Social Media 



Angela Tate


Doralyn Rossmann


Mary Anne Hansen


Scott Young



Social Media Background
Online Communities


MSU Social Media Surveys

Fall 2013, Fall 2014


2013 2014

“If [social site] can help cultivate a brand that expands beyond books, students may discover that the library is more relevant and approachable than previously perceived, and a valued part of their personal networks.”

Phillips, 2011

“Be Interesting, Be Interested.”

Glazer, 2012

Social Media Community Building

Social Media is a 

new(er) & growing

channel of 


What is enabled?

Sharing Web Content

Building Online Communities 

Identify your community

Engage your community

Getting Started

Create guidelines and goals

Develop relationships through social media that will ultimately allow our community to discover a library that is more relevant, approachable, valuable, and vital, with resulting increases in foot traffic, virtual and in-person reference interactions, and overall awareness and use of library services and library resources.

Getting Started

Identify yourself consistently

MSU Library Social Media

                  Facebook: Montana State University Library
                 Google+ : Montana State University Library
                  Pinterest: Montana State University Library
                  Twitter: MSU Library
                  Tumblr: MSU Library
                  YouTube: MSU Library
                   Instagram: MSU Library

Getting Started

Develop of program of engagement

MSU Library Social Media Guide

  1. Audience Focus
  2. Goal
  3. Values
  4. Tone and Tenor
  5. Activity Focus
  6. Posting Frequency
  7. Posting Categories
  8. Posting Personnel
  9. Assessment

Excerpt from the MSU Library Social Media Guide

Excerpt from the MSU Library Social Media Guide

Getting Started

Measure your progress

Social Media 

Data Management



Twitter Analytics

"Organizations are sort of notoriously bland on their social media accounts, because everything you say represents the entire organization and it’s very hard to be edgy or funny when you have the organization’s face attached to it."

Student Focus Group

“On Facebook I think of it much more as a community, because it’s more interactive and personal that way. Twitter for me is more receiving information. It doesn’t feel community-based, more networked-based.”

Student Focus Group

“. . . a Twitter account that was more than just updating you on events, but that was more inviting you in and creating that community.”

Student Focus Group

"I never expected to have established personal connections with people on Tumblr, but I ended up doing it. That was pretty cool."

Student Focus Group

“If you have a Twitter account, you have to give people a reason to follow you. I think a lot of entities at MSU don’t understand that. The library does an awesome job. You guys give people a reason to follow you. You’re responsive. You’re clever. Interesting. And it’s not just event updates. And I’m serious. I really admire all of the social media at the library.”

Student Focus Group

Q: How important is the idea of personality for social media?

A: It’s essential.

A: It’s huge. Which again, I think, coming back to campus and coming back to the library, the library has personality, and that’s why people follow it.

- Student focus group feedback

Getting Started

Create guidelines and goals

Identify yourself consistently

Develop a program of engagement

Measure your progress

Have fun! 


Relationship Building > Hard Selling

How do you build relationships

with your community?

Identify your community



Deliver value

Talking At

Talking With

Social media is not for our

community to listen to us

Social media is for us to listen

to our community

Listen to your community

Connect with point-of-need value

Connection -> Community

A community that will see your value, relate to your personality, and use your resources and services

Social media as more

than a marketing tool

Social media as a

community-building tool

Discussion Questions

What is the climate at your library & your institution?

What are the best ways for your library to grow and engage your community online?

How can you measure and evaluate your progress?