This is a post in response to David Lee King’s post on How Not to Tweet. He correctly pointed out some things you shouldn’t do. He also said you should think about the big picture like “What do you want to get out of it?” But people often wonder, what sort of things should our library tweet about? Here’s a list:
- Library events – Let people know what’s going on. Having a movie night in the library? Let people know. Having a chili cookoff? Get the word out!
- Links to articles, videos, etc. – If you come across web content that would be relevant or helpful to your patrons, tweet it. You can even tweet things marginally related if you think your patrons would respond favorably. Twitter is great for sending links. And don’t forget to use a link shortener like bit.ly or tinyurl.
- Solicit feedback – Twitter is made for conversations, so feel free to ask questions of your followers. Ask things that you actually want to know about and that you are prepared to act upon though. Don’t ask, “should the library stay open until midnight?” unless you’re prepared to do something with their responses.
- New additions to your collection – Got some new books? Added a database recently? Tweet it up! People might not know about your additions unless you tell them. Twitter can be helpful for informing patrons about new resources.
- Marketing – get the word out about how great your library is! Libraries and librarians do some pretty awesome stuff, but people don’t always see it. Let people know you just created a new tutorial or that you had over 150,000 visits last year. Don’t worry about tooting your own horn a little bit, just not all the time.
- Answer questions – in the example below I noticed someone was working on a paper and simply sent them a link, you’d be surprised how powerful that can be.
Don’t forget to be human and be social. Being human means not only sending out the same links to events or new books over and over, but sending out fun things like librarians dancing to Thriller. Don’t be an automaton. And being social means having conversations with patrons. Answer @replies, ask questions, socialize. Don’t simply broadcast like you have a megaphone. It is social networking after all.
This list is by no means comprehensive, just some ideas to get people thinking. Please leave any other ideas you have in the comments.