For those of us struggling …

… with what to post where when it comes to social media – check out Simone McCallum’s excellent post on that subject. Straighforward useful advice – brilliant.

… with completing their revalidation journals (this one is only relevant to my Kiwi colleauges!) – check out Sally Pewhairangi’s article that highlights how her Daily News posts can help. A big shout out for Sally for helping us overcome obstacles 🙂

Business using social media to connect with customers

Another article on businesses using social media  was published in The Dominion Post today (you should be able to click on the image below to read the whole thing in the Library Press Display viewer). Some interesting bits: 

  • Telecom’s Twitter account has been live for 2 years and now has more than 6000 followers – “it is not a controlled marketing stream” but features tweets from a team of technology enthusiasts. It has however been used to deal with customer queries during the XT outages
  • Telecom: “From a business point of view, there’s a brand benefit, better communication with customers”.
  • Pro-Twitter Telecom staffers did face cynicism from those in the company who “didn’t get it” – but they have had an “oops, sorry” response when the benefits of Twitter as a way to connect with customers became obvious
  • Air New Zealand sees social media as a “channel to gain valuable customer feedback and as a channel to share brand messages”
  • Air NZ have dedicated staff working on their social media accounts including @flyairnz and @airpointsfairy
  • Air NZ see the biggest benefit of social media as the speed of customer feedback. It will be a massive growth area in the next 2 years for them “especially in the way we do customer surveys and gather insights”

It appears that Air NZ at least isn’t nervous about making quick decisions about utilising social media and getting on with it – the @airpointsfairy account was “set up after an idea from the internal team that went live the same day”. Quick work! 


 

The Dominion Post
16 Apr 2010
 

Winning hearts and minds …

… or how a “big green budgie of love” has been a bit of a hit on youtube, Facebook and Twitter.

This post has nothing to do with libraries, but everything to do with New Zealand’s Department of Conservation capitalising on the interest generated by a Youtube clip, gaining followers on sites such as Facebook and Twitter and turning one kakapo into an online phenomenon. (With an increase in interest in the conservation of the whole species – which is no bad thing!)

Read all about it at http://blog.doc.govt.nz/2009/10/08/sirocco-the-kakapo-an-online-phenomenon/

And the video that started it all:

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.

Twitter and your web strategy

Continuing along the theme of social networking applications and strategy planning –  there is a great blog post by Jeremiah Owyang about Twitter and how it might fit into your web strategy – this was posted in 2007 and with all the current interest in Twitter would definitely be worth a read. In his post Jeremiah links to another blog entry of his about measuring the impact of your social networking initiatives. A useful contribution to the tricky question of metrics in relation to non-financial marketing efforts. 

Thanks to  Joann Ransom who featured the link to the Twitter post on her Library Matters blog 🙂

Web2.0 and technology strategy planning – it’s all about the customer

On Wednesday I went to a workshop technology strategy planning workshop – organised by LIANZA and presented by Richard Hulser. This would be a very useful course for those writing a technology strategy – either those who hadn’t done one before, or those wanting a refresher on what a good model would be. Sometimes courses like this don’t tell you anything new, but they the remind you/clarify your own thinking/confirm what you already know. It would have been useful in that context for me in previous jobs I’ve had, not so much the one I have now.

 I was probably expecting a bit more of web 2.0 focus – and although this was mentioned it really wasn’t the central focus of this workshop. Having said that the workshop did remind me that while there is a lot of appeal in leaping in and giving things a go (particularly to help you learn about something), when it comes to utilising social networking technologies in customer services, this is probably better done in response to meeting a customer need/identified service delivery requirement, in the context of the overall organisational strategy.

The key thing for me is how we assess those needs. I think librarians still have a way to go to get good at this – we need to get better at  at gathering information about our customer needs, and analysing the information we already gather via surveys, feedback forms etc. 

 Further to this – Why Web2.0 projects fail

 As I have typed up my report for work I came across a very interesting blog post by Meredith Farkas who talks about why 2.0 initiatives fail – which gives some good food for thought about what you need to consider to make them succeed. 

I’ve summarised some points here, as they are quite relevant to technology strategy planning as it relates to web2.0:

  •  social software implementations need to be tied to institutional goals – the library’s strategic plan
  •  web2.0 technologies need to be planned for in a strategic way
  •  first need to understand the needs of your population (patrons or staff) and then implement whatever technology and/or service will best meet those needs
  •  need to have clear goals in mind from the outset so that you can later assess if its successful or not
  •  social software can be a pet project for an individual staff member, it is important that cross-training takes place so that if that person leaves or gets too busy, the initiative continues
  •  web2.0 technologies are easy to start but keeping them going takes time and effort. You need to plan how you will maintain the technology e.g. adding content, updating the software. “Libraries need to plan for the implementation and continued maintenance of 2.0 tech in the same way they plan for the technologies they pay a small fortune for.”
  •  Library staff can end up abandoning web2.0 projects because they aren’t given enough time to work on then
  •  Before a project is abandoned try to figure out why it didn’t have the impact hoped for – is more promotion needed, are there barriers to usage (difficult to make comments, add content etc), are staff comfortable with the technology, has training been offered
  • Just because a web2.0 technology isn’t a good fit now, doesn’t mean it won’t be in the future (worth remembering!)