Ned Potter @theREALwikiman
Web 2 is not... ... a direct successor to ‘web 1’ or whatever you want to call the rest of the internet. There are still plenty of useful and active sites which aren’t web 2.
Web 2 is... …an approach. People consume Web 2 in new and different (non-passive) ways. Web 2 applications are typically characterised by interaction, sharing, collaboration, interoperability, uploading – in short they are participatory. It’s not a broadcast, it’s a conversation.
Marketing is not... ... a poster featuring details of a new database. It’s not an online campaign about a new service. It’s not an article in the paper about the librarian. And it’s definitely not a piece of A4 coloured paper with something written about the library in Comic Sans. That’s advertising. That’s promotion. That’s publicity. (If the article is about the librarian welcoming a celebrity to the library, that’s PR.) That’s just awful.
So marketing with web 2 is... ... an ongoing conversation with your target audience, which combines promotion, publicity, PR, and advertising in an organised, strategic way, using interactive online tools to speak directly to the people who matter and LISTEN to what they have to say.
So marketing with web 2 is... ... an opportunity to find out about your patrons and potential patrons, go to where they are already, interact with them, tell them about stuff they might find useful, listen to what they want, and ultimately demonstrate to them how you can help them get from A to B a little easier.
Potential stakeholders • You can divide them by type: • ... students ... • ... academics ... • ... researchers ... • ... senior university types .... • ... the local community ... • ... other libraries and institutions ...
Potential stakeholders • Or what about dividing them by their needs? • ... general information about the library ... • ... the kind added value we provide via Info Lit etc... • ... to master the world of academia .... • ... to scrape a 2:1 ... • ... to hit their REF targets... • ... to complete their research whilst raising small children...
Potential stakeholders • Or even their information-seeking behaviour? • ... immersive books and journals ... • ... the article level universe ... • ... the paragraph level universe ...! • ... the off-site searcher of electronic resources .... • ... the on-site browser of paper stock ...
1) Know why you’re there • Make sure the tail isn’t wagging the dog. There’s no point in signing up for a new social media platform unless you know why you’re going to be on there, and how you’re going to use it. • When you create an online presence, it should have goals and a purpose. That’s what makes this marketing.
For NYPL it’s to... • “Inspire lifelong learning by asking and answering questions that encourage patrons to challenge their assumptions .” • New York Public Library | Social Media Strategy
2) Don’t over-commit • “It’s better to do one thing properly than to end up with lots of sad, neglected profiles all over the web.” • Frances Taylor | Marketing Manager, Business & IP Centre, British Library
Discretion / valour • In theory it’s good to create, launch and assess your social media profiles one at a time, to ensure each one works and doesn’t end up as a dead end. In practice the accounts often work together, so it’s not always practical to take a ‘step by step’ approach. • Whatever happens, only launch begin using a web 2 platform in your library’s name if you can commit to running it well over a sustained period. Dud accounts do more harm than good.
3) Get the tone right • Because Web 2 is all about dialogue, the tone you use in marketing your services needs to be conversational. Many institutional accounts begin rather stiffly – that’s okay, but they do need to relax and become more informal over time. • In most cases, the tone you should be aiming for is: • Informal but not overly familiar; friendly but not overly personal; colloquial but grammatically, syntactically and orthographically* correct. • just cause ur using social media dont think that means u should b using txt speak! • *Orthographically basically means ‘spellingly’...
4) LISTEN! • It’s a conversation, remember? Imagine how many focus groups you’d need to set up to get the kind of access social media provides! Utilise this, and get people’s opinions. • “Our approach to social media is to make sure that we spend as much time following and listening to other people as posting information about ourselves. • When organisations only post information about themselves on Twitter it can be very off-putting. I use the analogy of going to a party – you wouldn’t stand in a corner of the room and shout at people. It’s exactly the same on Twitter. You need to ensure that you’re interested in the people that you follow, and that you engage with them.”Frances Taylor | British Library
5) Synergise... (oooh) • Marketing works best with a blend of old and new media, the two worlds working together. • “I see social media as one piece of a larger puzzle. Often I will run campaigns that involve the full marketing mix, including press, e-newsletters and e-flyers, the website, advertising campaigns, working with partners, etc. By using a range of media, you can ensure that your campaigns have maximum impact.”Frances Taylor | British Library
6) Get the message across • In my opinion, library use of Web 2 platforms should be aiming to accomplish this: • Add value in order to increase engagement in order to deliver key messages to a wider audience. • In other words, make your twitter feed (or whatever) more interesting so more people follow you, so that more people then get the really important messages you want to market about your library.
How does marketing an academic library differ from marketing any other kind?
Well for starters... ... you have a captive audience ... ... you know quite a lot about them already ... ... they have (relatively) common needs ... All of this should put you at a huge advantage.
Communication • Half the battle with marketing is knowing what you want to say. (The other half is saying it in a way which has the most impact.) • Ask yourself what your library wants to communicate with the various stakeholders we’ve discussed.
Communication • Is your aim to promote manage the library’s reputation, to increase general awareness of its existence, to promote specific content, to advertise events and training courses, to make people aware of the services you offer? • (It’s probably all of the above.)
Hint: NO ONE CARES ABOUT THE HOW!
Hint: Sometimes, libraries and librarians seem obsessed by process. Instead, we need to focus on outcomes, aspirations, and benefits.
Hint: We describe features when we should be describing results.We describe products when we should be describing services. We talk about searching when we should be talking about finding.
Seriously No one cares how we do things. They just care how the things we do will effect their working lives. No one should have to work out how we can help them. The responsibility is ours, to identify their needs, and explain how we can help them in language they can identify with.
It isn’t: “We subscribe to over 100 databases!”
It’s: “We can find you stuff that Google can’t.”
Info Lit Salons Like Stephen Abram says, Beauty Salons are called Beauty Salons because beauty is what they help you achieve. (In theory...) They’re aren’t called Ugly Salons or even Becoming Beautiful Salons.
What are ‘the Four Ps of marketing’?
Whither us? The answer is Product, Price, Place and Promotion. Where are the PEOPLE?
Redressing the balance Let’s market services more, and products less. Let’s promote ourselves, as librarians. Let’s allow a little personality. It’s the PEOPLE who separate libraries from other more straightforward sources of information. Luckily, Web 2 tools are personal, so we can start to redress the balance.
Twitter Twitter is the first platform I’m covering, for two reasons: Although more library users are on Facebook, they seem to be prefer interacting with the library on twitter in a lot of cases. Twitter users are much more influential than those on any other networks. “What happens on Twitter, doesn’t stay on Twitter” - thenextweb.com
Personalise Don’t be afraid to add personal touches to your twitter page – even though it’s an institutional account, people know they’re dealing with individuals. Try adding pictures of the tweeters to your twitter’s profile page’s wallpaper, or editing the bio to end with “On duty: [insert currently rota’d tweeter here...]”
Twitter Searches • It’s easy to set up searches for your twitter account, which you can then ‘save’ and re-access easily. • Set up a search on the name of your library, so you can monitor (and if necessary respond to) what’s being said by people who aren’t using your full @ twitter handle. • Set up a geo-locational search, of people using the term 'Library’ within 1 mile of your site’s post-code. (This is surprisingly easy to do, just go to Advanced Search.) • Respond to people who you think could do with your help or input, otherwise don’t go overboard on @ replying to people who aren’t directly addressing you.
When it all goes wrong... • Sometimes human error creeps in and the person tweeting gets mixed up between their personal and institutional accounts. • When this happens, respond quickly, honestly, and apologise with the appropriate level of seriousness.
Twitter Analysis • There are a million-and-one twitter tools out there which analyse your account. Stick to the ones which provide actionable results. • http://www.twocation.comto find out where your followers are based. (Significant overseas followers might vary the times you tweet information.) • http://tweetstats.com/ to find out what percentage of your tweets are @ replies or RTs. (This gives you an idea of how interactive your account really is.) • http://klout.com/ to find out your influence. (Don’t get caught up with your overall score, but use Klout to track your ‘Network Influence’ and ‘Amplification Probability’.)
Facebook • Research shows student expectations are morphing – they now expect interactions with the library to take place across platforms like Facebook. This is not the same world into which 1001 ill-advised library MySpace accounts were born. If a study about Facebook was written before 2010, it has limited value – attitudes are changing so quickly. • Your students ARE on Facebook. • So: “...you might reach new people, or you might reach the same people in a different way.” • Helen Murphy | University of Cambridge
Facebook • Your Facebook account should, if possible, compliment your main website (so users find value in both) but also lure in new patrons who wouldn’t otherwise engage with the library. • It needs to be informal, engaging, and if possible it needs to have a purpose of its own.
Facebook tips • Rescue Buried TreasureA million and one useful services may be on your library’s website, but the launches have been and gone and they’re now mainly forgotten about. Draw your users’ attentions back to useful things that would otherwise be hidden to most. • Ask questions • “Don’t just link to a new service. Say: ‘here’s a new service from the library - have you tried it, and what did you think?’”Sue Lawson | Manchester Libraries
Facebook tips • Pull in ContentIf time is limited, it’s straightforward to populate your FB page with content from elsewhere in the library – RSS feeds from a library blog, your twitter feed, events calendar and so on (and you can use Yahoo! Pipes to aggregate several feeds into one) • Embed a Search • Get an OPAC search on there so people can find stuff in your library without having to leave your page (and maybe add a JSTOR one where subject appropriate)
Facebook strategy Great design is important, but remember the vast majority of people interact via the Wall. Keep in mind people use Facebook ALL DAY. This changes how you approach your strategy – you can feed into their daily activity, rather than having to hit them with all the key messages at once. Use the Insights tool (essentially analytics) to learn more about your users, and adapt the content accordingly.
Blogs Institutional blogs are a great way to communicate with patrons in a way which is less formal than via press release or the main website, but which is still the library imparting information in a way it can control. Blogs can actually be fairly broadcast orientated (setting up a blog to document progress on a library refurb, for example) or they can be more conversational (asking questions of the readers, soliciting feedback on new services, encouraging discussion between subscribers and so on).
Some quick ways to increase blog engagement Put a number on itFor whatever reason, a post entitled “5 tips for doing X” will get more views than the same post entitled “Guide to X” Ask a questionBlogs are a rare opportunity for libraries to give their patrons ownership of something. Ask a question, either in the title of the post or at the end, and give them a voice via the comments section. Use the hashtag in the titleIf your post is about a particular event or theme which has accompanying twitter hashtag, use the actual tag in the title of the post. That way every time someone tweets a link to it, a wider audience will have a chance to read the post.
More quick ways to increase blog engagement Get out thereComment on other blogs AS your institutional blog – people are happier to engage with you if you’re engaging with others, plus it’ll link back to your blog. Make sure you’re listedHave you registered your blog anywhere? It’s a lot easier for Google to find it if you tell Google it exists; same goes for other search engines. Also, stick a link on the UK Library Blogs wiki. Most importantly, make it infinitely shareable Your patrons should never have to think for more than half a second about how to share your blog – whether via Twitter, Facebook, email, or whatever pertinent platform.
Plus don’t forget... If you know that you’re about experience a spike in traffic (for example because of a presentation in which you give the URL, or an article appearing with a link to the blog) then make sure there is something absolutely mint displayed on the front-page, to lure the new readers in and hook them... Now is not the time for your most recent post to be an apology about building works!