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USEFULNESS OF SOCIAL MEDIA IM MARKETING LIBRARY RESOURCES.

     Results showed that Social media is integral to market library resources and services. It offers more than just traditional ways of marketing library services. It allows user to create, connect, converse, contribute, vote and share information. Social media is helpful in accessing information needs of online users and helps libraries to get closer to the users. Different applications of social media are helpful for marketing library services among online community. With the help of Facebook, libraries can advertise their different upcoming events. Libraries can also market their different programs conferences workshops by uploading their videos on the YouTube. They can also share and upload the pictures of different library events and services by using Flickr. Libraries can use Facebook to share the information about their new arrivals and editions of books. RSS and Blogs can be used to market library services among distance learner. With the help of RSS, libraries can republish and syndicate the contents on the Web. Libraries can promote services, collection, events and resources by using social media. Twitter and IM (Instance Messaging) can be used by the libraries to market library reference/research services. Libraries can use Blogs to keep their users current with developments in the field of librarianship. Professional Networking sites, i.e., LinkedIn can be used by the libraries to create professional connections and to market library services among other professionals working in different libraries of the world and can also solicit their ideas and professional experiences. By using social media libraries can spread news about the events in other libraries. By using social media libraries can publicize new acquired material and service alerts. Different applications of social media are useful for libraries for obtaining their patron’s feedback and to ensure the maximum engagement of their users in the production of their products and services. Social media is a fine tool for marketing library services among new generation users and to creating user-centered libraries.

REFERENCES

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WHY IS SOCIAL MEDIA AN IMPORTANT TOOL TO LIBRARIES ?

   In developed countries libraries are using latest trends to market their services. U.S. libraries of all types are increasingly using social media tools and  applications to connect with library users and to make library programs and services accessible (ALA, 2001). Library of Congress is also utilizing social media for marketing its services and to interact with its online users. Library uses Blogging, Flickr, YouTube, Social Networking, iTunes and Twitter for its different services (Braziel, 2009). Social media provides more opportunity to reach your community, target specific audiences, and give them a chance to interact with your library. Statistics of Social media usage shows that there are nearly 700 million active Facebook users, over 100 million LinkedIn members, 5 billion+ images on Flickr, 24 million pages on Wikipedia, 300 million Twitter users posting over 7,000 tweets per second, over 2.9 billion hours of YouTube watching per month (Tortorella, 2012). The whole business of libraries is about connecting people with information and this is what social media is really all about. Social media helps in reaching out to our communities and providing them information that they need in a very accessible way. There are number of libraries that used Wikis, Flickr, or Blogs for publishing historical photos and ask people to identify people, places, or events pictured. Different libraries use Wikis for content creation and to create a collaborative relation between library and the community. Hence IM (Instant Messaging), SMS, Twitter and email are being for answering questions (Convertive, 2011). 

      Social media marketing of libraries is the way of advertising library, its brand product and services via  technologies. By using social media libraries can engage with their clienteles and enable them to participate in the production of library products. Social media includes networking web sites like Facebook, MySpace, microblogging web sites like Twitter and other media like blogs, podcasts, photos and videos. By posting library material via social media on library page, it can be used by the variety of locations on the Web (Tuten, 2001). Library portal should provide facility to the users to access library databases. It was concluded that libraries should provide web-based services to their user.Suraweera et al. (n.d.) explored that social networks are being used by teachers, lectures and students as a communication tool. Many students are using this tool in a very wide range. Teachers, lecturers and professors are using this tool for discussions to post assignment, tests and quizzes. Social networking sites are being used to foster the communication between teachers and parents. Chand, Suman and Nirmalendu (2008) concluded that adding studies to the curriculum may also serve to improve the position of LIS programmes. RSS is also very useful to library and information science education and research purpose. With the help of RSS library science students can monitor high school and college scholarship opportunities by using RSS feeds. Library and information science department can also use RSS to communicate departmental news with their students, announcing staff changes, new courses or any other news that is relevant and of interest to the student population.

LIBRARIES AND SOCIAL MEDIA

  

   Social media is fast becoming a regular part of our everyday lives. Its online communities carry a strong and influential voice, and there is much to be gained from engaging directly with people through these channels, whether that be to network, promote a product or service, or just stay up to date with the latest news. 

  Social media presents a good number of opportunities for libraries, but also many challenges. With most social media platforms only having been in existence for less than 10 years, can anyone really claim themselves an expert? How best to navigate the multiple sites and onslaught of information to ensure you achieve the maximum impact from your library’s social media presence?  

     The research was carried out on a global scale, with over 600 librarians worldwide contributing their ideas, experiences, and opinions on social media use. The online survey in particular provided some very insightful results as to how libraries are currently using social media. Five of the most interesting discoveries made were as follows. 

61% of libraries have been using social media for 3 years or more

With such a high percentage of librarians having used social media for more than 3 years, we can make the assumption that social media is reasonably well embedded in library communications.

When questioned through our survey, only 10% of librarians stated they had come to use social media within the past year. So it seems that most have been aware of the potential of social media as a communication tool for some time. 

30% post to social media daily

The purpose to which social media is being applied is less clear, but when combined with the fact that 30% are posting on at least a daily basis, it confirms that social media is moving towards a central role in how libraries are communicating with their end users. 

25% of libraries have more than 5 individuals updating their social media pages

With regards to who the individuals are behind the messages being posted, the responses to this survey question were more widespread.

While an impressive 25% have a considerable workforce behind their social media pages, with more than 5 individuals updating content, 42% only had one or two individuals managing the output.

Where just one person was managing the account, the individuals were either Head Librarians or Reference Librarians, and so most likely this would be the solo librarian in that department. Conversely, where more than 5 individuals provided output, it is likely that every member of the department posts content in some capacity. 

Facebook is the most popular social media channel

A very interesting discovery is the preferred social network highlighted, Facebook, with 58% of librarians stating they used it on a regular basis. Twitter (46% regularly use) and blogging (30% regularly use) were also mentioned as being in significant use, but following on from this other platforms begin to tail off. Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, Flickr, Academia.edu and ResearchGate were all only used by a very small minority of less than 10% of all those questioned.

This is particularly thought-provoking when contrasted with comments received through the focus groups stating that students were increasingly leaving Facebook, as they saw it as a platform for an older generation and less relevant to their communication needs.

One librarian mentioned that “students are searching by image first, text second”, suggesting that visual channels are becoming a preferred means of communication with younger users. Yet, this possible change in the usage of social media is not yet reflected in how libraries are targeting communications.

REFERENCES

https://www.cilip.org.uk/blog/5-ways-libraries-are-using-social-media.