Back in August, West Virginia’s Marion County Public Library System won the “online” category in our 2012 Outreach Program Contest. We invited Michelle Ross, virtual branch manager for MCPLS, to tell us about the library’s approach to marketing its digital collection:
The Marion County Public Library System is always looking for new and exciting ways to market our digital library consortium, West Virginia Downloadable Entertainment Initiative (WVDELI). Many of our patrons did not realize we offer eBooks, despite radio and television advertisements, in-library signage, and programs; patrons that did utilize WVDELI lamented about long waiting lists and the difficulty of sifting through our large amount of titles to find a book they want to read. We needed to draw attention to our eBook service and showcase the hidden gems of our collection at the same time. We arrived at the idea of a social media campaign.
We decided that a daily campaign that spotlights a different eBook every day would effectively grab patrons’ attention and provide much –needed readers’ advisory; we dubbed our campaign, “eBook of the Day.” eBooks are highlighted on our three major social networking pages: Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Using Content Reserve’s Reports feature, we tracked the success of “eBook of the Day.” eBooks that had been featured started showing up in our Patron Interest Report, and within a month the featured titles dominated the top 50 list. Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter never appeared on our Traffic Report before the campaign started, but they are now some of our top traffic resources. An added bonus of the campaign was newfound activity from patrons on our social media pages. We received many likes, comments, follows, retweets, and repins!
The eBook of the Day campaign is still going strong, and we have followed up that success with new campaigns such as “Staff Picks,” more readers’ advisory boards on Pinterest, and the “App of the Week” (one of our first featured apps was OverDrive Media Console). Social media has opened the lines of communication with our patrons and allowed us to share our services easier and faster than ever before!
Melissa Marin is a Marketing & Outreach Specialist at OverDrive.
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