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Fishing in a Barrel: Facebook as an Outreach and Marketing Tool for Academic Libraries. Shannon Kealey Reference Associate Coles Science Center NYU Bobst Library. OR…. Fishing in a Barrel with a Knot in the Line:.

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Fishing in a Barrel: Facebook as an Outreach and Marketing Tool for Academic Libraries

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Fishing in a barrel facebook as an outreach and marketing tool for academic libraries l.jpg

Fishing in a Barrel:Facebook as an Outreach and Marketing Tool for Academic Libraries

Shannon Kealey

Reference Associate

Coles Science Center

NYU Bobst Library


Fishing in a barrel with a knot in the line l.jpg

OR…

Fishing in a Barrel with a Knot in the Line:

Using Facebook for Outreach and Marketing Despite Increasingly Strict “Anti-Spam” Policies


What is facebook l.jpg

What Is Facebook?

  • Social networking web site for anyone whose institution has a network—began for college students

  • You are only able to view the profiles of others within your network

    • When you create a Facebook account, your email address (in my case, shannon.kealey@nyu.edu) determines your network (or barrel!)


The project 1 created a profile l.jpg

The Project: 1) Created a Profile


2 sent messages to 1 688 nyu students who claim science concentrations on their facebook profiles l.jpg

2)Sent messages to 1,688 NYU students who claim science concentrations on their Facebook profiles


3 created a group and invited students to join l.jpg

3) Created a “Group” and invited students to join


4 created events to advertise speakers etc l.jpg

4) Created “Events” to advertise speakers, etc.


5 created flyer that links to event l.jpg

5) Created “Flyer” that links to “Event”


Limitations of the project l.jpg

Limitations of the Project

  • Until you establish a “Group” there is no way to mass email students in your network

    • Workarounds:

      • Use reasonably priced Facebook “Flyers”

  • Facebook actively discourages Spam (such as my message campaign)

    • Workarounds:

      • Rotate between several versions of your introductory message

      • Send a message every 20 minutes or so rather than one immediately after another (a campaign like mine is practially impossible now)


Data tracked l.jpg

Data Tracked

  • Name, class year, concentration(s), and gender of each student contacted (1,688 total students)

  • Communication received by students

    • Positive replies to initial message with and without reference questions (76 students)

    • Negative replies to initial message(1 student)

    • Requests for appointments (2 students)

    • Students who added me as a friend (30 students)

    • Students who joined the “Coles Science Center Group” (76 students)

    • Total Positive Response: 121 students


Analysis of data l.jpg

Analysis of Data

  • Overall positive response rate

    • 121/1688= 7.17%

  • Highest positive response rates by

    • Concentration

    • Class year


Positive response by concentration l.jpg

Positive Response by Concentration


Positive response by class year l.jpg

Positive Response by Class Year


Conclusions l.jpg

Conclusions

  • Students entering their sophomore year were most responsive to outreach (44% of respondents)

  • Students entering their freshman year were second-most responsive (28% of respondents)

  • Pre-Med students were most responsive to outreach (27% of respondents)

  • Very few students were irritated by my presence on Facebook (1 respondent)


Since the initial outreach l.jpg

Since the Initial Outreach…

  • Promote presence on FB to students in BI classes (1 in 10 adds me as a friend or asks a question through FB)

  • Promote to students on IM reference (1 in 5 adds me as a friend)

  • Two out of 30 attendees at a Coles Science Center speaker event learned of the event through advertising on Facebook (Flyer & Event).


Plans for continued use of fb l.jpg

Plans for Continued Use of FB

  • Advertise presence on FB to students during BI and IM reference sessions

  • Conduct message campaign to incoming freshmen in Aug 2007

  • Continue to use Events and Flyers to market library events to students


Questions to consider l.jpg

Questions to Consider

  • Would outreach have been more successful during the school year?

  • Will students continue to contact me through Facebook when they have questions?

    • So far, this has only happened on three occasions


Slide18 l.jpg

FACEBOOK ME!!!

Shannon Kealey

Reference Associate

Coles Science Center

NYU Bobst Library

Shannon.Kealey@nyu.edu


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