One of the problems with a lot of training aimed at libraries, is that it often comes from the very best – the gold standard bearers of the industry. Often these best of the best also have the most resources – so you go on a course about digitisation, and it’s taught by people whose resources for digitisation so far exceed your own institution’s that you don’t really learn anything you can apply when you get back to your desk.
A similar thing happens with case studies in books – you want to get the best of the best so we can all learn from the leaders, but often they operate on a different level to the rest of us. In my marketing book I’ve tried to bridge this gap as far as possible, but it’s tricky. (Incidentally, the publisher have put full details of the book up on their website. I also had the ridiculously exciting experience of typing my name into Amazon – not least because whilst the details of the book are correct, the picture is of ‘Emergency Planning & Response!’)
An example of this is with the Twitter case study, for the chapter on marketing with social media. There is a fantastic case study lined up, but the organisation in question has many, many times the number of followers that most libraries have. There’s a lot to learn from them, but the way in which they handle @ replies is going to be different to most places, because the sheer volume of them mean it’s impractical to respond to all of them. So…
It’s time to crowd-source the book again!
I’d really like to hear from libraries who use Twitter, in particular their views on the following areas:
- Whether you read and reply to all @ replies. Do you take on those who are critical and defend the library, or try to find out more about their problems? Do you ignore those who are abusive? Do you ReTweet praise?
- The tone you use to do so. The balance between the ‘personable-ness’ of a platform such as Twitter versus the need to keep some professional distance is a difficult one to get right – how do you approach this?
- Whether you consult with colleagues before responding or if everyone takes responsibility independently, and how you decide who replies to what
- Whether you pick up other mentions of your library (using a search or alert) that don’t actually mention your library’s twitter account, and reply to them. (Is that proactive and good, or sinister and stalky..?)
Ideally I’d like to get some debate in the Comments section, but equally feel free to get in touch via email. I’m just looking to get a feel for what people do, so don’t worry I won’t be quoting you in the book (or if I do want to I’ll get in touch and ask your permission..).
So, thank you for your help.
P.S Something I forgot to include earlier but Lynne’s comment below has reminded me – how do you approach the issue of ReTweeting non-library (as in, not your library) content? Thanks!