If a high school library doesn’t have a social media presence, it’s like a kiss of death. Not only because it disseminates information to groups of people connected to the library, but because it’s necessary PR.
We use our social media for advertising when we’re closing early or staying open later, when we have authors, activities, and events, we share and re-tweet the happenings of our school and district giving shout-outs and hashtagging #gofalcons wherever we can, and allowing people to peek behind the curtain when students are there for classes, reading, and what they’re checking out.
In a previous post I talked about respecting student privacy and any amount of social posting we do, does generally conceal student identity unless we have express permission/parental consent. We do a lot of shout-outs to our staff collaborating with us and showcase them and their students, plus we program like crazy! So that all makes it to our accounts: Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
We use Instagram most heavily because of the ease of posting to the two other platforms from it. And who doesn’t love a good filter. We gain followers steadily and tend to have the most student followers on Instagram and Twitter and the most community partners and parents on Twitter and Facebook. We’ve done giveaways to increase our following and continue to showcase our students in their activities. Here are some of our recommendations for a robust social media presence:
- Showcase and shout out staff, students, volunteers, employees, and community partners as much as possible
- Find innovative ways to gain new followers and advertise your social media platforms in multiple ways
- Re-tweet successes from your building and district
- Use the re-post app on Instagram to highlight what others have shared, whether it was a new book by an author you had visit your school or a teacher’s post
- Share relevant articles and information that represent you (in our case anything bookish because we’re the library after all)
Start small and don’t feel overwhelmed. If that means putting a calendar reminder on your phone to post every so often, then so be it. And use others’ content to begin if necessary, but always be careful; read the information completely before re-tweeting, sharing, or re-posting.
And last, be comfortable and fluid with your platforms. Someone not familiar with Twitter should not begin using it without creeping first. Likewise, what was popular two years ago, may not be any more or with your community, so don’t feel that you must persevere with a platform that is all but defunct just because it’s what you had before. Times, they are a changin’ and so must we.