So we got through our Banned Books Week promotion. Social Media is an interesting little creature. If you’re not using it correctly, it can either be a huge waste of time, or it can come back and bite you. However, through my virtual internship, I am learning the little parts about how to use it in a professional manner.
Now most of my personal posts, tweets, etc. usually do not cross the line into the controversial or offensive. I may have had a few transgressions back in the day, but as I am reinventing myself into a professional, I give a great deal of thought to my social media dealings. Posting for an organization that I work for is not entirely new (I’ve done a few posts for previous restaurant jobs); however, I am seeing some new ways to go about what I do. I have started off a bit slowly, perhaps a bit boring and safe at first. Gradually, I have been reading up on techniques to build post reach. Leading off posts with “Check out…” (which is also a nice play on words for us library folk), or “Tell us what you think of…” really help to build engagement. Also, I am learning that hashtags are not as frivolous as I once believed, as I found out this weekend:
So this week is/was Banned Books Week. As Social Media Intern I wanted to promote this in an interesting way on our Facebook page. We asked various staff to select their favorite banned books, and then posted photos of them with the book and a brief quote about what it means to them. Wow, I could not be more pleased with the results. The staff profile pictures increase our reach 5,475% from the prior week. And while we did not get any new followers, we increase People Reached, post likes, comments, shares, and post clicks. Hopefully this trend continues.
After planning projects to cover the next few weeks, the nervousness sets in.
After another delay in launching our social media giveaway promotion, we are finally set to start. Understandable changes in wording had to be made to make everything clear, and to be able to include as many people as possible (or rather, to exclude as few people as possible) from the potential prize-winner pool.
As I mentioned in last post, also launching in coordination with Banned Books Week will be our staff, faculty, and student profiles. The first of these profiles will be the OCLS Social Media Intern. That’s right, yours truly will be featured on our Facebook page giving a brief review of what the frequently banned Of Mice and Men means to me.
I just finished a Sunday Skype session with the site supervisor to touch base on my live (eep!) presentation I will be giving tomorrow. I will be discussing peer-reviewed articles versus regular magazine articles, how to find these articles, and why they are important. I am also looking forward to inserting the term “research ninja” into this presentation.
Once I get past Monday, I will be focusing on more Facebook and Twitter content, mostly posting profiles and Banned Books Week articles. The site supervisor is attending meetings this week, so there will be no check in, so this should give me time to hone my posting skills in anticipation of my next project.
I had another amazing meeting with my site supervisor on Thursday. As is becoming standard practice for us, we discuss where I am with current projects and then plan ahead for future projects. Currently, the Facebook Promotion scheduled to launch on Monday (having to get some clarifications before we publish our Official Rules). And there are exciting things on the horizon:
- Student/Staff/Faculty profiles. Working on a set of questions to give a face to the people who work at/use the library.
- Banned Books Week promo. Tying in with the profiles, we are planning to feature faculty and staff briefly sharing their favorite banned books on our social media sites.
- Student Orientation. The site supervisor does several outreach orientation sessions to introduce students to the OCLS services. I will (hopefully) be presenting a brief tutorial on peer-reviewed journals to a group of students from an English class.
- Strategic Planning. Following a staff meeting, my site supervisor asked for some insight on the department’s Strategic Planning. Most of this is in regard to the wording and definition of terms, but it is nice to feel included in the process. Potential to present findings during a faculty workshop late in the semester.
A lot of different things on my plate, yet I am very excited to take part in all of this. Hopefully I can maintain this level of enthusiasm throughout the internship.
This week I had spent a bit of time researching how to properly run a social media promotional giveaway. As it relates to time management, I discovered it is always good to give yourself a cushion of time between projects. My goal for the week was to launch the promotion; however, quickly discovered some time needed to be devoted to research in order to do things properly. As such, I conducted some research and drafted a brief report on the topic, which I am sharing here should anyone else be interested in running any sort of promotion for the organizations they work for.
Note: This work was completed and submitted as part of my duties as intern with University College OCLS. I have permission from the site supervisor to share it here, and the information can be used freely.
This week I have been dealing with a couple of early tasks for my internship. Both of them seem like easy tasks, but they have proven to be a bit of a challenge.
First, I was to write a brief bio about myself so that it could be presented with the staff at the library. As a virtual intern, I am sure anyone who may cross my virtual path would want to know a little bit about this mysterious person handling social media. I do not know why this was so difficult. Was it because I am somehow still working on building connections in virtual space? Is it because I have gone through the process of filling out online dating profiles one too many times? (One time is too many times). After deciding to be short and to the point, I was finally able to submit this piece to my supervisor.
The second piece is still a work in progress. During my weekly Google Hangouts meeting, Shiva (the site supervisor) and I started working on some projects to focus on, as well as timelines for completion. The first of these is to launch a contest on Facebook intended to increase the number of followers. Easy, right? Maybe.
While many people/businesses/institutions launch these promotions every day, there are a number of guidelines one must follow. First, Facebook has a short set of guidelines mostly focused on absolving Facebook from any wrongdoing. Easy enough. The second part is tricky. There are laws on both the federal and state levels governing the administration of contests, giveaways, and the like. The main concern here is that this contest does not fall under the definition of a lottery. I will be researching to get a better definition of these laws. However, as best I can tell to be a lottery: 1) there is prize to be given away (check) 2) there is some element of chance (since this will be a random drawing of people who follow our page by a certain guideline, check), and 3) some form of “consideration” must be given by the entrant(s). This is where things get difficult. Consideration is typically an entry fee; however, depending on how closely someone chooses to interpret this, it could apply to sites asking for someone to write a review of a product/service, or possibly even as simple as asking the entrant to “Like” a page. As evidenced by the number of contests operating in this manner on Facebook and other sites, it would appear that the loophole is that the “like” can be considered the entry form since it provides a manner of identifying and means of contact for the entrants.
I still have a bit of research to do. It appears that I should draft a policy for contests, as well as create a template for contest rules (a requirement of both Facebook and the federal government). Once these have been completed and reviewed, I will share them. Now, back to work…
A little over a year ago, I attended the SLA Summer conference in San Diego. This was my first real mingling with library professionals. Thankfully, I took some advice from seasoned conference-goers, and dressed in professional attire. There is something about dressing the part (for a man, that would be suit and tie) that makes you feel like you belong.
Having a virtual internship is a bit odd. There really is nothing preventing me from sitting on my couch in a pair of sweats, eating a bowl of cereal while I attempt to fulfill my job duties. When I discovered my interview would be via Google Hangouts, I decided to dress it up a little. Since it is still Summertime in Southern California, I decided to omit the coat, but still wore a nice shirt and bow tie. Dressed for success I felt confident that I was the right fit for this position.
Dressed for success
As I’ve started my job duties, I have made it a point to dress up when I sit down to do my work. It feels like I am part of the profession. Having weekly video chat sessions with the site supervisor also keeps me on my game of looking the part. While I still know I have a lot to learn about being an information professional, I know I can at least look the part. And sometimes, that provides just that extra push to get ahead.