Ask and ye shall receive. Anybody else who’s thought that to be a bit of a grand statement? Well, I’ve got to tell you that I have just proven that in some cases, it really is that simple.
I’ve been struggling with my library’s Facebook presence. Currently, it is a page with over 180 “like”-ers, that goes totally unnoticed.
So I dropped in on a library committee meeting that included some of our students, and all it took were a few sweeping questions about social media and Facebook traffic to get them throwing suggestions at me! The top few include an articulation of not wanting to be “bombarded” by an organization on FB (bombardment on Twitter is still fair game), an urge to reach out to new incoming students who are unaware of the value of their voice for the library, and a reminder to, above all else, remain human (sound human, not corporate).
Which brings us to our shining contribution. I raised the question of students having difficulty being “friends” with an organization (currently, we can only be “liked” as a page, not friended, because we are not Facebook PEOPLE, but a Facebook THING). On the flip side, when suggesting to librarians that they should create dedicated FB profiles to communicate with students, both the librarians AND the students seem to pull back from this type of relationship. So now what?
Well, one student suggested an idea that I had previously disregarded as a silly marketing tactic…Cartoons! She suggested creating a fictional character to represent the library on Facebook, and was joined with nods and “oh yeah”s all around!
Upon some very light reflection, I’ve decided that this might just be the treasured compromise between interacting with “someone”, without having to put much thought in to the relationship you (the student) are forging with a perceived authority figure (me, the librarian–hah!).
So I ran off and created my first attempt at a fictional “librarian-type” FB character. I wonder if she’ll have better luck with her “friends” out in the Facebook world. All you got to do is ask, right?