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

Poking Around in YouTube Insights

youtube logoA couple of days ago, I was poking around in my library’s YouTube account – generally tidying up the place, adding some info to video descriptions, etc (more on that in a future post perhaps). While doing that, I started looking at our YouTube Insights (that’s what YouTube calls statistics or analytics), and discovered some neat stuff.

And I thought I’d share. The stats are from Jan 1 , 2011- Oct 23, 2011). I created four “Big Insights” that I noticed, and each insight has a Takeaway. See if you can add some takeaways or insights to my list!

Big insight #1: Most people watching our videos are coming directly from YouTube.

  • 32,929 from youtube – almost 70%
  • embedded player – 8657 – 18%
  • mobile devices – 5223 – 10.9%
  • youtube channel page – 985 – 2%

Takeaway: Youtube is its own community. If we want to grow engagement (ie., get more comments, video views, likes, etc), we need to start interacting there. Only 18% of our total video views come from the “embedded player” – which means people watching our videos from the library’s website.

Big Insight #2: Tags are really important!

Links followed to this video – 28% (13,471). This means that someone was watching a video in Youtube, glanced over at the Related Videos sidebar, and clicked on one of our videos.

Takeaway: fill up the Tags box for each Youtube video (found on the Video Information page), and use very descriptive Keywords. Doing this will help your videos be found.

Big Insight #3: Post videos about what you do.

Most viewed videos for that time range:

  • 60 second book review – meditations for women
  • interview with a photographer
  • local history info
  • our really old mysteries of the book depository
  • The mayor playing his guitar for our Air Guitar event
  • rhyme and bounce, a toddler/baby video

Takeaway: See any similarities with these videos? Me neither. The one similarity is this: all those videos focus, in one way or antoher, on our stuff. So the takeaway here (besides making good, short, watchable videos) is to consistently share what your library does via video. If you can set up a regular schedule, that’s even better.

Big Insight #4: Community exists on Youtube!

Our video viewer demographics:

  • 51% male, 49% female
  • largest age range segments – 35-44, 45-54, 55-64
  • Sharing, ratings, comments, favorites – all very low, even though we have 190 subscribers and 188,140 lifetime video views (since March 6, 2007).

Takeaway #1: Our videos are appealing to adults, so we should consider that as we continue making videos.

Takeaway #2: People are there – in Youtube – watching our videos. We need to start answering comments consistently, subscribing to other local organizations channels, and grow our community base in Youtube (if we want interaction, video views, and sharing of our videos).

What’s my ultimate point here? Use your Youtube insights – there’s some great information there. And start interacting with your Youtube community.

Oh, and make videos, too – that helps :-)

image by ukberri

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?

Facebook & YouTube Demographics

facebook Page stats
Facebook Insights

YouTube Stats
Youtube Insights

Yesterday, I was playing with Youtube and Facebook Page insights for my library, and found something interesting. Look at the demographics of who’s visiting us in those social networks – not 25-34 year olds. Not teens. Nope.

For Youtube, it’s 45-54 year old females. Followed closely by 55-64 year old women! Facebook looks a bit more “normal” to me – 35-44 year old and 25-34 year old females.

But wow. To me, those demographics really don’t much match up with what one’s first impression of a social network’s demographics would be. Ask anyone who the average viewer of  a YouTube video is, and you’ll hear “18 year old male.” NOT “Oh, I’m sure it’s a 50 year old female!”

What’s that mean to my library? Well, depending on our goals, a couple of things:

  • Goals. Did you read that? First, you need some goals. Take 10 minutes and figure out what your library’s goals for Youtube and your Facebook Page are.
  • Are we good with that demographic? If so, then great – we got em! Now, we need to make sure we’re creating targeted content in those social networks for that demographic.
  • If we aren’t hitting our targeted demographic, maybe our content needs to change … or who we friend needs to change.

What else? Anyone finding similar results in your organization’s Facebook Page or Youtube Insights? Do tell.