Best Practices for Library Social Media

October 26, 2021

It is estimated that there are over 116,000 libraries in the U.S. Each of these libraries lends books to its members, but these institutions do much more than that. They are also a hub for community engagement as well as a place to learn and grow. Unfortunately, for all of their benefits, many libraries remain underutilized in their communities. A recent decline in patronage reveals that many people are missing out on all they have to offer. Savvy library personnel have launched campaigns to combat this issue, including the use of social media platforms to promote their services. How can social media improve library services? Check out these social media marketing tips for libraries to find out.

Identify the Audience

When harnessed effectively, social media is a great resource for informing the public of the many benefits of libraries. The first step to accomplishing this is to identify the audience — or audiences — that are most likely to respond and engage. If a library offers children’s reading hour, for example, parents of toddlers might be an ideal demographic to reach out to with posts. For YA-themed events, tweens and teens are the target. Libraries need to identify the audiences that are most likely to be impacted by the content posted.

Always Engage With Followers

Simply posting content isn’t enough, and doing so misses the full potential of social media! The real benefit of social media is its ability to facilitate interactions between accounts and followers. For libraries, this is particularly beneficial because it makes it easier than ever to reach out to potential patrons and promote upcoming events and other attractions. Libraries can also use their account to answer questions, invite participation, and solicit suggestions. These engagement strategies are key to translating online follows to in-person patrons.

Focus on a Few Platforms

Some libraries make the mistake of jumping on the social media bandwagon and going a little overboard. There’s Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest…where do you start? Rather than rolling out accounts on as many platforms as possible, libraries should choose one or two to focus all of their efforts on. Platforms like Instagram and Twitter that enable the use of hashtags can be particularly promising for gaining a following quickly. Libraries should also be aware of the liabilities of social media use and be careful when engaging with followers. Library insurance can typically cover losses that result from liabilities.

Curate Your Content Strategically

Perhaps the most important part of social media use is the content that a library posts. Social media is about visuals as much as it is about text, so posts should be colorful, engaging, and accessible to users. Remember that on most platforms you can also re-post content from other users. This is a great way to grow a following and create a feed that’s curated perfectly.

About Regan Agency

A family-owned business, Long Island-based Regan Agency has more than 35 years of experience serving the library insurance and risk management needs of Tri-State residents and businesses. We have earned the trust of our clients based on our integrity and commitment to offer individuals and businesses quality library insurance products at competitive prices backed by unparalleled responsive service. Just give one of our professionals a call at (855) 272-1194.