someone asks me how my library manages our social media channels. Here’s how we do it:

We create teams of staff for our social media sites. So for example, we have a Facebook Posting Team (with a team leader). For that team, we create some goals and define who our main customers are (the largest percentage of our Facebook users are females ages 25-45, so we focus on that group the most).

Goals might include: number of posts per day, how many friends we want to reach, being an active presence in the local Facebook community, etc.

Then we created three content areas to focus on in Facebook:

  1. Reader’s advisory (we post about books, characters, authors, etc)
  2. Current news and pop culture, both national and local
  3. The normal library stuff (events, library news, etc)

Next, we assign days and times for our team. So I might get Wednesday afternoons, and be assigned to post about current events. Whoever is “on” for that time slot will also answer questions, etc. as they appear.

That’s basically it! We have done that so far with Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter, and it seems to be working pretty well for us.

Want to create a social media team? Here’s how I’d do it:

  1. Gather your team. Make sure to include public services staff. They already interact with customers, so it makes sense. This can be a team of 2-3 or more (depends on the size of your library). Also figure out who is the team leader.
  2. Create some goals. Why do you want to use social media? What do you want to do with it? How do you want to connect to customers using it? What should the end result look like? Answer those types of questions.
  3. Create 2-4 broad content areas to focus on. Figure out 2-4 broad areas you want to post about, and how often you want to post. That really helps focus your library’s message. These should be based on the goals you created earlier.
  4. Pick the best tools that will help meet those goals. This will most likely include Facebook (about 60% of your community is probably using it). It might also include tools like Twitter or Instagram.
  5. Create a posting schedule … and start posting!

How do you run social media at your library? I’d love to know!

Photo by Melanie Holtsman

  • Michael Schofield

    Great topic. We recently decided to really double-down on our–ah–“social strategy,” which honestly didn’t exist until a few months ago. We have the same user breakdown, which I think is probably a safe bet that other libraries are in the same boat.

    One thing we did was create a really simple workflow on trello where we basically have student workers crowdsource posts. When the social admins get time, we take those posts, edit [if needed], and then schedule in bulk. We use simple lables and due dates to see at a glance when something will be posted and where. “Blue” for Facebook, “green” for Twitter, “red” for Instagram – etc.

    At the end of a month, I throw all of the previous months’ posts into its own list then archive that list. Super simple, but super useful.

  • davidleeking

    Wow – I love the student-crowdsourced content idea. Nicely done!

  • cefran

    Thank you for this! We’ve been trying to figure out how to tackle social media for our small city. We don’t have the resources for just one person to manage it. Does your library also have a social media policy? Also, what do you suggest for super small libraries with only 3 staff (only one full-time)?



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  • Sahil Parikh

    Hi David, we have a very small social media team and use Brightpod’s task flow view to plan content ideas. This also shows up on the Brightpod editorial calendar so it is easy to see what is going to get published this month. Hope this helps :) See by Vatsal.

  • davidleeking

    Hi! We don’t have a social media policy – we just use our employee guidelines, and that seems to work fine (though we have talked about creating one more than once).

    For really small libraries, focus on 1-2 social media channels, and schedule the posting out. So maybe your full-time person checks it once each morning, answers questions, does 2-3 posts (and schedules those via the app, so they fall throughout the day). Then the two part time staff can do some too, but fewer.

    Hope this helps!

  • davidleeking

    Thanks, Sahil! We have successfully used a shared Google Calendar for this in the past – but good to know about other tools, too.