Let's be friends.
Hello, Miami University Libraries! It's my sincere hope that I've already had a chance to meet you at least once this past month, but if not, let me just say I am excited to work with you. My name is Nick Kneer, and I began my role as communications specialist at the beginning of March. Part of my responsibilities include managing the Libraries' social media accounts, using them as platforms on which to tell our stories, promote our events, and share our successes. Each month, I want to highlight our campaigns and spontaneity on social media, giving statistics and providing context for how it impacts our work and mission. If you're on Facebook, Instagram, and/or Twitter, I encourage you to follow the Libraries and, if you're so inclined, join the conversation by commenting on or sharing our posts.
Extending beyond our walls
When Valerie Elliott presented a History of Oxford College for Women, we used Facebook Live to extend the Libraries' reach beyond its walls. Facebook Live lets people watch live streaming video on our page as it happens and share their comments in real-time. After we end a broadcast, we can publish the video to our page to be accessed on demand, providing an archive of the presentation.
Ms. Elliott's lecture attracted over 450 viewers on March 14 alone, with several commenting their appreciation and sharing memories. We also helped further a student researcher's work during the event. During the Q&A section, a viewer told us she was researching student government in women's colleges, and we were able to pass along her question about Oxford College for Women's student government to Ms. Elliott. After the event, a staff member with Miami's Western Program asked me to give the viewer her contact information. She had a stack of student government documents from Western College on her desk, yet to be added to the archives, and wanted to assist the researcher.
To date, over 1,200 people have seen our video. A Facebook share by Miami University Alumni Association and retweets from Miami University and the Alumni Association greatly expanded our reach to audiences across campus and the extended Miami community. It was an exciting pilot for Facebook Live, and we're looking forward to broadcasting future events.
Showing our value and relevance
For World Autism Awareness Day on April 2, we wanted to show how the Libraries play an important role in promoting understanding of autism by supporting research. Social sciences librarian Anna Liss Jacobsen connected us with a faculty member and we featured his research, spoke to one of his student research assistants who himself has autism, and talked about the resources and instruction the Libraries provide.
The video has been viewed over 3,200 times across Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. The post itself reached over 12,000 people who, though they may not have watched the entire video, came away with an impression of the work the Libraries are doing.
Social media differs from other marketing platforms in that organizations and brands are able to talk with their audience rather than at them. Humor and playfulness invite engagement and build a reputation of authenticity and relevance. This cultivates an audience who regard us as credible and worth paying attention to, making them more receptive to our messages when we share important news.
We expressed our personality with humor most notably during April Fool's Day and spring break.
On April 1, we published a tongue-in-cheek story about the Libraries' new "24-hour animal loan" service.
We enjoyed a tremendous response, reaching over nearly 2,000 people across Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook with a high engagement rate.
Earlier in March, with campus barren and silent during spring break, we created a 10-second video with a little special effects magic. Audiences appreciated the video by sharing and reacting to it at a high rate -- factors that Facebook and Instagram weigh heavily when curating users' news feeds.
Spreading the news
One of the most tangible and practical uses of social media is promoting our events. Twitter and Facebook serve as great platforms for this, with Facebook providing a "home base" for event information and Twitter most useful on the day of.
Through key retweets from Miami University, two of our tweets about events reached over 6,500 people each the day of the event.
On Facebook, we had particular success with the Women's Read In / Makerspace event. Its page reached over 1,800 people, with 115 clicking through to read the full details and 46 people RSVPing or signing up to receive updates.
Sharing our history
Among our most popular Instagram posts of the past month was a photograph taken in 1907. In celebration of Women's History Month and to promote two of our upcoming events, we drew on the Libraries' archives to share a fascinating photo from the Oxford College for Women. The initial response was excellent, and it was amplified when Miami University reposted our photo and gave us credit, leading to an influx of traffic to our page.
Looking to the future
In future Dean's Updates, I look forward to providing updates on our efforts and successes on social media. I also hope to illustrate the relevance and value our social media platforms represent, and work with all of you to develop content that promotes the Libraries and all that happens within and because of them.