A valid concern that I’ve heard about using social media in libraries is “how do I find the time time to maintain a social media presence?” Librarians can be stretched pretty thin with their workload, or sometimes there are only one or two people running a library. Maintaining a social media presence takes time and commitment. It can be very difficult to regularly post Facebook page updates, fresh tweets, and new blog posts. This is where work flow comes in. There are technologies available to help even the busiest librarians post regularly to their social media accounts with ease.
One simple way to save time and make sure that you post regularly is to schedule tweets and posts. The best tool I have found to do that is HootSuite. HootSuite allows you to connect to both your library Twitter account and Facebook page and easily update them both from one web-based application. In addition HootSuite gives you the option to schedule your posts for sometime in the future.
Scheduling posts makes it easier to post regularly without the hassle of doing it every day. A librarian can take a half an hour once a week to write a research tip of the day and posts about multiple upcoming events, schedule them, and have posts coming out every day that week. This even makes it possible to post on weekends when you’re not actually around.
This is a very useful tool for already overtaxed librarians, yet it shouldn’t be the only thing you use. You also have to answer your patrons when they post on your wall or @mention you. And don’t let scheduled posts kill spontaneity either. Spontaneous posts are the often some of the best and most authentic. It’s necessary to find a good balance, but scheduling posts can be a very helpful practice in dealing with social media work flow.
Here’s a very brief video showing how to use HootSuite to schedule your posts.