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Sensational and Free (or Cheap) Social Media Scheduling Tools

A well thought out social media strategy is only half the battle for library marketers looking to reach audiences without spending budget. Once you decide who you will talk to, and what you will say, it’s time to figure out how to physically get those posts scheduled.

I’ve scoured the web for scheduling tools and tried them out to see which ones will work for libraries. Some tools are better for people who must share accounts with lots of contributors. Others work best for single person teams. Some work well for libraries posting on only a few social media platforms. Some are meant for larger systems with wide strategies.

My list does not include schedulers that only allow you to schedule posts on one platform, like Tweetdeck. That is inefficient for any library system. I also recommend some paid plans, but only the ones that offer the most features for the least amount of money.

Before we get to the list, I want to address a myth about scheduling social media posts. I’ve heard lots of marketing “experts” say that it’s wrong for brands to pre-schedule social media posts. Their argument is that a pre-loaded social media platform is inauthentic. I call bullshit. Your cardholders don’t care if you are posting something live or using a scheduler. If the post comes across as inauthentic, it’s because it’s not written well!

There are good, data-driven reasons for scheduling social media posts. If you’re watching the data and engagement of past posts, you can use your scheduler to give your audience what they want, when they want it. You don’t have to worry that you’ll forget or get distracted. Pre-scheduling also gives you time to create honest and meaningful text and graphics. It’s not lazy. It’s incredibly smart.

Now, there in one warning I must share about scheduling posts in advance. You may run into a situation where you’ve pre-scheduled a post and something happens that makes the post irrelevant. For instance, if you schedule a post to promote an event at a branch and then something happens that causes that branch to close unexpectedly. That’s just something to keep in mind as emergencies arise in your system. Your checklist of things to do in an emergency should include checking your pre-scheduled social media posts.

Here are the tools I think are best for social media post scheduling.

Hootsuite

The free plan lets you schedule on three platforms. You can pre-load 30 messages at a time. My favorite feature is the boost plan. If you have money for social media ads, you can boost posts through Hootsuite instead of going to each individual platform. That’s super convenient. There are also analytics and free social media courses.

Buffer

This site’s free plan also lets you post on three platforms. You can pre-load 10 messages per platform. It includes a link shortener, an image creator, and the ability to upload videos or GIFs. If you want more capability, their most basic “Pro” plan is $10 a month and lets you post on eight platforms and schedule up to 100 posts in advance. One note: you must pay the Pro rate for the analytics capability on Buffer. Analytics are not included in the free plan.

Zoho Social

Their standard plan is the most robust I found in my research. For a little more than $8 a month, two team members can post on eight different channels. The plan includes analytics, the ability to pause and resume posts, a link shortener, and other features. There is a free plan, which lets one person post on all the channels, but you can’t schedule posts ahead of time.

Friends + Me

This site’s free option gives you the ability to schedule on two platforms, with up to five posts on each platform. That’s not super helpful unless you have time every day to schedule posts or are not active on social media. However, the site’s bottom tier paid plan is $7.50 a month and gives you a ton of features– you can pre-load as many as 500 posts to five platforms. 10 people can also use the platform on this plan. I think that’s a good deal.

Crowdfire

Crowdfire’s free plan lets one person post on the big four social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook LinkedIn, and Instagram) with up to ten pre-loaded posts per platform. But I would actually recommend the first level paid plan, call Plus. For about $7.50 a month, you get access to Pinterest and 100 pre-loaded posts, plus a pretty robust analytics tracker, hashtag recommendations, and no ads on the mobile site.

Subscribe to this blog and you’ll receive an email every time I post. To do that, click on “Follow” button in the bottom left-hand corner of the page. Connect with me on Twitter, Snapchat, and LinkedIn. I talk about library marketing on all those platforms!

 

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Why Libraries Should Stop Worrying About Dark Social!

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Dark social sounds menacing, like a bad guy from a comic book or a low-budget science fiction action movie. But the reality isn’t a sexy or as dangerous as it sounds.

Dark social refers to the practice of sharing content privately. When your cardholders or fans cut and paste a link to one of your blog posts, or cut and paste a social media post, or write an entirely new post without tagging you or sharing your post, that’s dark social.

It’s happening to your library more often that you realize. A June 2016 report from RadiumOne shows 82 percent of the blog posts and web content shared on mobile devices falls under the category of dark social. People are sharing your stuff, but instead of retweeting or quoting your tweets, they writing their own unique messages in apps, email, or text.

Dark social came up in an American Library Association panel discussion I had with Dana Braccia of Library Systems & Services, LLC, and Kim Crowder of the Indianapolis Public Library. One of our fantastic audience members asked us about dark social and how we handle it.

My answer was… I don’t.

Sure, dark social is frustrating for marketers because we can’t see what’s being said about us on all platforms (admit it, you obsessively check for mentions of your library in Google Alerts and on the Twitter timeline). We aren’t in control of the narrative. We see that people are coming to our website or blog but we don’t know where the traffic originates. We might see an uptick in use of a service or in circulation of a particular item and we can’t figure out why it’s happening.

Is this really a bad thing? Do we need to create a process for dealing with it? I don’t think so. Any kind of sharing of any content is good for your library. If your cardholders are fans and are sharing news and information about you and your services privately, then so be it.  Although it’s lovely to be able to precisely track all web content, libraries are not under the same ROI obligations as our friends in the for-profit business world. We benefit from any kind of web traffic. I don’t think it’s as much of a problem for libraries as it is for consumer brands, nor do I think it’s happening as often as the data shows in the RadiumOne survey above. This is a subjective observation based on my analysis of web traffic to our site.

I did a lot of research to make sure my hunch about this was right. I looked for articles on dark social, all published within the last year, from well-established marketing expert websites (the best were this one and this one). And it’s clear that this is a big worry for companies, particularly those with a funnel model for sales. If you read those posts, you’ll notice the authors suggest that companies create partnerships with platforms like WhatsApp and Snapchat to help communicate their brand message and keep the conversation within their brand’s control. Those partnerships are tricky and expensive and I didn’t see any evidence that they’ve worked for anyone, and I’m certain it’s not worth the time or money for your library.

You can use Bit.ly short links and Google tracking URL’s to help track the source of your web traffic. And you can make sure that you embed social media sharing buttons on your website to make it easy for library cardholders to share your stuff on social and through email. And you should make sure your library’s unique branch voice is clearly a part of everything you create. You can create unique graphics to go with each piece of content and those graphics can be branded so that anytime they are shared, their original source–you–is clearly visible. That’s about all you can do, my friends. Beyond that… you’ve got bigger fish to fry.

Don’t worry about dark social so much. Libraries are blessed that this is another instance in which the worries of the profit consumer market don’t apply to us.

Subscribe to this blog and you’ll receive an email every time I post. To do that, click on “Follow” button on the bottom left-hand corner of the page. Connect with me on Twitter and Snapchat–it’s where I talk about library marketing! I’m @Webmastergirl. I’m also on LinkedIn, Slideshare, Instagram and Pinterest. Views in this post are my own and do not represent those of my employer.

 

Protect Your Library Social Media Accounts From a Security Breach

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I listened to two episodes of the Social Media Examiner podcast that put the fear of God into me and created more work for my social media specialist (sorry Adam). The scenario that had me going to Code Red was about security. It was a two-part series. The first part was an interview with a social media star who lost control of ALL of her accounts in the span of an hour, and who lived a hellish nightmare trying to gain control back. The second part was actually a recount by Social Media Examiner of a day in which they lost control of their own Facebook business account.

If it can happen to Social Media Examiner, it can happen to you. More than 80 percent of U.S. companies have been successfully hacked, according to a Duke University/CFO Magazine Global Business Outlook Survey released just last year. Smaller companies and nonprofits are more vulnerable because they don’t devote as much resources to protect their data.

Here’s the truth: most of us think a social media security breach will never happen to us (myself included before I listened to these episodes). We couldn’t be more wrong. Imagine the nightmare of having your library’s accounts compromised and hackers posting all manner of things IN YOUR LIBRARY’S NAME.

Having anti-virus software and malware protectors on your computers is only half the battle. You still need to take steps to protect yourself and your library from compromise. Start here:

  1. Use two-step authentication when possible. It’s annoying and it takes longer but it’s the best way to make sure your accounts aren’t compromised. Most platforms will ask you to enter a randomly generated code every time you log in. Take the extra step… it’s better to choose safety over convenience.
  2. Limit access to your social media accounts. If you have a large team of people who post for you, you may consider trimming as much as possible. Some platforms like Facebook or scheduling apps like Sprout will let you assign “roles” to people who allow them limited access to posting but not full access to privacy and security settings. You can also ask your social media team to send posts, written and including graphics, to a special inbox or a Google Drive and let one person have access to the actual accounts, pulling those pre-made posts. Don’t give full access to accounts to anyone without great consideration.
  3. Change your passwords often, making up different, obscure passwords for each social media platform. Again, it’s an inconvenience but it’s the best way to make sure passwords won’t be hijacked and to keep hackers guessing.

Subscribe to this blog and you’ll receive an email every time I post. To do that, click on “Follow” button on the bottom left-hand corner of the page. Connect with me on Twitter and Snapchat–it’s where I talk about library marketing! I’m @Webmastergirl. I’m also on LinkedIn, Slideshare, Instagram and Pinterest. Views in this post are my own and do not represent those of my employer.

Solve the Mystery Of LinkedIn With One Seriously Easy Step

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This is a short post. Because the answer to the question, “How did your library double engagement on LinkedIn?” is easy.

We started posting more often.

Let’s back up a bit. Why would a library even consider being on LinkedIn? It’s just one more social network that you gotta worry about, right? Who has the time? It’s not as sexy or provocative as Twitter and it’s not as timely as Snapchat. It doesn’t have Facebook’s gigantic audience. You could even argue that LinkedIn is hard to figure out in terms of user experience.

Those were all my concerns every time my social media specialist and I sat down to talk about LinkedIn. It just didn’t seem like a place where our cardholders were hanging out. Turns out we were wrong. We just had to put some cheese in the mousetrap.

Before this revelation, we posted to LinkedIn about twice a week, if we remembered. Our standards for success were pretty reasonable. In our documented strategy, we state that we will use LinkedIn to build a professional network to help increase the use and awareness of our business and career resources. Our benchmark for success is 1400 weekly impressions.

My social media specialist went on a well deserved vacation this past summer and I took charge of LinkedIn while he was gone. And I decided to experiment by posting on the site every weekday. I picked things I thought would resonate with the LinkedIn audience–professionals looking to network, find new jobs, and build connections that will help them advance in their careers.

One day I posted a promotion for an upcoming seminar on small business grants, with a beautiful, correctly sized graphic I created for free on Canva.  On another day, I chose to promote a self-help book from our new arrivals feed.  We were already posting a “Worker Wednesday” profile each week, highlighting one of our branch staff on our other social media platforms and I posted that on LinkedIn. I also promoted a niche business magazine from our eBranch and a vintage photo of librarians at one of our branches.

The result is that engagement doubled over the course of two weeks and we decided, right then and there, to adjust our strategy and post more often on LinkedIn. Our little experiment showed there was clearly an audience for those messages.

Be sure you have a social media strategy before you undertake any serious posting on any social media platform. But remember that you can always change your strategy if you discover something new about a platform that has performed consistently for you for some time. Flexibility is good!

And if your library is on LinkedIn and is having success, please let me know. I’d love to talk to you about it!

Subscribe to this blog and you’ll receive an email every time I post. To do that, click on “Follow” button on the bottom left-hand corner of the page. Connect with me on Twitter and Snapchat–it’s where I talk about library marketing! I’m @Webmastergirl. I’m also on LinkedIn, Slideshare,  Instagram and Pinterest. Views in this post are my own and do not represent those of my employer.

Ninja Secrets to Make Pinterest Work for Your Library

NINJA SECRETS TO MAKE

If you are still on the fence about whether your Library should be active on Pinterest, allow me to help you decide.

Get on it.

The platform is perfect for library collection marketing. Pinterest is really just a search engine. Pinterest is a serious competitor for Google, especially since Pinterest unveiled the guided search feature, which makes it easier for people to find the content they need. Social media expert Peg Fitzpatrick says 39 percent of active Pinterest users will go to Pinterest to do a search before they go to Google. That’s definitely true for me. When I want to find a recipe, a new outfit, ideas for a themed birthday party, even plans for a new house–I go to Pinterest first to search.  And clearly, I’m not alone. Pinterest rewards you with visuals that help you decide whether to visit the parent site. With Google, you get text links, and frankly, clicking on them blind can be a crap shoot.

Plus, the value of Pins will build over time. That’s unique in the social media world. Facebook posts go viral on rare occasion and get play in the news feed for a few days or weeks. Tweets disappear in a matter of minutes, depending on how many people your followers are following. But Pins are forever and sometimes they show a resurgence in popularity.

Here’s a personal case in point. I have another blog about vintage recipes. I pinned a photo link to a recipe for Baking Powder Bread on February 18, 2012. The Pin had moderate success. But every few months, I receive a flurry of messages in my inbox as people start repinning that Pin. Someone searching for an easy, no-knead bread recipe will run across it. They pin it, then it shows up in their friends’ feeds, and we’re back in business for a week or more! To date, that bread recipe has been repinned nearly 5000 times and liked nearly 400 times. And when the resurgence happens, I always notice the hits to my website undergo a similar surge.

I’m not telling you this to brag. I’m telling you this to prove that the value of a Pin will grow. It’s a worthwhile investment of time and resources. With a strategic approach, you can use Pinterest to drive people to your library website on a consistent and growing level.

We’ve used Pinterest at the Library since August of 2013. In that span of time, we’ve grown by about 4.5 thousand followers. But that’s just a vanity metric. The real proof is in the percentage of traffic referred to our website by Pinterest. We started around 3-4 percent and are now seeing that a consistent 16-22 percent of website traffic comes from Pinterest. Sometimes that number surges as high as 27 percent.

Pinterest is the perfect place to market your collection. Pin books with the title and author in the description so your pin will be tagged when book lovers search for that specific title or books by that specific author. Include the genre and a few other keywords in the description, and your chances of seeing a hit on a search go even higher.

Now, here’s a piece of advice that may surprise you. DO NOT pin every book you add to the collection. You’ll discover which books appeal to your Pinterest audience through trial and error. For my patrons, new arrivals are a big hit. I have a specific criteria–I look through new arrivals feed and, if the number of holds are already higher than the number of copies, I pin it on a board we call “New Books” (creative, right?).  I also pin books by popular authors. In a few months, I’ll move the Pins from the “New Books” board to a more generically titled board called “Books We Love.” Guess what happens? Hits and holds go up again, as the mere act of moving a Pin from one board to another causes it to pop up again in our followers feeds!

Don’t be discouraged if your Pins aren’t repinned. Pay attention instead to the number of holds on the books you Pin. You can track them over time using Google analytics. If you don’t know how to do this yet, I’m going to explain the process in a few weeks in a new post but in the meantime, you can also use Bit.ly to track links.

The other secret to Library pinning is to repin your followers content! Our staff will go through the boards of a few of our followers every day, picking content we think will resonate with the rest of the audience, and repinning it to our boards. We pick one Pin each day to highlight on other social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, thereby giving a shout out to our Pinterest followers and creating a relationship of sharing and spreading awareness of our presence on Pinterest.

If you have any questions or comments or if you would like to write a guest post for this blog, let me know in the comment section below.

Subscribe to this blog and you’ll receive an email every time I post. To do that, click on “Follow” button on the bottom left-hand corner of the page. Connect with me on Twitter and Snapchat–it’s where I talk about library marketing! I’m @Webmastergirl. I’m also on LinkedIn, Slideshare,  Instagram and Pinterest. Views in this post are my own and do not represent those of my employer.

 

The State of Library Marketing 2016 Survey Results

The

First, I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who filled out the library marketing survey I sent back in December. The survey is my way of understanding the challenges you face when trying to market your library. I use these results to create posts that will help you solve the biggest problems you run against in this complicated, wonderful job of library marketing. This is the second survey I’ve conducted–here are the results of the first survey.

This time, my survey apparently went global. I was so excited to get answers from library marketers from all over the world, including California, Alaska, Cuba, and Switzerland.

Here are the big takeaways.

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  • 92 percent of respondents get information about the marketing industry and trends from blogs, 77 percent get information from webinars, 65 percent from personal development opportunities, and 62 percent from other marketers.
  • Only 15 percent of respondents are listening to podcasts and nearly 8 percent don’t follow any marketing industry news at all! Watch for: I’ll be sharing some great blogs, webinars, and podcasts to help my fellow library marketers learn more about marketing. These are free resources that you can use at your convenience.

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  • 69 percent  of respondents say they know what content marketing is. 23 percent have a vague idea and 8 percent don’t know at all. Watch for: I’m working to show you some of the best library content marketing success stories in the coming months. There are some libraries doing inspiring work that we can all learn from.

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  • 50 percent of library marketers say their library has NO marketing strategy whatsoever. Watch for: It’s so important to have a strategy. That’s your road map, your reason to say yes and no to certain projects and demands. We’ll talk more about how to form a strategy, how to connect it to your library’s values and missions, and how to execute and measure the results.

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  • 54 percent of libraries say their library has NO social media strategy!meta-chart (4)
  • Along that same line, 65 percent of library marketers say that social media posts helps their strategy. 23 percent are not sure and 12 percent are just posting on social media because they are expected to. Watch for: More tips on how to create and implement a library social media strategy with goals that will help advance your library’s overall mission. In the meantime, for tips on social media for libraries, you can follow this great blog by my co-worker Adam Baker.

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  • 100 percent of library marketers who responded to the survey say they are using Facebook to reach their cardholders. 73 percent of libraries are on Twitter, 65 percent are on Instagram, 58 percent are on YouTube, and 50 percent are on Pinterest. Watch for: We’ll talk more about how and why you can use social media platforms other than Facebook to reach and engage with library cardholders. Again, Adam will be a great resource as I collaborate with him on future posts.

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  • 85 percent of library marketers say Facebook is the most effective social media platform for reaching their target audience. Nearly 8 percent say Instagram is most effective. Twitter and Pinterest were named as the most effective social media channel by 4 percent each of respondents. Watch for: At our library, we have seen Twitter and Pinterest posts pushing double-digit click numbers to our website. They also drive circulation and program attendance. We’ll talk more about how to use those social media platforms to their full advantage.

Finally, when asked about their most pressing concern, the overwhelming majority of library marketers say they want to do a better job at measuring the effectiveness of their campaigns. They also list a lack of time, a lack of funding, and making sure cardholders know about services as big worries. We’ll talk about all four of these issues in upcoming posts, especially the job of measuring the effectiveness of your marketing.

If you have any questions about the survey or questions you’d like to ask in a future survey, or any comments on this survey, share them with me in the comments section! And thanks again!!

Subscribe to this blog and you’ll receive an email every time I post. To do that, click on “Follow” button on the bottom left-hand corner of the page. Connect with me on Twitter and Snapchat–it’s where I talk about library marketing! I’m @Webmastergirl. I’m also on LinkedIn, Slideshare,  Instagram and Pinterest. Views in this post are my own and do not represent those of my employer.

Convince Your Critics: How To Spin a Negative Library Review

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In the world of consumer reviews, libraries have it pretty easy. Most of our cardholders love us and rave about everything we do. It’s good to be beloved.

But we do have our critics. And it’s hard to know how to handle the situation when an irate, antagonistic library user posts a negative review on a social media site or website for all the world to see. Your immediate reaction is to jump into firefighter mode, drag out the fully charged hose, and put out the flames… pronto.

But I want you to take a step back (and a big, deep breath) and find the opportunity in that negative review. It’s your chance to turn that angry user into an evangelist for your library. If that sounds like an extreme possibility, I want you to read this post by Jay Baer. And if you like that post, I want you to read Baer’s book, Hug Your Haters. I bet your library has a copy. Jay’s got some really great ideas for turning negative reviews into positive customer experiences.  I use all three of his main ideas–seek out your haters, leave no complaint unanswered, create a process for responding to hateful comments–in my department. It works and here’s why: having a process in place for handling complaints is an agent of calm for you and your staff members. It’s like your crisis communication plan–if you put together a plan for dealing with critics before you’re confronted with one, you can put your emotional reaction aside (how DARE they complain about FREE LIBRARY SERVICES!!!) and react calmly, rationally, and with empathy.

Having a plan for dealing with haters also improves your library’s credibility.  When you are searching to buy a new product or service, I bet you check out customer reviews. If all you see are positive write-ups and no complaints, doesn’t that make you a little suspicious? A negative comment or two makes you look human and lets customers know that they can give you honest feedback without the fear of being censored.

I don’t care if your library is giving away $10 bills with every checkout, someone is going to find something to complain about and they’ll probably do it online.  But when the complainers know they’ll be heard and their issues addressed as much as they possibly can be, they are more willing to give construction feedback about your organization.

And that’s good for you too. How are you supposed to know whether the product or service you are offering is meeting the needs of your cardholders? You are not a mind reader. You need customers to tell you what they like and dislike so you can make adjustments.  When you respond to critics, you show that you value all your customers and you are working on a daily basis to make their lives better. They’ll be happy to know that–and you can bet they’ll tell their friends about you.

More helpful tips for dealing with negative comments and reviews

Don’t censor. Unless the comment violates your social media or website standards of behavior in some grave way, don’t hide the comment and don’t want to respond negatively.

Respond as quickly as possible.  It’s important to address the issue as soon as you can or run the risk of other haters hijacking the thread and turning one bad review into a free-for-all.

If the problem cannot be solved easily, take it offline.  Apologize and address the complainer with empathy, then ask them to contact you by email. “I’m sorry to hear you are having this problem. We want to make it right.  Could you email me at **** and give me some more details about your experience? Then I can make sure your issue gets in front of the right person and is addressed.”

Realize that you cannot please everyone. Every once in a while, someone will complain about something and you will not be able to fix the problem.  Apologize, explain your library’s side of the situation as best you can, and move on.

Do you have an experience about a negative comment or review that you feel you handled well… or handled poorly? Any tips for dealing with critics? Share your thoughts in the comments section!

Subscribe to this blog and you’ll receive an email every time I post. To do that, click on “Follow” button on the bottom left-hand corner of the page. Connect with me on Twitter and Snapchat–it’s where I talk about library marketing! I’m @Webmastergirl. I’m also on LinkedIn, Slideshare,  Instagram and Pinterest. Views in this post are my own and do not represent those of my employer..

It’s Time For Libraries To Jump on the Slideshare Wagon

Jump on the

If your library hasn’t started creating content for Slideshare, I think you should. It doesn’t cost you any money and it’s easy to learn. It’s a faster and cheaper way to teach your customers about the services offered by your library, particularly in comparison with YouTube videos or other social media sites.

Libraries and Slideshare are a perfect fit

Slideshare is a how-to platform where users get step-by-step instructions on topics of interest to them from experts. We’re the information experts! Libraries should be leading the Slideshare charge.

Content is seen by new eyes

Slideshare is a powerful tool that will connect you to your cardholders and potential cardholders in ways that no other platform can. The site receives 70 million visits a year and is one of the top 100 most-visited websites, which means it’s a great place to reach an audience that isn’t already actively looking for your content. It’s part of LinkedIn, which makes gives the platform an extra searchability boost. If your library has a LinkedIn account, it’s easy to connect the two within settings so every Slideshare you create is automatically shared on your LinkedIn account.

It’s easy to use

For your team and for your customer, Slideshare is easy to learn to use. If you know how to create a Powerpoint, you’re three-quarters of the way to creating a Slideshare. The platform has several Slideshares to teach you the basics of design and presentation. There is also a list of more than a dozen tools to choose from. I usually create my slides in Canva, then put them into a Powerpoint, adding links to pertinent slides. Then I upload the Powerpoint and… voila! I’ve also used Haiku Deck to create my slides. I also love free Slideshare Templates from Hubspot.

Make it happen

As with any new tactic, you’ll want to spend time looking at your content marketing strategy to decide which goals might be served by a visual presentation like Slideshare. Your next major decision will be to figure out how often you can handle posting to Slideshare based on your workload. My library is posting once a month and we’re using the platform to help our cardholders learn to use the more difficult digital aspects of our services, like Overdrive, Career Online High School, and our educator cards. By posting once a month and rotating the staff member responsible for each post, we’re not adding extra burden to anyone’s workload, and we’re giving all our marketing staff a chance to exercise their creativity and learn something new about the library as they create their decks.

Going off-strategy

Sometimes it’s okay to go off-strategy for your Slideshare content. I created three simple Slideshares to showcase behind-the-scenes construction photos for three new library branches. These desk are not fancy. They took me about an hour each to put together… but they are the most successful of our uploads!  People love to peek at your process behind-the-scenes. So follow your instincts in terms of content!

How many slides?

This was a big question for myself and my staff when we started posting to Slideshare. To be honest, I’m not sure I have a concrete answer. There are about as many theories on the ideal Slideshare deck length as there are leaves on a tree. On average, our decks are between 20 and 30 slides. We’re still experimenting with length.

Go step-by-step

We’ve created an easy-to-follow workflow process for creating our Slideshares. You’re welcome to steal this as a guideline for your own staff.

Step one: Create an outline. Once you decide on a subject, create an outline, marking what each slide will contain including text and your idea for the visual. Try to keep text to a minimum and think outside the box about eye-catching visuals for each slide. Then take this outline through the approval process to get agreement before you begin creating slides. It’s easier to change an outline than a slide!

Create a Powerpoint. Once your outline is approved, you can create your Powerpoint. This is the fun part! You’ll want to embed links in as many slides as possible. But Slideshare has a weird rule… you can’t embed a link in the first three slides of your deck. After that, its open season!

Triple-check for accuracy. I email the Powerpoint to as many people as possible to make sure there are no spelling or grammatical errors and to make sure the Powerpoint looks right on as many computers, laptops, and browsers as I can check. If you make a mistake after you’ve uploaded the deck to Slideshare, you can’t fix it. You’ll have the delete the deck and re-upload… and that means you lose all the analytics up to that point. Once you’re sure it’s error-free…

Upload and promote on your website and other social media channels. This is the fun part! Be sure to do ongoing promotions for your decks if the content is evergreen.

Analyze the statistics and make adjustments based on your audience response. As with every social media site, you’ll want to watch the analytics on your decks and adjust your content and distribution strategy if necessary. Slideshare gives you access to your analytics for free–it’s part of the drop-down menu under your profile photo.

Is your library using Slideshare? Do you have a question that I didn’t answer? Share your thoughts or a link to your library’s account with me in the comments section… I’d love to see what you are doing!

 

Subscribe to this blog and you’ll receive an email every time I post. To do that, click on “Follow” button on the bottom left-hand corner of the page. Connect with me on Twitter and Snapchat–it’s where I talk about library marketing! I’m @Webmastergirl. I’m also on LinkedIn, Slideshare,  Instagram and Pinterest. Views in this post are my own and do not represent those of my employer.

Snapchat Isn’t Scary–Learn How To Use It

Snapchat Isn't Scary

I want to show you how Snapchat works by demonstrating it. For me, the easiest way to learn how to navigate a new tool or social media platform is to simply watch someone else do it first and then to mess around with it myself. So here’s your chance to use Snapchat–no judgement! Learning to use Snapchat is really important for library marketers looking to engage readers in the next generation.

Download the app (it’s free). Once you have it, add me as a friend. I’m listed as webmastergirl.

Watch how I engage with it. Play with the brands that will be displayed at the top of your feed and see what kinds of images they share. It’s mostly content marketing and it’s usually good stuff. There are a lot of ideas that we could implement in our libraries.

I can’t wait to share Snapchat with you!

Subscribe to this blog and you’ll receive an email every time I post. To do that, click on “Follow” button on the bottom left-hand corner of the page. Connect with me on Twitter and Snapchat–it’s where I talk about library marketing! I’m @Webmastergirl. I’m also on LinkedIn, Slideshare,  Instagram and Pinterest. Views in this post are my own and do not represent those of my employer.

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