In a survey of hundreds of library patrons who use OverDrive’s download service, we learned that more than half are not your typical library patrons; meaning that they aren’t your weekly or even monthly visitors — which is why it is so important that when promoting your downloads, you focus efforts outside of the library also. Consider locations and methods of marketing that will allow you to reach commuters, business travelers, teens, etc. One almost guaranteed place is online, starting with the #2 most visited website in the world, Facebook.
According to Facebook.com, there are more than 300 million active users worldwide and an average of 6 billion minutes are spent on the site each day. For me, and I’d guess for many others too, it’s become more than just an avenue to share my vacation photos or learn that “so and so” got married — so I was oddly not surprised when I received a friend request from my 79-year-old grandmother! It’s a way for people of all ages and interests to stay connected and learn about new services, products, websites, etc.
Facebook’s fastest growing demographic is 35 years and older, which ironically, is also the number one demographic of your download service users: females between the ages of 36-59. So let’s review: we know that teens and college-age people are already on Facebook; middle-age folks are jumping on board; and we may even find senior citizens among the crowd (case in point- my grandma!). Those should cover most of your community, and Facebook is the perfect way to reach them…it’s easy, free, and clearly effective. Take a look at some examples of how libraries are promoting downloads through Facebook:
- New Hampshire Downloadable Audiobooks Consortium: Regularly posting updates on new content, publishers, and formats that are added to their collection.
- Lee County Library System’s Download Depot: Updating fans on new titles, survey opportunities, and interesting stats on popular new releases.
- Huntsville-Madison County Public Library: Promoting patron training classes, popular audiobooks, and more (search download on their page to see their Digital Media Zone related posts).
Is your library on Facebook and using it to get the word out about your downloadable books? If so, share the link below so we can check it out.
Facebook is just the beginning. If you’re interested in hearing more ideas for promoting outside of the library, email firstname.lastname@example.org. And, as Lisa shared a while back, OverDrive can add Facebook and Twitter share functionality to your library’s download website.