Facebook is 10 Years Old!

Wow – how’d that happen? Facebook is 10 years old today. Happy birthday, Facebook!

Yesterday, I saw some interesting stats about Facebook from the Pew Research Center. Here are some of them, with my thoughts included:

57% of all adults use Facebook. That’s a LOT of people. Think about that statistic locally – it means that over half of YOUR community is using Facebook. That means that your organization should be actively using Facebook, since it’s a primary communication and hangout tool for over half of your community.

64% of Facebook users visit the site daily. That means your organization’s Facebook Page should post daily, too. On Facebook, you’re not seen if you don’t post – so post!

Major reasons to use Facebook – sharing and laughs. Share a mix of fun and useful content, and your network will respond (i.e., comment, like, share, etc). Because they LIKE to respond – that’s what you DO on Facebook.

Half of all adult Facebook users have more than 200 friends in their network. If one of them decides to share your content, that content will be seen by people outside your library’s Facebook network. That’s the power of Facebook sharing – it can really stretch beyond your normal Facebook boundaries.

Check out the article – good info there!

Facebook logo by Sharon Mckellar

Four Tips to Make Mobile Video ROCK

In my recent post Online Video for 2013, I mentioned that 91% of American adults owned some kind of cell phone, and 41% of cell phone owners watch video on their phones.

What’s that mean? If you are making videos, they need to look and sound awesome on a smartphone! Here are four tips to make mobile video ROCK:

  1. Keep it short. With online video, the shorter the better. Especially if you’re watching it on your smartphone. A short video will load faster, and fits well with the “short snack” usage of smartphones (that “I’ve got a minute – let’s play with my smartphone” attitude).
  2. Make it loud. Audio is arguably the most important part of a video. Especially for libraries, since we’re most likely sharing some tidbit of information. So crank that volume up! There are a couple of great ways to do that. For starters, definitely get a better microphone for your camera, preferably one with a volume boost. Also, when editing, look for a volume boost setting, and turn it up (but not so far that you start distorting the sound – that’s bad).
  3. Get close. When making your video, get close to your subject. If it’s an interview, make sure the person being interviewed can be clearly seen on your camera’s window. So no “far away, full body” shots. Same with scenery shots – get as close as possible when it makes sense.
  4. Edit that script. For starters, actually HAVE a script of some sort. Not a “memorize these lines, say it exactly this way” type of script. Most of us librarians aren’t actors, after all. But do have an outline of points you want to cover or facts you need to share. Also, make sure to share one idea or thought, rather than 2-4 ideas or thoughts. Instead of one longer 5-6 minute video with ALL the facts, break that video up into a 3-part series of 1-2 minute videos.

Who is successfully making videos out there? Do you have some tips on mobile video that I haven’t mentioned? Please share them in the comments!

Engaging People via Twitter

Twitter recently created a new best practices site – check it out at media.twitter.com. There’s some really useful info there, but you have to wade through it a bit to find the good tidbits.

I did the wading for you – here’s the good stuff!

Best Practices on Engaging people via Twitter:

  • Use @mentions. This makes it more likely that people will find your conversation and join in.
  • Include photos and videos. Inserting media into tweets makes them more likely to get favorited and retweeted. Tweets with photos get 1.5x the number of Retweets compared to the average Tweet, and 2.3x the number of favorites.
  • Tweet regularly. Twitter users like to see conversations. Set a schedule if you need a reminder to Tweet.
  • Hold a Q & A live tweet session. This can be a fun way to involve other Twitter users.
  • Find conversations. Listen for people talking about you, and join in if it makes sense.
  • Use Hashtags. Picking the right hashtag is a great way to reach more readers and make your Tweet a part of a larger conversation. Including a hashtag can double engagement for individual journalists and boost it 1.5x for news organizations, for example. So in our industry, it can’t hurt either, right?
  • Show what happens “behind the scenes.” A fun way to connect with followers is to show them what happens behind the scenes.
  • Use a call to action and a hashtag together. specially for things like live tweeting, events, or a Q&A session
  • Vine videos are useful, too. Vine videos drive high engagement (Retweets and favorites).

And an interesting tip. Are you familiar with this command – .@ (a @reply command with a period?)? I wasn’t. Here’s what it does: Tweets that have a period (.) before the @reply are meant to be seen by all of a user’s followers, not just those who follow both the sender and receiver. Twitter calls a normal @reply narrowcasting, and a .@reply broadcasting. Interesting!

Are you successfully connecting with customers through Twitter? I’d love to hear about it! Share in the comments. Thanks! Oh, and feel free to follow me on Twitter too, while you’re at it :-)

Photo by Maryland GovPics

Online Video for 2013

The Pew Internet & American Life Project recently released their Online Video 2013 Report. Interesting stuff.

Here’s what I found interesting – lots of info, including:

  • 78% of American adult Internet users watch or download online videos (I thought it would be more, but that’s still a LOT of video being watched!).
  • 31% upload or post videos online. Again, wow!
  • 18-29 year olds do more – 41% of them upload or post videos.
  • What’s watched the most? Comedy, educational, How-to, and music videos.
  • Why? social media and mobile. Makes it easy to post and share and watch quick videos wherever.

How about video using mobile devices? Among adult cell phone owners:

  • 41% use their phones to watch video
  • 40% use their phones to record video
  • 20% use their phones to post videos online (that’s lower probably because doing so is handy, but it kills the battery!)
  • 45% of all adult internet users watch videos on social networking sites (57% of ages 18-49)
  • US adults – 91% own some kind of cell phone, at 56% own a smartphone

OK David – what’s this mean?

  • Start making good, useful (and fun) videos, and your customers will start watching them.
  • Share those videos in your social media channels – those customers are waiting for fun content to engage with (i.e., share, like, or comment).
  • Whatever you make, make sure it works well on mobile devices. So keep the video short, and the visuals and sound BIG (big enough to be clearly seen and heard on a smartphone).

What else? Please share your thoughts in the comments!