Share posts on Facebook to Gain More Readers

sharingI’m working on a new ALA Library Technology Report (more on that later this year), and discovered something cool while checking my library’s analytics.

Want to get more people reading your library blog posts? Here’s one handy way to do it – share that post on your library’s Facebook Page. Here’s what happened when I did that with one of my library’s blog posts.

So … I have a blog on my library’s website that I started in January. It’s the Digital Branch blog (I figured I’m the Branch manager, so I should have a branch manager blog. I write about web geekish stuff related to the library’s digital branch that our customers might find interesting).

One of those blogposts has gathered more pageviews that all the other digital branch blogposts combined – a post about Pinterest. So far, Google Analytics shows 137 pageviews for that post. Not too bad! I wanted more comments (because we’re working on a pilot project for a Pinterest account), so I decided to share the post on our library’s Facebook Page.

On our Facebook Page, use Facebook Insights to drill down to an individual post (really cool that you can narrow down that far!). Here are the stats for that particular Facebook post:

  • a Reach of 969 (the number of unique people who saw the post)
  • 68 Engaged Users (the number of unique people who have clicked on your post)
  • 23 were “Talking About This” (the number of unique people who have created a story from your page post. This means they commented, shared, or Liked the post, which then creates a post on their Facebook profile for their facebook friends to see).

So of my blog post’s 137 pageviews, 68 of them, or 50%, came directly from sharing that post on our Facebook Page (Google Analytics further backs that up by showing an “Entrance” number of 70 views on that post, meaning that 70 people came directly to that post from someplace other than my library’s website – i.e., from Facebook to the blogpost).

Simple stuff – write a blogpost, then share it out using Twitter and Facebook. Ask people to comment, and they will (I received comments on the blogpost, on the Facebook post, and in Twitter). And you just might get more readers in the process.

Pic by Britta Bohlinger

Internet Librarian 2011, Day 1: Google Analytics

SuHui Ho – digital services librarian, UC, San Diego

She gave a solid general overview of Google Analytics

Why web metrics?
– Hit count is misleading

Help decisions on:

Content life cycle management priority
– Which pages should I update first?

Information architecture

Top tasks
– Which pages on homepage

She is saying you can find your most popular content, then make sure that stuff is on your main page. I would change that slightly to say make sure those pages are easily findable – the main page isn’t as important as it used to be


Jeff Wisniewski

Google analytics: goals and funnels

Goal – the page a visitor reaches once they have completed a desired action
Funnel – the (optimized) steps along the way to the goal

You can track where, along the way, people fall out of your funnel – then figure out how to fix that

Jeff gave an example from his library’s website then walked us through the process of setting up a goal and funnel in google analytics

Give your goal a good, intuitive name – this shows up in reports later

No Snow Days for the Digital Branch

So – who uses your website? Are they your “regulars” – those customers you see in the building every day? Or are they people you don’t normally see?

Ask that with no data behind it, and I’m sure you’ll get a variety of responses. But add in a bit of data, and it gets interesting.

For example, the above graphic is from my library’s Google analytics info – it’s showing the number of website visits we received in February. And it shows a normal arc of use – those dips you see are Friday – Sunday. Nothing looks out-of-the ordinary.

But guess what? We were closed one of those days because of snow. Can you guess which one from the graph? Probably not – it was the far left dot – Tuesday, February 1.

We had 1714 website visits that day. It was actually the website’s busiest Tuesday in February. On a snow day.

So what’s that mean? Hard to say, really – but here are some thoughts [update – just added/edited some points]:

  • your website users and your in the building users are two different user groups.
  • Customers inside our building aren’t our primary catalog users. Which makes sense – inside the building, customers can browse the shelves (on Feb 1, we had 793 visits to the catalog – 587 were referrals from our main website).
  • Perhaps we need to actually promote our catalog and our website … inside our building???
  • Said another way – Your primary website users are your online customers.
  • How are you supporting those online customers?

One thing it does show – there are no snow days for the digital branch. Your customers are visiting you, and using your primary services … whether you are open or closed.

How are you reaching out to, and supporting, those customers?

IL2009: Experience Design Makeover

Here’s my Tuesday morning presentation on Experience Design Makeovers for library websites. Even better – some of the presentation was livestreamed here and here!


IL2008: Defining & Measuring Social Media Success

Speaker: Jeff Wisniewski

Why be social
bad reasons – it’s cool, my boss told me to, etc
better reasons – provides innovative ways for libraries to connect with ysers we may never see face to face, to encourage, promote, innovate, learn, adapt, to improve customer service, to discover and deliver what users want, to market without marketing

Listen first
is it a conversation? What’s being said?
Listen first to see what the tone is

Developing a social media plan
define a strategy
define goals – ie., increase awareness of library services, increase the number of new cards issues, etc
pick a platform or two
the right platform depends on your goals

Then – start!
start blogging/leaving comments, etc

Assessing social media success
quantitatively and qualitatively – both are needed
what you are measuring – the “trinity approach” – behavior, outcome, experience

the what (behavior)
number of blog posts
– Boyd’s Conversation Index: posts/comments + trackbacks, should be greater than 1
number of facebook friends/fans

Outcome: the tangible benefit of your social media activity
– higher satisfaction
– fewer help desk calls
– more searches
– increase in funding

Example – are your flickr imsages viewed? Monitor the number of users. Also monitor referrals from flickr to your website, then you can say collection use has increased by 2.1%… coolness.

put on your listening ears!
listen/engage/converse – take action
be authentic – admit problems and engage that way

Experience metric – experience CAN be measured and evaluated
stars, scars, or neutral? (positive, negative, neutral comments)

5 things to get started:
1. monitor general search engine results
– focus on google (they do the best in including social media stuff in search results)

2. monitor social media search engine results
– why?
– used by high-value, highly connected, highly influencial users
– pays great divedends if they are fans of the library
choose the specific social media search engines that match your media efforts
– delicious – see how many people bookmarked it (quant) and something else…
– twitter – do you show up? How often?
– advanced search has a local search option

3. create alerts
– check standard web logs for refers from search engines. What terms do people use?
– use quotes
– choose “comprehensive” to get results from news, globs, web, video, and groups

4. analytics
– create a conversion funnel to measure a social media action chain. It measures follow-through. IE if they go to a signup page, did they finish the process? If they did, that’s a conversion.

5. assess the nature and sentiment of activity
– what’s the stregth and tone of the social media activity?
– is it deep, is it a drive by, one-off comment?