Facing Your Facebook

This is a guest post by Kristin Byram, Public Awareness Coordinator at the North Dakota State Library. It was originally published in the July issue of the Flickertale newsletter.

facebook-crackedI want to start off by saying I am very impressed with the Facebook presence of the libraries in our state. Forty-one public libraries or friends of libraries have Facebook accounts.  Facebook is an easy, FREE and current form of communication that can be used to reach your community. But I’m afraid it isn’t as simple as just opening a new account. It is important to make sure you are posting the right information to best pique the interest of your audience. Don’t fret, this is easier to do than it may seem.

First, take a look at your page analytics (if you have them). They are located in the top left hand corner of your page and are called “Insights.” It will very clearly lay out information such as the peak times to post information, the demographics of your Facebook followers, and which posts have been best-received by your audience. If the peak time that your library’s demographic is on Facebook is when you are not, a great tool to use is the scheduler. You can schedule out posts for any time so you don’t have to be on Facebook 24 hours a day!

Secondly, take time to really think about what you are posting. I recently read an article by David Lee King that talked about whether something is interesting simply because it happened or because it happened to you. It is easy to share or post items that we find funny, cute, or interesting but you need to remember who your target audience is – will they find the same post as interesting as you do?

If you are in need of some help figuring out what to post, here are a few quick tips:

  • Post photographs of your library, or better yet, patrons in your library (get permission first). Facebook has reported that photos, photo albums, and videos get 120 percent, 180 percent, and 100 percent more engagement than links and text-only posts.
  • Keep posts short. According to Facebook, posts between 100 and 250 characters receive 60 percent more likes, comments, and shares than longer posts.
  • Watch your content. As mentioned above, take a minute to see if information you are posting is relevant to your audience and if they have liked that in the past.
  • Post up-to-date information. For example, if story time is cancelled or plans change at the library post it on your Facebook page.

If you are posting content that has not been well-received in the past, consider re-wording it or engaging your reader. If you post something that people are not interested in, scrap it as a loss and learn from what you are posting! Great job and keep up the good work.

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