Spotlight on Worthington Libraries: An Organization’s Use of Social Networking

With all this talk about using social media to promote your business, it’s time to see what it looks like in practice. When it’s well done. I hope that this post will encourage contributors and commenters to highlight other organizations that are particularly good at leveraging social media. In this spirit, I present to you…Worthington Libraries.

In addition to attracting new members, Worthington Libraries puts a lot of effort into promoting events and activities. There is always something going on at each of its branches, so it needs a way to draw people in and encourage them to get involved. Recently, social networking applications have made it easier for organizations to deliver information to a wider audience. Another advantage of these applications is that they allow people to interact with the organization by asking questions and giving feedback on the services that it provides.

Worthington Libraries has made social networking a large part of its web site’s interface. Links to each of its social networking applications (Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, and LinkedIn) are clearly visible on the site’s home page (http://www.worthingtonlibraries.org/). It even offers RSS feeds for patrons to keep in touch with what’s going on at and around the Libraries!

Of all the social networking applications, Worthington Libraries uses Facebook and Twitter most extensively. Its Facebook and Twitter profiles are very similar. One key to the success of Worthington Libraries’ social media presence is frequent updates; it adds a new post every other day or so. These posts are generally short and to the point, yet they still manage to convey the most necessary information, such as where and when an event takes place. The majority of its posts encourage people to visit the library, educate them, or ask them to give their opinion on a particular topic, such as an author they like.

In each of its posts, it maintains a friendly, conversational tone. Many posts feature exclamation points, which can make the topics sound exciting to readers. Here is a Facebook post about Job Help Week:

“Job Help Week @ Your Library is March 14-18! The Job Help Week programs at Worthington Libraries will offer tips and strategies to job seekers in all phases of their careers and personalized sessions to help craft and finetune your resume.”

Another way that Worthington Libraries connects with its audience is by sharing multimedia. Its Flickr account gives patrons (and potential patrons!) access to pictures of events like the Read to Your Baby Festival and the Edible Books Contest. On its YouTube account, it has posted videos of children’s storytime sessions and lectures from professional career advisors. Pictures and videos let people see what Worthington Libraries is like. If they like what they see, they may decide to support the organization by signing up for a membership or attending a future event.

Worthington Libraries receives a positive response to its social networking efforts. The casual interface of a social networking site makes an organization seem friendly and relatable to its audience. What do you think about organizations using social networking to promote themselves? Can you provide an example of an organization that is particularly digital/social media savvy? Share your thoughts by clicking the comment button below.

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