Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Publicising Your Facebook Presence

I had another enquiry this week from another university about Facebook. This time I was asked about how we have gained so many fans for Warwick Library, and how we have publicised our Facebook presence.

There are 2 issues here, one is publicity and one is the product being publicised.

I'll add another post later about making your Public Profile more attractive to your potential fans, but for the moment, let's have a quick look at publicity. . .

As far as how we have flagged up our presence the main points are as follows:

  • Put slides on our main foyer plasma screen to advertise our Public Profile
  • Put a note on the front page of our web site with a link
  • I have added a link to our public profile from my own email signature and I use this signature when emailing students – see below (I have not asked other members of staff to do this, but there is no reason why you shouldn't)
  • Mentioned our Facebook presence on our blogs and Twitter account
  • Informed all Library staff, in all departments (via our regular e-bulletin) about our Facebook presence so they can mention it to students
  • Contacted the Student's Union and asked them to link to our Facebook profile from theirs– especially during fresher's week when they are trying to get all kinds of info out to new students (You may find that your students union sets up a new fresher's Facebook group or page each year aimed at the new intake of students – you need to find these each year and contact the administrators)
  • Mentioned our Facebook presence in Student-Staff liaison committee meetings, student induction sessions and information skills sessions etc.
  • I'm also considering finding other Warwick departments on Facebook and adding them to the Library "Pages favourites" to see if they return the favour, (the equivalent – following other Warwick departments and them following us in return - works well on Twitter)

But do be aware that not all of our fans are in our target audience – we have also acquired a fair number of librarian fans from other universities who are just watching the project. I keep thinking that at some point I should actually try to work out how many of our fans are Warwick members, but it would take a while to do, and the demographic information we get from Facebook anyway does indicate that the majority of our fans (57%) are in the 18-24 age range, so I'm assuming they are our own students.

And now there is also the option to have a recognisable web address, (or "username") so we have moved to http://www.facebook.com/WarwickUniLibrary which is much easier to add to web pages etc. and easier for your users to remember and find.

If you had fewer than 1000 fans on the 31st of May 2009 you will become eligible for a username on Sunday June 28th. If you had over 1000 fans on 31st May you should be able to claim a username for your public profile now.

Has anyone publicised their Facebook presence in other ways?

Or found particular methods more or less useful than others?

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