Presentation Outline

Social Media Background

(Online) Community Research

Un-marketing with Social Media

MSU Social Media Surveys

Fall 2013, Fall 2014


2013                                           2014

“If [social site] can help cultivate a brand that expands beyond books, students may discover that the library is more relevant and approachable than previously perceived, and a valued part of their personal networks.” 

Phillips, 2011



“Be Interesting, Be Interested.”

Glazer, 2012


Research Question

How is community formed?

Community Analysis


Action-Object Mapping

User Type Data

Interaction Analysis


Focus Groups

Survey Data

Group 1

Automated Tweet content 

Low responsiveness 

No dedicated personnel 

No programmatic approach

Twitter as a broadcast platform

Action-Object Mapping

Group 1 Median Interaction Rate 


Group 2

Original and unique content 

High responsiveness 

Dedicated personnel 

Programmatic approach

Twitter as an interactive platform

Group 2 Median Interaction Rate 


Interaction Rate Increase 

Group 1 → Group 


Group 1 → Group 2

Strategic Social Media Program

Social Media Plan

Realize mission of the university

Build and engage community

MSU Library Social Media Guide

  1. Audience Focus 
  2. Goal
  3. Values 
  4. Tone and Tenor 
  5. Activity Focus 
  6. Posting Frequency 
  7. Posting Categories
  8. Posting Personnel 
  9. Assessment

Audience Focus

Undergraduate and graduate students

Other MSU units/departments

Library and information professionals and organizations


Build an (online) community 

Form partnerships 

Engage and connect 

Increase awareness 





Activity Focus, Tone and Tenor

Information sharing

Social interaction

Welcoming, warm, cheerful, energetic tone

Posting Frequency

 Post daily at minimum

Regular monitoring of subsequent interactions

No automatic posting


Quantitative Data

Qualitative Data

"Organizations are sort of notoriously bland on their social media accounts, because everything you say represents the entire organization and it’s very hard to be edgy or funny when you have the organization’s face attached to it."

-Student focus group feedback

“On Facebook I think of it much more as a community, because it’s more   interactive and personal that way. Twitter for me is more receiving information. It doesn’t feel community-based, more networked-based.”

- Student Focus Group

 “. . . a Twitter account that was more than just updating you on events, but that was more inviting you in and creating that community.”

 - Student focus group feedback

"I never expected to have established personal connections with people on Tumblr, but I ended up doing it. That was pretty cool."

- Student focus group feedback

“If you have a Twitter account, you have to give people a reason to follow you. I think a lot of entities at MSU don’t understand that. The library does an awesome job. You guys give people a reason to follow you. You’re responsive. You’re clever. Interesting. And it’s not just event updates. And I’m serious. I really admire all of the social media at the library.”

— Student Focus Group

Q: How important is the idea of personality for social media? 

A: It’s essential. 

A: It’s huge. Which again, I think, coming back to campus and coming back to the library, the library has personality, and that’s why people follow it.

- Student focus group feedback

Social Media at the MSU Library

Group 1 → Group 2

New content 

New interactions 

New connections 

New community 

New value for the library?


Relationship Building Hard Selling

How do you build relationships 

with your community?

Identify your community 



Deliver value

Talking At

Talking With

Social media is not for our 

community to listen to us 

Social media is for us to listen 

to our community

Listen to your community

Connect with point-of-need value

Connection -> Community

A community that will see your value, relate to your personality, and use your resources and services

Social media as more 

than a marketing tool

Social media as a 

community-building tool


Scott Young 

Doralyn Rossmann


By Scott W. H. Young


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