658.8 – Marketing, Management, Leadership, Libraries

Want to Engage? Just Ask!


En/gage: a) to hold the attention of: <her work engages her completely> b) to induce to participate: <engaged the shy boy in conversation>            

If you are using social media to simply broadcast information about programs and events, you’re missing a huge opportunity to hold the attention of your community and to induce their participation. Social media is all about engagement. Via Facebook, Twitter, and other social platforms you can speak directly to your community, start public conversations, and build relationships. 

You’ve probably heard this all before and thought, “That sounds good, but I have no idea where to start!”  One of the easiest ways to move from broadcasting to engaging is by asking questions.  On my library’s Facebook page, this is one of the most popular types of posts and leads to some of the best and most engaging conversations.

Book-related questions tend to get the most responses:

We go beyond books, too:

We get personal:

Our audience loves participating in these conversations, and I bet yours will, too.  Don’t forget to monitor the conversation once it has started – often people will slip in questions or comments that need a response.  In response to a recent question, a reader mentioned a favorite book of theirs that had been placed in “missing” status in our catalog.  Via the Facebook conversation, we were made aware of the issue, alerted our collection development department, and then responded via Facebook to that patron with a “Thanks for the heads up about this book – a new copy has been ordered and will be back on shelves soon.”

In this case, our Facebook follower got our attention and induced us to participate, and all of our followers saw that we are truly engaged.