So far, the tweets of the Family Support and Resource Centre (FSRC) are my favorites. This may have something to do with the fact that there aren’t as many of them, and they are simple, to the point, and written in language that I understand. The FSRC is the library of the BC Children’s Hospital, and all its activities, online and off, occur under the watchful eyes of a SLAIS graduate. So far, the only awkward thing I’m seeing about the FSRC is its name.
You’ll notice on the website that they aren’t making use of a great deal of social media — Twitter, in fact, seems to be all there is. You’ll also notice that the link to Twitter is quite prominent, and that recent tweets are posted in a nice, clean frame to the right of the screen. Not to gush too much, but I love this. It’s a simple thing, but I still think it’s great that users have at least one option for accessing the same news that’s on Twitter without actually joining Twitter. I think it shows that the librarian is thinking about patrons and their ease of access and use. It’s also a nice stroke of organizational savvy, since it doesn’t restrict the information to the Twitter-verse, which may be wide and infinitely expanding but still, isn’t used by everyone.
Other nice touches: shout-outs to new followers, including, when applicable, a suggestion for resources that the new follower might find useful: “@BCRenalAgency Thx for following! Have you seen the list of renal-related pamphlets by BC Children’s?They’re under “U”:bcchildrens.ca/KidsTeensFam/A…”
I’m not sure how the librarian decided to use Twitter and not Facebook or a blog or other social media options. Perhaps I’ll get to ask her at some point. But I do think that, in some cases, deciding on only one or two might be really wise. It certainly makes sense if you have a way of knowing that your patrons are using one service but not another, or if the nature of the information you want to share lends itself to a certain format (an advertisement for and description of an event, followed by a recap, would work well on a blog). But limiting your social media reach offers several benefits:
- It’s cleaner and much less overwhelming for patrons who are a little less tech-savvy.
- Your staff can make full use of the resource, getting to know how it works, what it offers, and who they’re reaching through it. You don’t want to use the shotgun method, signing the organization up for everything and then assuming that, because it’s on, it will have an impact.
- If you’re using something like Twitter, you can feed the news through other platforms, such as your website, and get more bang for your buck without worrying about keeping up with a bunch of different profiles.
Overall, I think the FSRC is a great example of how to use Twitter in a small organization, and also how to balance ease of use with effective use.
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