By Adam Sockel, OverDrive’s Social Media Specialist
In the library world we understand that budgets are often tight, with every dollar being earmarked for collection development, programs and events which means that it can be tough to find additional funding to promote your content. Thankfully, social media enables you to spread the word about your services at minimal to no cost at all. Here are 7 quick and easy ways you can use social media to boost circulation and awareness of your digital content:
Tweet out covers and links to your content to your followers – This is one of the simplest ways to promote your content. The more often you tweet interesting things, the larger your following will be and what’s more interesting than the great titles you have to offer? You can use Twitter to promote new content you’ve added, titles that you have large amounts of copies or even older titles that need some love. Kansas City Public Library’s Collection Development Team does a great job of this almost daily.
Create a weekly Facebook photo album to show off your newest content – Facebook photo albums are a great way to post a large number of pictures at the same time without flooding your followers’ timelines. You can use them for special events like Banned Books Week or you can use them to quickly and easily show off your new content each week. Simply upload the jacket cover images (we recommend saving the images from overdrive.com for your titles) and then share the links to the digital title in the description of the picture.
Create an “eBook of the Day” Pinterest board – Pinterest is great for planning things for later down the road such as interesting craft ideas, recipes or book recommendations. It’s a nice way to organize things that you want to try out in the future. Using that idea, your library can create an “eBook of the Day” Pinterest board to promote content. This introduces new book recommendations to your readers and lets them jump on the wait list for titles to read later. A perfect use would be to promote your Pre-Pub titles. Pinterest is a very visual medium making it perfect for showing off jacket covers and then linking to those titles in your collection.
Use social media to remind users that they can access your digital collection 24/7 – This one may seem obvious but it’s important to remind your users that they can borrow titles from the library using your OverDrive-powered website no matter what time it is. Check out our Partner Portal for some useful graphics and follow us on Facebook and feel free to use anything we post!
Connect with your users on Facebook and twitter by offering book recommendations – One of my favorite things about working at OverDrive is that I am surrounded by librarians who can offer me book recommendations anytime. For me, librarians are the number one resource for keeping up with what books to read. Take this idea digital by asking your social media followers what books they’ve been reading and offering recommendations based on their current reads. You can then send them links to those titles in your collection and voila, you’ve got a checkout! Cuyahoga Library does a great job of this on Twitter if you’d like an example of this simple idea.
Get a reading recommendation now till 3pm: email firstname.lastname@example.org w/book & author to base it on. What to #ReadLIVE
— Cuyahoga Library (@CuyahogaLib) October 7, 2015
Create a weekly Facebook/twitter posting where you take recommendations from followers on what titles to purchase– Many of our library partners use our Recommend to Library feature to enable patron driven acquisitions. Pairing this tool with social media helps create a voice for your users and furthermore, purchasing titles that you know your users want ensures higher checkout numbers. If you purchase titles each week on Friday, for example, try asking your followers each Wednesday to share titles they’d like to see added. Your Collection Development Librarians can then review these and add titles to your carts. Plus, then you get to share the news with your followers that you added titles they wanted!
Tweet out links to your newest curated collections and use relevant hashtags to promote them – It’s no secret that curated collections are a great way increase circulation. Take that one step further by promoting those lists on social media. If you’re creating timely collections for holidays or events be sure to add relevant hashtags to your posts. For example, Teen Read Week kicks off next week so when promoting any YA curated collections on social media just add the hashtag #TeenReadWeek. A quick Twitter search for whatever holiday you want to promote will show you the most popular hashtags for that event and it’s a great way to join ongoing bookish conversations!
What are some other ways you use social media to promote your collections?