Webinar – Instagram for Public Libraries: Good Practices for Social Media
Articles Blog

Webinar – Instagram for Public Libraries: Good Practices for Social Media

Crystal: Thank you for joining us for
today’s TechSoup for Libraries webinar, Instagram for Public Libraries:
Good Practices for Social Media. My name is Crystal and I will be your
host. We have 2 guests today who will talk about what their libraries have done to
create engaging Instagram account to connect with their communities. They’ll share some
good practices that have worked well for them. But before we begin I have just
a few announcements to share. We will be using the ReadyTalk platform
for our meeting today so please use the chat in the lower left corner to send
questions and comments to the presenters. We will be tracking your questions
throughout the webinar and will answer them at the designated Q&A section at
the end. All of your chat comments will only come to the presenters, But if you have
comments or ideas to share we will forward them back out to the entire group. You don’t
need to raise your hand asked a question, simply type it into the chat box. Should
you get disconnected during the webinar you can reconnect using the same
link in your confirmation email. You should be hearing the conference
audio through your computer speakers, but if your audio connection is unclear you can
dial the phone number in your confirmation email which was also shared in the chat.
If you are having technical issues, please send us a chat message and
we will try our best to assist you. This webinar is being recorded and will
be archived on the TechSoup website. If you are called away from the
webinar or if you have connection issues you can watch a full recording of this webinar later.
You will receive an archive email within 24 hours that will include a link to the recording,
the PowerPoint slides, and any additional links or resources shared during the session. If you
are tweeting this webinar, please use the hashtag #ts4libs. We have someone from TechSoup
live tweeting this event so please join us in the conversation there. TechSoup Global is dedicated to serving the
world’s nonprofit organizations and libraries. TechSoup was founded in 1987 with a global
network of partners. We connect libraries and nonprofits to technology, resources,
and support so that you can operate at your full potential more effectively
deliver programs and services, and better achieve your mission. Right now TechSoup is in the middle
of their 2016 Storymakers program. You can submit your digital story for a chance
to win some great prices for your library. You have until May 31 to submit your entry.
And TechSoup has created training resources and webinars to help you
create an amazing digital story. Learn more at TechSoup.org/Storymakers. All right, with that I think we are ready to
begin. So thanks for joining us for today’s webinar, Instagram for Public Libraries: Good Practices for
Social Media. If you are joining us from a nonprofit or another type of organization or library
we hope you also get some great tips that you are able to apply in your
organization. We have 2 guests joining us today. Ray DeLara joins us from Burlingame
California where he has worked at the Burlingame Public Library for the past 17
years. He is currently the Library Aide Supervisor and also serves on the Web Team and
manages the Library’s Instagram account. Amanda Zuccarelli is a Reference
and Adult Services Librarian at the Cherry Hill Public Library in Cherry Hill
New Jersey. She helps to manage the library’s social media accounts including Instagram. My
name is Crystal Schimpf and I will be your host for today’s webinar. Assisting us with chat
and Twitter we have Ginny Mies and Becky Wiegand from the TechSoup team. We will be on
Twitter using the @TechSoup4Libs handle and the hashtag #ts4libs. We will have
time for questions throughout the webinar so please send us your questions using the
chat as they arise and we will address as many as we are able to. If you ask questions that
we are not able to answer during the webinar we will follow up later via email with a
response. This webinar is being recorded and all of the slides, resources, and materials
will be included in the archive of the webinar which you should receive in 24 to 48
hours. Now in just a minute you will hear from Amanda and Ray about their experiences
and good practices. Before they begin I wanted to share just a few resources and
let you know again, that all of these resources that we share today will be included in the archive.
You don’t have to write them all down right now. Now if Instagram is a new social media tool for
you or your library then you might want to start with some basics once today’s webinar is
over. I’ve included some resources here to help you get started. For one, the
Instagram Help Center, or you might want to take a free course like the one offered at
GCF Learn Free. If you’re Library already pays for a subscription to Lynda.com there is a course
there as well that you might be interested in. I’ll also share some articles that highlight
some of the great things that libraries are doing on Instagram, and I’ll share that link
to the Storymakers resources at TechSoup which Becky has also just a shared in the
chat. Now one more thing before we begin is we’d like to know a little bit about you. So
tell us does your library have an Instagram account already? You can select your response by
clicking the radio button and then click Submit to see the responses of everybody coming in. Now I
will also say that if you have an Instagram account and you would like to share it, you can
include that in the chat now. It will come to us and I will compile all of those Instagram
accounts later on and include them in the archive. That way we can follow each other’s Library
Instagram account to get ideas in the future. I can see those coming in now. We will collect
all of these and put them together in the archive so you can see them all later on.
Thank you for sending those in. All right, so I can see it looks like most
people have responded to this question. And it looks like we have a little more
than half do have an Instagram account. So maybe you are here today to learn new ideas
for how to use it. It looks like close to 40% don’t yet have an Instagram account, so you are
maybe getting ideas on how to get started today. And I know for some of us we might not be
sure. Maybe the Library has an Instagram account but you are not aware of it, so
that is completely okay as well. So thanks for sending in your account.
You can continue to send those in but I’m going to go ahead and close this
poll now because it looks like most everyone has responded. We have one more poll that
we would like to share with you as well. So we also wanted to know what you hope to
achieve through your library’s Instagram account. And this may be for the account that you
currently have or the one that you hope to open after this webinar is over. So you can
check as many of these responses as apply to your situation. And once you have selected
them click Submit and you will be able to see everybody’s responses. So we will see
what the most popular responses are here. And of course our guests today will
be telling us some of the reasons they have created an Instagram account
and what they hoped to achieve there. I’ll give you a few moments. I know it
takes a moment to look through these. Some of these options relate to the way
you might connect to your library users or share library information. Maybe you
are looking to attract new library users. And some of these are more general,
just promoting books and reading, promoting libraries in general, or connecting
with community organizations and other libraries. We can definitely see some of these rising
to the top. If you have “other,” of course you can type that into the chat. I see one response
just came in, “just to get more teens involved” with your library, or “to improve
higher participation” in your programs. Those are great reasons as well. So
again, just another few seconds here on this poll. I’ll give you a chance to
submit your responses and I’ll close it down and take a look at the summary in 5, 4, 3,
2, and 1. We got a few last responses in here right at the end. So taking a look at these we
can see that definitely promoting library services and programs, connecting with library
users, and attracting new library users are the top 3 responses. And we also got
almost 75% for staying current and relevant which is definitely something that I think
in the library community we want to do is stay current with technology
and social media practices. So thank you for sharing your responses they are.
So it’s great to see all of the interest today. And the last thing I will say before handing
things over to Amanda is that I just hope that wherever you are at with Instagram in your
library that you walk away with a few new ideas today to apply to your library’s Instagram account.
But now I am going to hand things over to Amanda so she can tell us about what they have been
doing at the Cherry Hill Public Library. Amanda? Amanda: Hi everyone. So I wanted to start off
and give you guys a little bit of information about Cherry Hill. We are a stand-alone
library and we serve a very large community. Our population is about 70,000 and we are
located 20 minutes away from Philadelphia. First thing I want to share with you
guys is how our library uses Instagram. And what we first did is set up a
list of goals. Our goals are important because that gives us a blueprint
for what we should be posting. So if you are looking to start an
Instagram account, it might be a good place to start to get an idea of what
kind of things you want to post. From those goals our library
has made a list of tasks. And our library also has a social media
committee. So it’s not just me, it’s a team. And we focus on these 6 tasks, but
we are not limited to these 6 tasks. This is just a general representation of what
we’d like to post. 1 to 2 team members focuses on each of these tasks. And I will give more
examples of these tasks in a couple slides. So I see a couple people are asking what these
mean and I’m going to show them in a minute. So there are 8 people on the Social
Media Committee. And a way we manage it is by using a document through a Google Drive.
This is an example of the month of April, how we set up our tasks. One of the
team members creates the document. She gives us ideas and notes, and then we
can put in whatever it is we’d like to post if we have any ideas. So this is an example of a Bookface
which most people should be familiar with if you are using Instagram or
know about Instagram and libraries. It’s a popular trend on Instagram and very popular
with libraries. So when we post Bookface pictures I feel that it not only represents the fun Instagram
trend, but it is also a way to celebrate libraries in general. This is an example of DVDs and TV
shows. We just took a picture of 6 DVDs that all recently came in. We actually
just posted this picture the other day. And it’s just a way to let our followers and
patrons know these new releases just arrived, like come and check them out. So it is a
way to promote our services and our programs. So this is our Junior Chef program
which is very popular. Here’s a photo. Our Youth Services Department 2
members of the Social Media Committee, on the committee and they do all the
posts for all the Youth Services events. So they try to represent all of our goals with
their posts and I think they do a pretty good job. This is a picture of some end pages and
I find that the end pages and book covers make fantastic pictures. There is a
lot of beautiful book covers out there. And just taking pictures of book covers is a
great thing to have on your Instagram account. So let’s move on to the next picture. These are pictures that we posted for upcoming
events that we are having in our library. And the Cosplay logo actually was
created by one of our part-time employees that posts these type of pictures. It’s a good
way to let your patrons know about programs and even people who possibly aren’t patrons
who live nearby when you post your events. And this is a great picture. I love this picture.
It’s actually one of our team member’s cats. And it’s a great representation of
pop culture and Instagram trends. So we have a hashtag #catsofInstagram and
Caturday because it was taken on a Saturday. So these are things that we like to post.
We like to have fun and not have everything be about the library. We like to represent
things that other people want to see. I guess we just want to have like pleasing
pictures so this is an adorable picture. So now I want to move onto the quality
of pictures that you want to show and we want to show on Instagram.
This is actually one of our photos. I’m not sure who took it or who
posted it but it is not a great photo. It’s blurry and it’s just not a great photo.
Our director is the person on the right-hand side and she is a little bit cut off. But I do
have an example of what you should be doing. So I borrowed this picture from
Burlingame and this is a “do.” So this is a way to may be do a blurry picture
but it is blurry on purpose, the bottom part there. And I think it’s a great representation
of what you should be doing. But don’t do what we’d did and post
a picture like the one on the right. And so now I’m going to talk a little bit more
about. Bookface Friday like I said is very popular. And just some tips are, it’s okay
if your hands and fingers show. The Joker picture on top is one of our pictures.
And I think that picture was mostly a huge success because we have an employee who has green
hair. And when he dyed his hair green I immediately thought of the Joker and said we
have to get a picture, a Bookface picture with him. And the Danielle Steel picture is amazing.
It’s one of my favorite Burlingame pictures. Again, I used an example. They have
some really great Bookface pictures. So take a look and learn from them. But
yes, it’s okay if you’re fingers show. And I find that if you can lineup at least one line
it helps to make the picture work for the Bookface. And as you can see with the Danielle Steel
picture they don’t always need the faces. And sometimes you are going to need props.
So sometimes these things work quickly, but sometimes you need to gather
some stuff to make the book face work. These are editing apps that I use on my phone.
They are apps that I feel most people can use that the novice can use these apps and they
will help them get better photos for Instagram. So a list of the apps and what they do, each of
them does something a little slightly different and we don’t use all of them all the time.
But every once in a while you want a video or you want to add music so they are apps that
anybody can use and they are all free to download. We try for promotion of our posts. We
try to use as many hashtags as possible. We like to tag the author if we use a picture of
their book. In this one we also tagged Fun Home, the musical, and they ended up liking our
post. So it’s always great to get recognition from either the author or someone who is
involved with the book if it is a graphic novel, the illustrator may be. But we always try to
promote the book using the author or the celebrity. If a celebrity writes a book
we use a picture of that. For promotion we also follow
and support other libraries. And a great way to find libraries is just
to search the Bookface Friday hashtag. Most libraries are doing Bookface
pictures. And you can just search through and find great pictures and
find great libraries that way. This last slide is a trend that I’ve noticed
on Instagram. It is the Book Bento Instagram. There is actually an account called Book
Bento. And if you don’t know what a bento is it is a traditional Japanese boxed lunch.
The picture’s in the center of the bento. And I just noticed that there is a trend of
setting these pictures up in like a stylish and very particular manner that looks very
nice. It’s all coordinated and pleasing. And the bottom 3, the one on the far
right and left are Burlingame’s pictures, and the one in the center, the Lita Ford
picture is ours. The top 2 came from @BookBento. So it’s a good thing to look for and
I think it’s kind of a fun new trend if you are interested in
posting anything like that. And that’s about all I have for
today, so we’ll get to the questions. Crystal: Yeah, Amanda, so thank you
for sharing some of these great ideas. Now I think whether you already have an Instagram
account for your library for those of you listening, or if you are starting this for the first time, this
was a really nice outline of some of the different things you can do and the different types of things that
you can highlight that both promote your library, and books, and reading, and all of those different
causes, and relating back to the goals Amanda, that you shared with us at the beginning. So
I think this is a really nice kind of overview of what the possibilities are. And we’ve gotten,
Amanda, we’ve gotten a lot of questions already. I know at this moment we have time to answer
a few. We will get as many as we can right now and then I will invite everyone
listening to continue to send questions in because we will have more time at the end.
But just a couple of questions for you Amanda, it looks like when we saw the schedule and
that management organization sheet that you had, that it seemed to be about one post per day.
So we have a couple of questions around that. First of all, is that kind of your target to do one
post a day? Or how many do you try to post per day or per week? And do you know of any general
recommendations for what is too much or too little in terms of the number of posts? Amanda: We tend to do one a day,
but we don’t always do one every day. So we will may be do like 5 to 6
a week. But it also depends on the week. So we try not to do too many if we say we are
going to post one and something else happens. Like last Thursday I think we had a scheduled
post but then we posted something else about prints instead. So if it can be
posted later or at another time, we wait. But if we do do 2 posts a day, we try to do
one in the morning and one in the afternoon, and then maybe we will do less during the week.
So maybe that week we will only do like 4 or 5. But I think typically we do anywhere
between 4 to 6 posts in a week. I know with Instagram it’s changing. I
think they are going to have an algorithm and I’m not exactly sure how that
is going to affect what people see. So I think we are trying to feel it out and
see what’s too much and what’s not enough. Crystal: Great, Great. And I think we have time
for just one more question right now which is – and I think this is a really good question
that was asked about posting pictures of patrons and especially I think this came up at the
moment when you had the youth services slide up and you had the pictures of the kids up there as
well. So how does your library handle permission for posting patron photos?
Do you have a permission form, or do you just ask for verbal
permission? What do you do? Amanda: They mostly do verbal permission. I did
find out from one of our children’s librarians that some of her regulars, she’s just
aware of whether or not they’ve already either signed the sheet or because
we do have a photo release sheet. But I think she is aware of who has signed that
at this point and she said if she’s not sure, she will do a quick verbal agreement.
She also said that some of our patrons that come to these programs she knows
that they have Instagram accounts like even some of the kids and teens,
they have their own Instagram account. So they are like, “take a picture of me.” And they
want it. So if they tell her that they want to be in the picture then she will just go
ahead and take the picture of them. Also she said she likes to do some pictures
in a way that may, I think in those pictures there is an example of – you can’t
quite see the entire face of the child. So she says she tends to do a lot
of that as well when she is unsure whether or not that particular
person has signed the release or if they would be
uncomfortable with being posted. Crystal: All right. Well, thank you for sharing
the way that you have handled that situation in your library. And it sounds like there’s a
couple different ways that you’ve been addressing it and that you know your patrons pretty
well as far as regular patrons go. So we have quite a few more
questions but I want to move on so we get to hear Ray’s presentation as
well. So Amanda, I’ll say thank you right now. We’ll bring you back on later
for more questions, okay? Amanda: Okay. Crystal: All right, and those of you who have
asked questions know that we will continue to respond to those later on and we will
also follow-up via email with any of those if we are unable to get to them
during our live webinar today. But now I would like to turn over the controls to
Ray so that he can share some of the good practices from the Burlingame Public
Libray’s Instagram account. So Ray? Ray: Hello everybody. I just want to say thank you
for spending the time on joining us in this webinar. My name is Ray DeLara and I work
for the Burlingame Public Library. We are a small library in the Bay Area.
We serve a population of 37,000 people. And we have about a staff of 63
people and we also have a small branch called the [indistinct] Branch Library. I want to start first with some quick pointers
about getting started with an Instagram account. First you want to pick a
clear and concise user name. You also want to create a strong description for
your account. And our description is listed there on the screen shot, “books, places,
people, and things. The stuff we love.” Another part of your profile will be a link
and we typically like to rotate out our link. Sometimes it’s a link to our Facebook page.
Sometimes it’s a link to our library website. Sometimes it links to for example, this
webinar was up there for people to register. In the screen shot we have a link to one of our
cool new projects that that my coworker is doing. It is a pod cast project called “Me, You,
We.” And of course, when you start your account you want to have a game plan. And when we
first started our account it simply our goal was to increase our presence on social media.
And after running the account for almost 2 years now we have kind of fine-tuned our approach.
But having these questions addressed when we first started would have
helped us out very much in the beginning and that is to answer these questions.
Who is your intended audience? Are you going to reach out to the
patrons that already use your library? Are you trying to reach out to those patrons, or
to those people who may not yet be your patrons? Or are you just sharing the fun things about
your library with other libraries on social media? Next question is, what kind of content do you
plan to share? Are you going to share pictures of events? Are you going to share new
additions to your various collections? Are you going to share video? I’m going to go little
bit more into content creation a little bit later in this presentation. And then finally the
question is, how do you manage your account? I know Amanda mentioned that
Cherry Hill has a social media team and we also have a social media
team here at the Burlingame Library. We run ours a little bit differently. We have
people designated for each social media outlet. I’m in charge of Instagram. We have other
people in charge of our Twitter account, our Facebook account, our YouTube
channel, and also our Pinterest account. And we meet once a month to
kind of coordinate our efforts. And we actually started doing an editorial
calendar so we could all kind of know what everybody is posting so we kind
of avoid re-posting the same things. So what do you do when you have
this new cool account on Instagram? Well, you’ve got to market it. And this is
some of the ways that we marketed our account when we first started. We announced the account
on email newsletters, all of our program flyers, our website. We made social media
bookmarks that we put in people’s holds. When they picked them up they had these social
media bookmarks. We left them on all the desks. We passed them out at author events.
And we put all of our social media badges on our email signatures too. Of course we
used all of our other social media accounts to announce that we are starting an
Instagram. We also in the very beginning linked most of our IG posts to Facebook so then we
would be posting on both outlets at the same time. There is also that level of just word of
mouth. We told our friends. We told our family. We told our coworkers to follow. And
of course we followed other libraries. And Amanda mentioned searching the
Bookface Friday tag to find other libraries. Another tip that we used when we were trying
to find other libraries is we just looked at what other libraries were following. And you
could simply just click on somebody’s followers account and it will list everybody that they
follow. And more often than not it’s a whole bunch of other libraries as well. So that’s another
good way to find other libraries on Instagram. And of course, a big priority for us here
in Burlingame now is to engage our community and tell them that we have this account and
we are using this account to share events and special moments that happen within our
library. And a way to do that is to search hashtags and start your own hashtag campaigns.
And of course, get out of the library. Get into the community. Post pictures outside of
the library basically getting outside of the walls to really find people. This next slide has a couple of screen shots here
and these all relate to searching the hashtags on Instagram. And Instagram now, you weren’t
able to search hashtags through their web based version but now you can so it’s pretty
cool. So that first one is just our location. And I just looked that up and I took a screen shot.
And it shows the pictures that people have posted. Actually, none of these pictures are
actually ours. They are all from our patrons and they just use the Burlingame Library
location when they posted their account. Then I went in there and I liked it, and I
commented. And those likes and the comments people see and then they know that the library
has an account. So it’s a great way to reach out to those people who are using Instagram
and using Instagram right in your library. I also search the hashtag, just Burlingame
Library. Most of those pictures now are from us but when we first started the account
most of the pictures were from users that didn’t even know that we had an
account. So basically I just went back and I liked all those pictures. And then
again, those people, some of them followed us. And then I just searched the hashtag
Burlingame as well. A lot of pictures show up. And it’s also a good tool for you starting
an Instagram account is that when you look at your location hashtag you kind of
see the places where the community is and what they are posting. You could also post
and go to those same places and take photos, and also like all them and comment.
And then also, search the popular areas in your city. That last screen shot
is the Burlingame Avenue hashtag. And again, it’s a good way
to engage your community. I mentioned something about creating your
own hashtags to engage. This is an example of one that we did. Two Halloweens ago
we had a theme Burlingame of Thrones. And we actually built a throne out of books. And
we placed it out in the lobby with a sign saying, “Take a picture sitting on the throne
of books and tag us on Instagram, and used the hashtag #burlingameofthrones.”
And this was really a way for us to find out who in our community and who of our
patrons are actually on Instagram. And to our surprise people started posting. And
those bottom 3 photos aren’t our photos at all, those are from patrons. And it’s just a good tool
that helped us really to see that there are people out using our library and who
are on Instagram at the same time. Another create your own hashtag campaign
was last summer we did what’s called The 100 Day Project. It actually was just an
overall Instagram challenge meant for people to post something creative whether it was
a drawing or a video for 100 days straight and make that commitment. And we attempted it.
We actually went and got through all 100 days. Our spin though was for each post we
would post something that had to do about the City of Burlingame. So it was a
great, great way to reach out to those people to find our account as an informative avenue
about their own city. And it’s another great way to connect with local businesses, connect
with The Burlingame Historical Society and other community organizations. Again,
another great way to build staff support for the account because 100 pictures for 100 days
straight was a lot to handle for just one person. So I sent the call out to all my coworkers, to
the staff, to see if they had anything interesting that I should highlight during this project, or
if they could take pictures, if they had any ideas. And we really just pulled all these pictures
together and we got this project done. We got a lot of great feedback
from our community as well. Amanda talked about hashtags. I’m going to
go into some of the hashtags real briefly. You want to participate in library
hashtag campaigns and Instagram challenges. And I’ll go into more specifics about that later.
And there is a list of some hashtags this year that I tend to use on most of our posts.
Again, the hashtags I think are important. You don’t want to go overboard but we
are putting this content out to be shared. When you add another hashtag its
putting your picture in a pool of photos that you’ll never know if you will gain somebody’s
interest. So I would think that it’s a great idea to use hashtags for your images. An example of a great library hashtag
is #bookfacefriday, and 13,000, almost 14,000 posts. It’s been pretty amazing.
Libraries all over the world are participating. And it simply takes a book and a staff
member willing to pose, but it’s a great way to get your name out if you are just starting or
to create content if you already have an account. This is a great example of a library using
a hashtag and putting a library spin on it. The Bernardsville Public Library created this
library hashtag. It’s called Library in My Hand. It’s a very captivating image. It
shows somebody holding their phone but having some sort of library service displayed
on there. And it was a great way to promote the remote services that are available to
patrons when they are not even in the library. And libraries all over again, joined in
and participated and it was a great example. And I wanted to highlight this example during
this presentation of a way that libraries have been using Instagram to promote services,
not even just services that happen inside the building but from home
just simply through your device. So I talked a little bit about reaching out to your
local community. But also, there is a 2nd part to it. There is this community on Instagram.
And from my experience what I kind of did is I just dived right into it. I followed all the
library accounts. I liked a lot of pictures, commented, and also I followed Instagram’s actual account.
And by doing so Instagram will post images that you kind of want to replicate. They
are beautiful photos. But on top of that what they will also do is they will highlight other
accounts. And looking at other people’s accounts also has provided an inspiration for me to
also get ideas of what to post for the library, putting a library spin on things. So
I highly suggest following Instagram. And if you have the chance to connect to other
Instagram followers. We were lucky to be invited not too long ago, a couple weekends ago to
San Francisco Public Library for an Insta-meet where we got to meet other Instagramers. We got
a special tour of the main library down there behind the scenes before the
library opened. It was a great event. So I encourage if you have the opportunity to host
an Insta-meet at your library or attend one, do so. It was an awesome event and I was
very honored to have been invited. And collaborate with your fellow libraries
on Instagram. We are all in this together. We are all trying to show that libraries are
changing today. We are developing new ways and we are excepting new ways of reaching
our community. And just being on Instagram is a testament to that. So work
with other libraries on Instagram. Last year we did the library doughnut shelfie
where I reached out to the libraries on Instagram to send me doughnut shelfies, and it’s kind of hard
to explain with text. It’s on our YouTube channel, but we had about 18 libraries
submit to us these doughnut shelfies and it created this one big shelfie and they
got everyone involved in it was a fun project. So collaborate. Reach out to your fellow
libraries in your system or just in general and work on projects together. Now little bit on content creation,
all you really need is your smart phone. Here is a little image of what we have so far
in terms of what we use, the camera, GoPro, and tripods. And when it gets heavy we definitely
use a laptop to do some further editing. Crystal: Ray, this is Crystal. I’m just going
to jump in here. We are almost out of time and what I might suggest is if we jump
ahead because we’ll let everybody know that all these slides will be
available about the content creation. And I know you’ve got some slides in here
that talk about the video and stop motion video and some great tips in there. But I
think it might be good if we jump ahead to hearing about some of your challenges and
successes, maybe just a little bit on the analytics if you want to jump there. And then that
way we have time for a few more questions before we wrap up. Ray: Sounds good, sounds good. So
let’s just jump to the challenges. One thing that helped us out is that
the city developed a social media policy and that applied to content that we
created and also the comments and followers, and who to follow. So double check with your city or
your library to find out if you have a social media policy and that will help you
out in launching your account. Again, getting the word out to your community. And
I touched base on some of the things that we did. And of course, keeping content fresh. You don’t
want to overload all your social media outlets with the same thing so it does take
some coordination between your teams. And finding the time to just make the content
and managing the accounts has been a challenge. But even with all these challenges there
has been some success with our account. And just real brief, we were lucky to be on the
list of the Top 10 Best Book Related Instagram Accounts. We were also featured last year in
the New York Times for some of our Bookfaces. And we were also recognized at ALA for our
Bookfaces as a way to promote collections. And I mentioned participating in Instagram
challenges. Last Halloween we were selected as a winner for Instagram’s Weekend Hashtag
Project. And it was a very exciting thing to be featured by Instagram themselves.
So just some take away points, just dive into the Instagram community,
comment, follow, and like other library’s photos, even other Instagramers, people in
your community. Really get involved. Be passionate. Although I manage the
account the account would not be here if it was not for my coworkers and
their willingness to post for Bookface, or their willingness to help out with shooting video.
So definitely you want to utilize your coworkers in your library. And of course, have fun
because it will translate into your account. And people will see it and hopefully they
will follow it. And that’s just pretty much it. Crystal: All right. And Ray, I know you’ve got
these links here, and these we are including in the archive. There are some really great
ideas here and also some conversation about video on Instagram from the Instagram help file. So
we will include those in the archive as well. And just to reiterate, we do have all of these
slides and there are some really great tips included. So I encourage you to go back through those.
But we want to take just a few more minutes for some of the questions that have
been coming in especially as they pertain to what you have been sharing so far.
And Ray, I know you talked a little bit more about the hashtags and we’ve had quite
a few questions about how to use the hashtags. And one was, “Do you have any advice on getting
people to participate in the library hashtag?” I know you had a few examples that you
shared, but was there anything specific you did to promote the hashtag itself
or did it just kind of catch on? Ray: Well, with the #burlingameofthrones
example we just simply left the sign there right next to the throne of books to kind
of inform people that we are on social media and to use that hashtag. We have been doing
these little projects like that scavenger hunt. And Amanda showed some of those photos. And
whenever we do programs or something like that we like to try to create our own specific hashtag
so then people who participate can search it and find it as well. Crystal: Great. And another question came in.
Is there such a thing as too many hashtags? And sometimes we see people use many, many
hashtags. So do you have a certain number that you shoot for when you are creating a post
or a point where you think it might be too many for a library account? Ray: I think you know, there is a point
where it could be way too many hashtags. But I think for us we tend to
use always kind of the same ones. Right now we are using like a set of 5 or 6
that apply to each post, #librariestransformed, #librariesofInstagram, #librarylife,
#libraryburlingame and then #burlingamelibrary. And those are kind of our consistent
hashtags. And then of course the other ones that we add on our dependent
on what we are posting. Crystal: Right. And then do you have any
tips for identifying pop culture trends that you might tack onto
or things in your community? How do you go about finding
those or discovering them? Ray: Again, a lot of it is following
other community organizations on Instagram, and also searching the local hashtags. And
also the Explore page on Instagram is a good way to find just general pop culture trends because
just like Twitter they will highlight the hashtags that are trending so to speak. So the Explore
page is a great place to find those kind of trends. Crystal: All right. So we did have some
questions kind of in between your presentation and Amanda’s. So Amanda I’ll have you come
in now and maybe answer this one as well. And one that I think is really important
for us to consider in public libraries especially is dealing with inappropriate
comments. So I’d like to ask each of you. Amanda, I’ll have you go first on this one. Have
you had any inappropriate comments come in and how have you handled those in
your library whether it was somebody who was just being negative or seemed to be kind
of a spammer or Instagram trolling type of person? How do you handle that? Amanda: I don’t think we’ve actually
had a problem with that on Instagram. We have had a couple problems on Facebook.
When they came in they were handled pretty much directly by our director. And
she addressed it, answered their question and then blocked them, so that they
could not post anything else negative when it came to the point where it was just obvious
that they were just being negative to be negative. Crystal: And it sounds like you got a 2nd
opinion from administration or managers so that’s always good to do. So Ray, what
about on your end, have you had any issues with inappropriate comments? Ray: Yes, we have. That’s why on the challenges
I wrote down that social media policy. So the city and the library has adopted a
social media policy and that applies to comments. Off the top of my head I don’t know the exact
wording but basically if it’s a dig at a coworker or just inappropriate we delete it straight out.
And if it continues to happen then we block the user. Crystal: All right. And I know one of the
people who asked that question said they had very strict policies for not deleting
comments. So maybe that’s where taking a look at updating policies especially around
social media might be something to consider in your library if that is an issue that you are
facing. And so that is a good thing to consider. Well we are just about out of time and I suppose
that what I want to just reiterate for everybody who has questions we haven’t responded to, I
know we had a lot of very technical questions and also some that we simply didn’t have time for.
We will get back to you all via email with those. And also again, we will have all of those
resources and links available to you. I did just want to end with one last question
for each of you though and this came early on. I know you shared a lot of different examples
of what types of content you are sharing. But what are you finding gets the most
engagement from your users, from your followers, the most shares, the most followers, and the most
views? So Amanda, again I’ll have you go first. What seems to be the biggest success
for you guys with your Instagram? Amanda: I’m actually not sure. I feel like it varies.
I think a lot of times it’s just what happens to be the best picture. And it also, it might also depend
what time we post it. I think that it really depends. I don’t think there’s a one set
thing for us they gets better likes. Crystal: Yeah, and I know you talked a lot about
the quality photos, so that definitely seems to be an emphasis for you and something
that is working well at Cherry Hill. Ray, what about you? What seems to
be the most popular content out there for your Instagram account? Ray: I would say of course number
one is Bookface Friday posts for sure. I think its just such a wildly popular hashtag
that not only are people seeing it in their feeds, but people are just clicking on the
hashtag. They might not even be following us and they see our photos. So the popularity
of that hashtag has led those kind of posts to be the most popular on our account.
2nd to that I would think would be some of the stop motion videos that we do to
either promote events or highlight new books. And other than that, pictures of our community
I think are probably the next highest on that. And that is a goal we have going forward
is kind of share more pictures of the people that come into the library. Crystal: All right. Great. And I agree
those Bookface Fridays sure are fun and get people’s attention. So that
sounds like maybe a good place to start if you are not doing that or if your library is starting
with Instagram that could be a really great avenue for you to start on. So Amanda and
Ray thank you so much for sharing. We will get back to you with those unanswered
questions via email and we will be sending out that archive later on this
week. Please do stay on the line. I have just a few announcements that you
might be interested in and we will ask you to take a brief survey at the very end.
But I just wanted to remind you again about that Storymakers 2016 campaign
and the prizes that you can win there. Submissions can be sent in through May 31.
And there are a few webinars still coming up on Polishing Your Digital Story and Using
Photos Specifically to Tell Your Story. So you might be interested there. Also
we have a few upcoming library webinars, one on Outcome Measurement for Small
Libraries next Wednesday, May 4, and one on May 18 on Teaching Digital
Skills to Older Adults in Libraries. So that’s all that we have for you today. I just
want to thank ReadyTalk for being our sponsor. And thanks again to Ray and Amanda
for sharing their Instagram expertise. And thank you to you for joining us. So have
a great afternoon everybody. Thanks. Bye-bye.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top