The campaign: Reading Month in March + a contest for the best BookFace = prizes and fun that anyone can do.
The team: Our social media superheroes, library marketing team and a lot of fun loving staff.
The plan: Create a hashtag we can use to track entries, promote it via all social media channels, pick our top 5 and let voting via social media happen to determine the top 3 entries. We also updated a webpage dedicated to all of the entries with new ones every few days. For voting we created a unique hashtag for each of the five finalists and tallied their use as votes after a week.
We wanted to have a book/movie tie in and as luck would have it Insurgent was coming out in late March! Quickly we put together some prizes - gift cards to the coffee shop in our building and the local movie theater was willing to give us 4 run of engagement passes for Insurgent. Next we created our own hashtag (#CmichBookFace) and got a few students and staff to let us take their pictures to begin the promotions.
Soon, we put together some flyers, a book cart full of great books to use and set them out on the floor while we began promoting via social media, our website and the digital message boards in our building. But wait, we had even MORE great ideas! Inspired by something we had seen at another library, we utilized some kiosk software we already owned, plus and iPad and created the "Selfie Station" that users could take their BookFace photo with right in our building. We set it up along with the cart of books and example prints. We even took the selfie station mobile one afternoon along with a book cart and managed to get a few dozen students to participate right in our corridor.
In all we received over 120 BookFace submissions which were fantastic and we also got some great feedback along the way. In the end, we felt it was a successful campaign that was fun but we also learned some great lessons too.
- We got lots of interaction even from those who didn't submit a photo.
- We got noticed by people who don't follow us as well as other entities on campus.
- Our own staff got involved and had a lot of fun with it.
- Our timing was terrible because we didn't look at the academic calendar while planning things. We started it the week before Spring Break which was also midterms - the students didn't pay much attention. The next week being Spring Break, they REALLY didn't pay any attention. Out of the 3 weeks we ran it, two of them were pretty much a bust.
- We didn't do enough promotion via our own social media channels and came across ideas after the fact that we will utilize next time.
- Physical promotion and marketing were as powerful as online in this case. Taking the selfie station mobile was a HUGE hit and we should take it on the road across campus next time.
In all, this campaign was fun, easy and cheap to do and is something we are already planning to run again during the upcoming school year. With the lessons learned, we'll make this one even better.
(You can see the end results at http://library.cmich.edu/BookFace)
How does your Library utilize Social Media? Got any great ideas to share? I would love to hear how you are engaging your patrons!