Two Keys to Social Media Success


There is no “right” way to do social media. But there are some best practices and etiquette that has developed around these tools. There are a coupleĀ  things to keep in mind when using social media professionally for your business, organization, or library.

Social, Not Broadcast

First off, this is social media that your using, not traditional broadcast media. This isn’t radio or TV. The rules are different.

I see some businesses or libraries trying to utilize social media, but often they are running plays out of the old playbook. They act like they have a megaphone and are simply yelling things AT people. In social media you don’t want to be talking AT people, you want to be talking WITH people.

Don’t simply post the same things over and over. Respond to people. Have conversations with users. If you’re using social media and not listening and talking WITH your users, you’re doing it wrong.

Business in the Front, Party in the Back

photo by heyjohngreen on flickr

photo by heyjohngreen on flickr

Just like the once popular hair style “the mullet” you want to keep your tone business in the front, party in the back.

What I mean by that is when using social media you should try to strike a balance between professionalism and fun. You’re trying to promote your library or organization, but don’t get caught up completely in that. Having fun will help in that goal. Libraries are fun places to be. Let that show through.

A lot of social media is about having fun. Feel free to post links to things that might not necessarily be related only to your library. Or make humorous videos. Collingswood Library in New Jersey did a good job with this recently.

There’s no perfect way to use social media but there’s a distinct spirit behind it. If you’re posting in that spirit you can’t go too far wrong.

Andy Burkhardt

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