According to Merriam-Webster, social media is defined as “forms of electronic communication (such as websites for social networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (such as videos).”
With social media, one can instantly connect with friends and family – or even complete strangers – no matter where they are located. Libraries can also take advantage of social media. It is a great tool for libraries to connect and engage with their community, as well as promote library services, events, resources, etc. Also, most social media platforms are free, which is valuable perk.
Examples of social media platforms that libraries use include more traditional ones, such as:
Other platforms that libraries use may also include:
First and foremost, libraries should give serious consideration to implementing a social media policy. A policy can help outline guidelines on what and how to post, and help ensure libraries are getting the most out of their social media usage.
There are many resources available online regarding libraries and social media, and here are a couple terrific places to start:
- Social Media Guidelines for Public and Academic Libraries – ALA
- Ten Tips to Master Social Media at Your Library – EBSCO