Thursday, March 5, 2009

Building a digital identity

I am going to attend a meeting with the Corporate Communications team plus an IT member from our local Regional Council to discuss new ways of marketing in the digital environment next week. For anyone who has read any of my blog posts, you would know that I believe that libraries in general don't market themselves well. I have often commented on other ways we could be doing this using some of the social networking tools that are available at the moment. I love David Lee King's quote from his book 'Designing the Digital Experience': 'Digital Landscapes allow us to invite participation - their goal is to jump start conversations about products and services'. He also talks about the need to invite people to participate with you, your community and your organisation.

Here is a brief outline of the main 5 points I want to share:

Corporate Brand - We can present our brand to not only our local community, but to a state, national and international community of people through social networking. A corporate digital presence allows for viral marketing, hot linking, importing blog posts and uses images to illustrate conversations.

Tools - I am going to concentrate on just three: Facebook, Flickr and Twitter, and talk about their rise to fame, some statistics and how people use them. These tools allow people to create content, participate in real conversations, tell personal stories and create positive, memorable experiences (King 2008).

Community Engagement - These tools allow the free flow of conversation between staff members, between staff and community members and between community members and other interested parties. They also encourage transparency and the feedback provided via community engagement can lead to dynamic 24/7 town hall meetings that take place in digital spaces instead of physical ones. Free and open lines of communication are available to the public, which can only improve our customer service and customer focus. Our Toowoomba is a wonderful example of a local website that encourages community engagement . I would love to see us advertise our events with them! Once the event is registered with them, the link can be used to viral market via Facebook and twitter.

Immediacy - Being in these spaces allows us to create content and deliver it almost immediately. It also allows us to follow up queries or complaints often instantaneously or within a few hours, instead of days or weeks. The information that is pushed is interactive and encourages participation. Kathryn blogged about creating a Netvibes account that pulled in via RSS feeds conversations about their library as way of evaluating services and keeping up to date with what your community is saying about your organisation. This twitter feed is read from the bottom to top:

Economic Boon - In our current economic crisis, the financial outlay for these services is virtually nothing. The tools themselves are all free, and all that is required is a little staff time and effort for a big results.

Many thanks to @dramagirl for her words of wisdom, inspiration and encouragement in helping me put this together. I would also appreciate any feedback that anyone has to offer. Oh, and by the way, the answer to @WazL's question was no!
Thanks for stopping by :-)

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