Week 6 Reflect: Social Networking Sites

Social networking sites are more than just marketing channels. Write a post for or against.

Social networking for organisations (such as libraries) definitely has a marketing aspect to it. Social networking sites such as facebook are a great new way for any organisation to promote products, events etc. to anyone who wishes to join up.

However, I believe that social networking also has a significant element of involvement from the person who is being “marketed” to which is something that hasn’t really happened in the past. This allows for people to become involved with an organisation in a way that they have never been able to before. As an example, this week I posted a link to the New York City Library on the class facebook group. NYCL can use this page as a way of promoting events, however people can comment and interact with the library through the page as well, leading to the page not just becoming a marketing tool, but also a community and information hub for anyone around the world with an interest in the New York City Library.

My local library sure doesn’t look like that.

I just love their lions!

I do believe that this kind of social networking for organisations still does fall somewhat under the category of marketing, its just that it’s a very new and different way or marketing from traditional methods, and I think that people are just a bit unsure at present of what it means for organisations and the way that they market themselves.

I do, however, feel that social networking is a great way for organisations to connect with people. Instead of simply putting marketing material out there for people to see (or not see) with social media, marketing can become more of a two way conversation, rather, than just shouting out a message and hoping that the right people hear it.

Essentially I believe that there is certainly a strong marketing element associated with social networking sites, however they also have a community element, and an information element, making them more than just marketing channels.


4 thoughts on “Week 6 Reflect: Social Networking Sites

  1. Enjoyed reading your post! I agree with you Jennifer, platforms like FB work best when it’s a two way conversation. The marketing is almost incidental when you focus on the personal interaction with the user first. The way I remember FB being used by organisations/businesses a couple of years ago (when I was more active on it!) has definitely changed. In the past, there seemed to be a focus on talking about/promoting the orgs. themselves, but now it seems to be about talking to, encouraging and responding to the users that follow them. It’s really interesting to look at the FB pages of libraries like NYPL and see the way they do this so well. Did you check out this link Deb posted on Twitter about upping your social media presence the other day? http://bit.ly/1dFf4eP It’s a good read! Also, a blogger I often check out, Ned Potter, posted tips about using Twitter in libraries recently and how to take it to the next level. He believes you should only tweet about your library one time in four. I think this could apply to something like FB too… 🙂 If you’re interested, Ned Potter’s post is here: http://bit.ly/1dFfdic

    • I love that “only tweet about your library one time in four” idea, forces librarians to have more variety in their tweets. Thanks for the links, I’ll check them out 🙂

  2. Social networking platforms definitely have their place within libraries, it’s true. I’m of the firm opinion that the whole ‘two way conversation’ concept is the future of marketing. I can see a future, however, where the ‘community’ and ‘information’ elements take a backseat to the ‘marketing’ element. Lately Facebook has been spamming me with all sorts of ‘Promoted’ posts advertising products or services I have absolutely no interest in, whereas before the sidebar advertisements were at least tangentially catered to my wants needs. Let’s hope this more intrusive form of social media advertising doesn’t gain a foothold…

    • Yeah, I know what you mean. If companies insist on marketing at me through facebook, they can at least try pushing something I’m actually interested in, rather than “Hey Jennifer! buy our synthetic Lawn!”

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