Sunday, 29 January 2012

CLIC Social Media Event: Using social media at Glamorgan Business School

"How I use social media for networking, current awareness and marketing: supporting staff and students in Glamorgan Business School"

The second of the 30 minute presentations was from Emma Harrison (@glambuslib) about how social media helps her connect with and meet the needs of students at Glamorgan Business School, and included a live Twitter feed (very brave, it is usually during presentations that technology decides to no longer cooperate)

She started with an introduction in to using Twitter for professional reasons.  She pointed out that Twitter helped her with her new job (she's been in the role 15 months) filling in gaps in her knowledge and boosting current awareness.  This was well illustrated as tweets started popping up in her timeline reporting the result of the #savelibraries High Court Appeal.

“What you get out of twitter is who you follow"
She described how she follows over 1,000 people on Twitter, including, librarians, news sites and staff and students at the University of Glamorgan.  As well as creating personal lists, such as a Welsh librarians list and one featuring members of the Business Librarians Association, she also created lists relevant to the subjects taught in Glamorgan Business School, such as marketing or management.

Emma recommends Twitter as a great way to share what you are doing as well as to keep up with what others are doing.
Whilst doing the CPD23 course (discussed later by Karen) she began to think of how she was coming across on Twitter. Her decision was to try to keep it professional and related to business, but also to show she is a human being.  This included looking at the language she used and the style, no text speak, staying professional, and not swearing.  The photo used for her Twitter avatar was taken by a professional photographer (all the librarians at Glamorgan had them done) and is used consistently in any promotional material produced by the University.

She decided to her username would be @glambuslib rather than something more personal so that if she moves on her replacement can keep the account.  This provides consistency for the students.
Emma also discussed how Twitter can be used to help create feelings of community, for example the #latenightlibrarian hashtag is used by librarians working on late night shifts when talking to each other.

She then went on to discuss the other social media tools she uses for work, including;

She also pointed out that although she has a Facebook account she prefers to keep that solely for personal use.

She has a Twitter feed on her LinkedIn account as it makes it seem like she's busier on it than she actually is.
She can use LinkedIn to connect with staff not on Twitter about what she's been doing for the Business School. 

“Reaching far more staff than if sitting in the library waiting for them to ask questions”
The blog allows Emma to post information, rather than emailing it all to staff , instead she can just email them a link to the relevant post and if they are interested they can click the link to learn more but if not just delete it, which saves having to read through long emails that are not of interest.  The blog can also be used as a knowledge bank.  It's a great time saver, for example in dealing with repeat queries, it's possible to send a link to a previous blog post rather than have to write it out again.  Her Twitter feed is also linked to the blog.

Net vibes is used as a repository for subject guides for students with links to resources and information.  They are subject specific, for example, HR management.  They retain the consistency of design, used in other social media tools, professional picture etc. with links to Twitter feed and blog.  Emma uses lists to createTwitter feeds that are subject specific.

She believes that all these social media tools can help with breaking out of the echo chamber.
"Librarians suffer from people not really knowing what we do – using stuff like this (social media) can show what we do".

It can also be helpful to share and connect with the library community, you can compare and share best practice etc

Some of the questions that came up were concerns about having to follow loads of people but Emma pointed out that you don’t have to follow all the ‘list’ people.

The other main concern was how to find the time to fit in all the social media activity.  Emma pointed out that Twitter activity didn't take very long.  It is true that setting everything up can take a while, but once it is up and running it tends to take care of itself.

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