‘Picture’ yourself ahead of the competition - Your guide to using Instagram for your Library!

Over the past two decades, libraries across the world have experienced a shift. Knowledge has been increasingly digitized, and anyone with a smart phone or computer has instant access to the information they desire. Now more than ever, libraries must find ways to adapt if they want to stay relevant in the digital age. Using Instagram to promote your library is a great way to connect with 21st Century customers, and it’s easier than you think.

They say a picture says a thousand words, and if you’re looking to engage with a new generation, there’s no better platform than Instagram. All you need to get started is a smart phone or any device with a camera.

Instagram is an online platform designed specifically for the sharing of photos and small videos. People are able to see and interact with the images you post by either leaving a comment or a like. Because of its popularity, organisations can use Instagram to generate interest and promote their products and services.

Creating an Instagram account for your library is a new and exciting way to capture the attention of your community and draw in a new stream of people – and hopefully new customers. So let’s get started.

Setting Up Your Account

The first thing you’ll want to do is set up an account that uses the same name as your library. After that, edit your profile, providing the relevant information and upload your logo as the profile picture. Now you’re ready to begin.

 

Taking Photos

There are a million different ways you can share the experience of your library.

Whether it’s a new book in stock, an upcoming event, or even the mess left beside the toy station, set your sights on a point of interest and take a photo. Try to be creative and take a photo that interests you. One image post per day is more than enough to get you started.

 

Hashtags

Before you upload, it’s important that you nail the description. Adding hashtags to your image allows people to find your photo alongside others in the same category.

It’s always smart to research the most popular hashtags for your brand. By doing so, you can determine which hashtags provide the most engagement for your post.

Here’s a quick list of popular library-related hashtags you can use to get started:

  • #librariesofinstagram
  • #librarylife
  • #library
  • #instabooks
  • #bookish
  • #bookstagram

Use about 3-5 for each post.

After adding the hashtags, make sure to leave a purposeful description for the image, and then post it!

 

Interaction

After sending out a piece of your library to the rest of the online world, it’s important to check in on the status of your post for the next 30 mins. Make sure you reply to anyone kind enough to leave a comment, because having an active connection with your followers is the best way to maintain engagement.

Now that you’re successfully using Instagram to create an online presence for your library, you have the ability to promote and forge interest in a whole host of creative ways.

Try using the platform to announce any news or upcoming events. Take a picture of the flyer, create your own hashtag and add a personalised message from your team.

Try taking your audience behind the scenes. Post a picture unboxing new stock, or take a snap of the technician as they label the new books.

When people can see that your library is a living, breathing and functioning environment, there’s no reason for them to stay away.

Gaining a following won’t happen overnight, but with a little persistence, you now have a way to connect with a whole digital demographic of people previously untapped.

For some great ideas on how you can use Instagram for your book clubs or your library, check out the following…

Happy Instaposting!

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