Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Do you Tweet?

I'm sure you have all noticed our Twitter feed on the right hand side of this blog - what do you think?  Consulting Services has been tweeting to promote library services to your patrons.  We'll tweet about new services, databases, new books, library events, unique collections etc. - all you have to do is tell your patrons about it!

Even though Consulting Services is tweeting on your library's behalf, you can tweet too!  Using Twitter is a great way to let your patrons know what's new at your library.  Let me share a few Twitter tips that I picked up at Netspeed 2009.

If you're a seasoned twit, these tips won't be new to you, but if you've only recently become a twit, read on! :)

Retweet: Taking a Twitter message someone else posted and rebroadcasting that message to your followers.  For example, to retweet something that we tweeted, type: RT @ABlibrarians Can't think what to read next? Novelist can help!  Access Novelist with your library card: http://bit.ly/3tGrGB .
The "RT" lets readers know that this is a retweet and the "@ABlibrarians" gives us credit for it.

Hashtags:  Hashtags help to organize and "tag" information on Twitter - think of them as adding subject terms to a database.  Hashtags make it easier to follow a specific topic, event or geographical location, for example.
Create a hashtag by adding a hash symbol (#) to the front of an appropriate keyword in your Twitter update (for example #libraries).
Twitter updates that contain a valid hashtag are indexed on Hashtags.org, and have RSS feeds available.  This allows you to subscribe to a certain hashtag and receive updates whenever it is mentioned.  So, if you subscribed to  #libraries you could follow what people were saying about libraries on Twitter.  Neat huh?

Okay, there's more to learn about Twitter and how it can help to promote you library, but I think that's enough for today.  Visit www.twitter.com, sign up for an account (if you haven't already) and practice retweeting and using hashtags.

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