The value of Twitter for marketing – and promoting the image of librarians

One of my colleagues (thanks Kirsty!) has pointed out an article on the value of Twitter. It includes this useful quote:

From a personal brand building and networking standpoint, the key is not to look at microblogging as individual posts, but think of the overall impressions and value that can be created over time. Each 140 character or less entry serves as a seed of an idea for an overall objective…

Rather, consider an overall objective and keep that in mind as decisions are made about what kinds of personal info, links to useful resources and promotional items are posted. Over time, you’ll build a footprint and identify within the Twitter community. Building that footprint will be far more effective if you keep overall objectives in mind, rather than random information. Unless of course, your objective is to build an identity as a scatterbox.

I’ve pretty much decided to use Twitter as part of my professional identity – although I may post some personal comments and links, my primary use of Twitter is to keep in touch with things happening in the library and wider information world. The point in the quote above about thinking of the “overall impressions and value that can be created over time” struck a cord with me. A while back when I had protected my updates (as I tried to figure out the whole online identity thing) I actually declined a couple of Auckland businesses – not being interested in their business (for locality reasons), and wondering why on earth I would be of interest to them. But it occurred to me – some of the most successful posts I’ve had on this blog have been from people looking for trend information. If a couple of businesses in Auckland want to follow me then maybe they might come across some useful trend information from me, and maybe just maybe they might realise librarians are useful people to follow 🙂 Wishful thinking- maybe? But for a profession obsessed with how we appear to others, really thinking about the impressions our tweets give could be a useful strategy.

Survey for NZ librarians on social media and identity

Brenda Chawner and Timothy Greig, School of Information Management, Victoria University of Wellington, are running a survey on the use of social media by New Zealand librarians – particularly as it relates to online identity. You can access the survey here.  The following is the information provided about the survey from that site:

Social media services are web-based tools that allow people to share information in a variety of formats, and to connect with each other in multiple ways, including one-to-one, one-to-many, and many-to-many. Examples of social media include blogs, wikis, microblogs, social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, and content-sharing sites such as Flickr and YouTube.

This survey is designed to find out which social media services are being used by members of the New Zealand library and information management professions, the extent to which they are used for work-related purposes, how respondents manage their online identities, and the benefits and drawbacks associated with the use of these services.