Promoting your Social Media Presence – Signage

Social Media icons
Social Media signage at TopekaLibrary

You’ve seen those “follow us on Facebook” signs at stores and restaurants, right? Or heard a radio dj mention following their radio station’s Twitter account on-air?

Guess what? Libraries can do the same thing!

As a first experiment, my library recently placed two “follow us” signs in our building – one at the main entrance to the library, and one on our administrative office doors (shown in the photo).

Why do this? Easy – it’s a relatively unobtrusive way to tell our customers that we have a social media presence, and that we want them to follow us. It’s also a way to link the physical to the digital – by promoting our digital presence (i.e., our Facebook Page) in our physical presence (i.e., our building).

Where else could we put these signs?

  • Our meeting rooms (maybe a stand-up card on a table)
  • Our cafe (stand-up card there, too)
  • In the stacks, with our books
  • As a background on our public PC monitors (we might do this)

One thing we can improve onKathryn Greenhill mentioned this to me recently – when you make a sign advertising your social media presence, make sure to include a URL or at least your social media name. Otherwise, people might not be able to find you (we were talking about this particular sign)! For example, my library’s full name is Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library … but we’re simply topekalibrary on social media sites. We’ll add that on the next version of the signs.

And a funny – watch the arrangement of your icons! We almost put the Facebook icon first … until someone in our Creative Group mentioned that we were spelling “F You[tube].” Certainly not our intent to tell customers to “F You!”

Like these ideas? Come hear more on November 2 at my ALA Techsource webinar on Facebook Pages! Make sure to register!

Turning Strangers into Friends

The Thank You Economy

I just read The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk. Good read. Here’s an interesting thought I got out of it that relates to libraries.

On page 53, he writes about Nielson conducting a study on what drives consumer trust. 70% of people said they turn to family and friends for advice when making purchasing decisions.

Then Gary says this: “The ROI of your relationship with your mother is going to be much higher than that of the one you have with a good friend. Both, however, are more valuable than the one you have with an acquaintance, which trumps the relationship you have with a stranger. Without social media, you and your customer are relegated to strangers; with it, depending on your efforts, you can potentially upgrade your relationship to that of casual acquaintances, and even, in time, to friends. The power of that relationship can go so far as to convert a casual browser into a committed buyer, or a buyer into an advocate.” (pg 54-55).

This idea of turning strangers into friends works great in libraries, too. The goal is simply this – become casual acquaintances, or even friends, with our customers. We have done that for years in our buildings – I’d say that’s business as usual.

Online? We can do the same thing by using social media tools like Twitter and Facebook. Start friending people in your community. Your customers. That’s how you start turning strangers into friends … and into customers of your library.

Here’s what Gary did – he created Twitter alerts for wine words like Merlot. When someone had a question about that term, he answered it … and started growing a reputation about actually knowing something about wine.

We know stuff too – we are librarians, after all! Use a tool like Twitter. Do a zip code search for your local area or a town search … then add some words to that search, like book, reading, etc. Or business terms … or whatever the hot issues in your town happen to be.

Then start answering questions or making comments as they seem relevant. Point to your stuff, like the book that answers it, when it makes sense. Be helpful … like you already are in your building.

It’s a way to get out in the community without actually leaving the air conditioning!

Pic by Steven Rosenbaum

A Book Review of Designing the Digital Experience

Designing the Digital ExperienceMy publisher just told me about a review of my book Designing the Digital Experience, and I thought I’d share it with you. The review was published in New Library World (Vol 111, No. 7/8, pg 359-360), and was written by Sarah McNicol.

She nailed it (and I’m not just saying that because it was a positive review). Here’s the start of the review:

“David Lee King is a librarian at the Topeka & Shawnee Country Public Library in Kansas, but he also writes an excellent blog (www.davidleeking.com) on emerging trends in library web sites and digital technology. In this book, he writes in the same accessible and interesting style, focusing on experience design and its role in building web sites. This is not a book about technical specifics, nor a step-to-step guide to building a web site, rather it is a book to make librarians and others, including web developers and marketing professionals, think more deeply about how they design an experience so web site users are “enchanted and captivated.”

Yes! I never intended to write a step-by-step guide to building an experience – how the heck do you do that, anyway? Building experiences, even digital ones, really depends on your individual setting – your staff, your stuff, and your community. My hope is that you read my book, and think. Think about how you can transform a simple website into an interactive experience – much like you already do in your physical buildings.

And … since I’m writing about the book … why not throw in a discount, too? If you buy the book from Information Today before September 5, use this promo code – ITISP. It will give you a discount. Otherwise, buy it from Amazon.

Thanks for reading! And … drumroll please … look for my second book sometime next year! I am a week or so away from sending it to the publisher to do the editing thing to it. Fingers crossed, and more info coming!

Google Plus – Should you and your Library be there?

Google Plus is all the rage this week – invites have started spreading around (here’s a link to my Google Plus account – feel free to friend me!).

Some tech leaders have been making big claims about Google Plus, saying things like it will replace blogging, they’re moving from Facebook to Google Plus, it will take over Facebook or Twitter, etc.

Ok … Google Plus is only a week or so old. WAY too early to predict the demise of anything – especially of something like Facebook, with its 600 gazillion followers. Also remember that this is a third try for Google – Waves and Buzz both sorta fizzled out. let’s give it a good 6 months to a year to see if it survives.

On to the more important questions – should YOU be using Google Plus? Should your Library/organization?

You – this one’s easy. If you get an invite (or have an account already), by all means sign up and play around with it. Friend people, do some posting, try a video chat. Get familiar with the tool. Then either use it or not … that part really depends on you. But since it has some early potential in becoming another useful social media tool … why not at least play with it a bit?

Your library/organization – this one’s a bit more tricky. Or not – Google Plus isn’t supporting organizational accounts right now, according to this article from Search Engine Land. This article from ReelSEO goes one further, saying Google Plus will shut down an organizational account (though there are a couple out there [DLK – oops. Google found those, and they’re now 404-nothing found pages. You might check this out for some news orgs, from Moonflowerdragon in my comments] anyway).

So for the time being anyway, Google Plus is an individual-only network. That’s great, because it gives you time to play with the new tool, and gives Google time to see if it’s a winner (translation = profitable) for them.

Once that happens, and Google OKs organizational accounts – should you be there? The answer is … it depends. Are your users there? If so, then yes. Recent national stats claim that 51% of people age 12 and up are on Facebook – that’s 51% of your community, so it definitely makes sense for most libraries and organizations to have a Facebook presence.

But for other social networks, it really depends on your organization’s goals, and on where your customers tend to gather. If they start gathering in Google Plus, then yes – you should figure it out and be there for them.

If not? Maybe not so much. Time will tell!

And a question – are you playing with Google Plus? If so – what do you like/dislike about the service? Let me know in the comments!

Skyping from my Car (and other Wow moments)

Yes, that’s right. I recently participated in a conference call (for Library Renewal). Via Skype. In my car, using my iPhone.

… and yes, no texting was involved, and I used a hands-free setup, so I was as safe as anyone talking on the phone while driving …

And it worked, and I was amazed! Something that took fancy headsets, a computer, and a great Internet connection a few years ago is now easy enough that I can do it on my iPhone in my car. And a day before that, I talked to someone from Australia, to go over a webinar I’m doing soon … I’m even planning to share my slide deck via Skype.

I have to admit … stuff like that blows me away sometimes. Pandora on my iPhone would be another one of those things (streaming music on my phone – no way!) or perhaps a uStream video shared from my cell phone (live, streaming video from a cell phone that anyone in the world can watch – really? Wow!).

Maybe I’m just easily amused…

But yeah. I had a Wow moment. Are you having Wow moments these days? If so … what is it? What’s giving you a Wow moment?

I’m listening …