Social media has been an ever growing part of everyone’s life, from MySpace, through Facebook, to Instagram and TikTok. As most users (and non-users!) have some kind of presence on all the different platforms, they are channels that should be utilized for all libraries. Recurring guest writer, Robin Jeanne, elaborates on why your library should look into having dedicated social media pages, in this week’s Princh Library Blog post.

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Nowadays, social media is inevitable for all businesses across every sector — whether you’re a multi-national corporation or a small business selling baked goods. True enough, statistics on Forbes reveal that 43% of consumers are using social media to discover new brands, while 36% are using it to make purchases. This proves that being online is essential for businesses to reach potential customers and engage with existing ones. Social media has become relevant even for the most unlikely of sectors — including libraries. Historical  libraries seem like the complete opposite of the internet, where information on anything and everything can be found in seconds. However, modern libraries can actually benefit from using social media. Here are a few reasons why:

Support the customer experience

The most obvious benefit of having a social media account is that customers have a direct line to communicate with you. People can reach out to ask about available books, services, and office hours. It’s a chance for libraries to get direct feedback as well. Keep in mind, however, that social media users now have expectations regarding how fast accounts respond to their messages and questions. For instance, most Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram users expect a response within an hour of sending their message. Otherwise, you may lose their interest. Having a social media account will also make it easier to network with other libraries.

Build a community

Having a social media account can reward you with loyal followers. These people are potential consumers who will ‘like’ and share your content, and possibly even use your services. However, to truly build your community, Social Media Today emphasizes that you’ll need to do more than just post content. Give people a reason to follow you by tailoring content for each platform you have, which is better than simply publishing the same links. For example, you can use Twitter mostly for news or quick updates, and Facebook or Instagram for more in-depth, compelling posts like book recommendations.

Boost visibility and awareness

For businesses, Facebook is typically the default platform as it has more than 2.7 billion monthly active users. However, it’s good to diversify your social media presence. Nowadays, your Instagram profile is your new home page, as the platform has become the modern search engine for the digital generation. Instagram is all about visuals and aesthetics. For libraries, you can post photos of books, scenic photos of the space, and perhaps even spotlight guests’ stories. You can also use the platform to give virtual tours, and show step-by-step tutorials on how to borrow books. There’s a lot of room to get creative!

Reach out to tech-savvy audiences

Social media has made the world smaller due to how easy it is to connect with other people across the globe. Of course, this means that you’ve got a chance to tap into younger generations and let them appreciate traditional libraries in a new light. After all, today’s libraries have evolved too, and many even offer digital services like loaning digital media and partnering with online databases for research papers. For you to be seen as a credible provider of these digital services, people should see that you’re at least capable of using social media.

Libraries are now catching up with the times by upgrading services to include digital tools and devices. As a previous article on Princh shows, libraries will definitely continue to be relevant, and maximizing social media is one way to ensure that.

We will be back next week with another interesting article from the library world!

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