I have been making an effort to be more active on Twitter since the summer of 2014. In that time, the benefit has been a phenomenal growth in my Professional Learning Network (PLN). The largest growth has taken place during the participation in Twitter education chats. It has been wonderful to connect with educators all over the country and world on a consistent basis. The use of Twitter has also driven substantial traffic to this library blog. A blog is an important advocacy tool for libraries since it is a record of our journey. Twitter is also a great advocacy tool because it allows your followers to see snapshots of what you are doing, 140 characters at at time. If you use hashtags that school librarians check frequently, your work will be seen around the country.
A few common school library hashtags:
#tlchat (Teacher Librarian Chat)
#txlchat (Texas Librarian Chat)
#mwlibchat (Midwest Teacher Librarian Chat)
#ndlibchat (North Dakota Librarian Chat)
Why Include Twitter Statistics?
This year I will include my Twitter Analytics to our library end of year report. The reason is simple, it shows a large amount of interaction and outreach. To access your Twitter analytics, visit analytics.twitter.com and sign in with your Twitter account. The tool will show monthly activity and statistics for your Twitter account. Let's take a look at one of the monthly reports:
|A Screenshot from Twitter Analytics|
Twitter Analytics reports my activity for November 2015 in this portion of the page. This report reveals the most viewed and mentioned Tweets for the month. You can also see how many Tweets were sent from my account over that 30 day period. The part of the report that will be of interest to library stakeholders is the "Tweet Impressions". This is how many times Tweets are seen. For November, the Tweets in my account were seen 80,300 times! That is a powerful advocacy tool statistic! I plan to add these statistics up over the course of the school year and share that in the final report at the end of the year. Administrators need to know the impact of our social media activities. This shows the impact of how you are telling the story of your library program and your school to the world! If your analytics aren't high at the beginning of your Twitter experience, that is fine. You should consider reporting any impressions! The more active you are on Twitter, the higher your Tweet impressions will be. Sharing these statistics over time will show growth. Administrators and other stakeholders want to see effective use of social media, and this is a great way to share the impact your library program is making outside of the school walls.
School librarians should also consider including any other measurable social media statistics into their reports for administrators. I will be adding our number of Facebook posts and our library blog statistics to the final report. Anything that shows the evidence of reaching out to tell about library services and stories is powerful. It gives stakeholders a return on their investment! Remember, if we never tell them, how will they know? What you do for your learning community is important... share it!
Check out some thoughts on annual reporting (and an example) here!
New to Twitter? Read Part 1 of an article for newbies here.
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