Social Media Collection Promotion

Before social distancing days, I was a member of my library’s Marketing the Collection Committee (I suppose I still am, that sounded kind of depressing). One of my personal work goals for this year was to promote our children’s collection using social media.

A week before we closed, I posted my first few Instagram Stories sharing some of my favorite non-fiction graphic novel series (Science Comics, Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales, Maker Comics). I created a detailed spreadsheet with the books I was going to highlight every two weeks for the rest of the year, coordinating titles with library events and seasonal activities. Books started piling up at my desk, so I would have physical copies for those 15-second videos.

And then we were sent home, and priorities shifted.

Looking on the bright side of things, our closure allowed me to explore our digital content in a way I hadn’t before. Personally, I checked out ebooks regularly, but, other than when I was on vacation, I was much more likely to pick up a physical book than download an ebook, if I had a choice.

I shifted my plans–that spreadsheet went out the window, and instead, with our marketing department’s approval, I started posting one Instagram story a day focusing on a different ebook or eaudiobook (without having to film myself–it’s faster without worrying about retakes and word choice and backgrounds and technology hiccups).

My personal Instagram Story parameters are below (much of this is adapted from the instructions I was given by marketing before I started):

  • One story a day.
  • I rotate through four topics:
    • eaudibooks for families
    • ebook for ages 0-5
    • ebook for ages 6-8
    • ebook for ages 9-11
  • Mix up the time you post stories (this often ends up being afternoon or evening for me, based on when I remember)
  • Add flare. (I’m still learning how to do this.)
    • Add stickers
    • Tag authors when possible – creates some great interactions!
    • Add video when possible–I record my phone screen using the free app XRecorder to show myself scrolling through a list of favorite titles or playing a clip from a Weston Woods book video from Hoopla.
  • Try not to add too much text. (I fail at this regularly.)
  • Focus on ebook services that don’t involve long hold lists when possible–for me, this means I promote titles on Hoopla or Cloud Library more than the Overdrive library shared across my state.

I am planning to figure out by the end of the week to have these scheduled instead of having to post each day. I keep opening the website, staring at the home page, not immediately seeing how to schedule a story, and getting distracted by something else. I blame still getting used to working from home.

Some sample Instagram Stories without video:

And some sample Instagram Stories with video (that you can’t see play below, but may make more sense with that information):

This is just a small piece in my library’s overall social media plan while we are closed to the public. What is your library doing? Share your awesome ideas in the comments!

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