Brainstorm…how to exploit the zeitgeist, using traditional and social media, in order to market your library

Library Camp 2015The sub-title of this post should, I think, be Diary of a Wimpy Pitcher, such was my fear in advance of pitching at Library Camp 2015! The day itself was such a positive and invigorating experience that my particular fears were most definitely unfounded.

The central premise of my pitch was essentially, thoughts on helping your particular initiative stand out in the ‘white noise’ of social media; with subsidiary themes about the power of brainstorming, and the benefits of exploring, and exploiting the zeitgeist.

What was covered? I hear you ask (with enthusiastic anticipation?!!) Well, here comes the bite-size bullets bit!

  • The marketing tool/vehicle is always in flux, it is the message that is constant and important.
  • Social media can reach saturation point…mix it up!
  • The zeitgeist too is, by its nature, in flux, be aware of it, explore it, harness, and even better, expand it.
  • To social media or not, that is the question…but it is no longer an option. However, social media is not the only kid on the block.
  • It’s about establishing, and re-establishing a relationship with your customer, one initial connection could lead to further use of your library, and its services.
  • Trust your instinct and experience, libraries and librarians are their own ‘usp’.

Some of my brainstorming ideas included:

  • Writing a column for a local/college newspaper
  • Broadcast a slot on local radio re. library initiatives/services (Irish people love radio!)
  • Create a podcast, using the help of local media students.
  • Advertise using a pop-up, or better still, a pop-out installation (all the rage with shops and restaurants at the moment).
  • Create one poster, with an eye-catching theme, or image, post the same image on twitter, facebook, etc. Drip-feed the information, create interest and hype around what it is you are trying to promote.
  • The zeitgeist is nostalgia/vintage/throw-back – create an event around this theme, and use it as an opportunity to show how much the library, and the services, have progressed.

The response to my pitch was very encouraging, and generous. Its purpose in giving the audience pause for thought was, I think, successful. If you are thinking of doing a pitch next year, do it! This particular Wimpy Pitcher had turned Evangelical Library Promoter by the end of the pitch…imploring her congregation to ‘go forth and brainstorm’ as they dispersed!

By Carolanne McPartlan

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