How To Use Instagram To Share Your Library’s Story

Social media is playing a significant role in helping libraries stay relevant in our ever-growing digital society. Just as they are leading the charge in digital equity. As part of our Libraries Online series, we’re sharing ways that libraries can use social media to connect to their community and promote library services. This blog will focus on the Instagram platform and how to use its visual layout to share your library’s story.

Using Instagram for your library is a great way to share content, engage patrons, and promote your library’s services. Instagram is all about storytelling through pictures. And libraries are full of stories to tell! Using visual content on the Instagram platform allows your patrons to discover what your library has to offer, and gives them a way to share library services they use with their followers. 

We like Instagram for its visual platform that allows for high engagement. The ‘Instagram Live’ feature is great for programs like online storytime or DIY tutorials. And these can be saved in your profile ‘highlights’ for later reference and easy patron access. 

6 Ways To Use Instagram To Share Your Library’s Story

1. Share Your Services

Your library has a lot to offer and sharing this using visual images is a great opportunity. Take photos of your curbside pick-up signs with instructions on how to do it. Or photos of the library staff helping patrons with services. Does your library offer free WiFi and park benches? Show us. Brainstorm all of the services you offer note how a patron would access them, and then show your followers with pictures while describing with words. 

2. Showcase The Library Space

While patrons may not be spending as much time inside the library these days, you can still show off the wonderful view of aisles of books or displays. Make sure patrons know where to go pick up the books they reserved online, or how to use the office services. Once your library is fully open to the public, showcase the children’s area, meeting rooms, computers, work desks, and other areas patrons use often so the community knows what they have available. 

 3.  Show Off Your Books

This is an area of endless content for libraries. Show off your books, book bundles, special displays, anything creative you can think of. Share new books, old collections, and popular titles. Showcasing your books will help patrons discover something great.

 4. Share Behind The Scenes

Feature the library staff doing what they do best and give patrons an idea of the work that goes into creating library magic. It could be interesting to understand more about exactly what librarians do and a way to help patrons learn about the services your library offers. 

 5. Create Interest With A Sneak Peak

If you have a new release coming to your shelves, a new resource available, a new program, or an upcoming event, offer a sneak peek to create a buzz or generate curiosity. This is a great way to show your library keeps it fresh and offers new and exciting things for patrons. 

6. Stay Engaged

Instagram is all about building community, connecting with patrons, and showing what your library has to offer them. As you build your online community, it’s important to stay engaged online. This means responding to comments on your posts and replying to direct messages. Come up with a hashtag for your library so you can search for those and when patrons use it in their own posts, like and repost their content. If someone tags your library account, like and comment on that post. These online actions communicate to your patrons you’re paying attention to them. 

Make Sure Patrons Know About Your Instagram

You can’t share your library’s story without an audience. For your library’s Instagram account to be effective, you need to have an audience. How do you get an audience? The way to grow your Instagram account is the same as any social media account, first, you need to tell people about it. An easy way to get the message out is to put your Instagram information on any printed and online materials you have. Create signs to post inside the library and in the windows with your social media account information. Give your patrons a reason to connect with you online. What do they get out of it? Are there online storytimes for kids? Will there be a virtual craft tutorial with materials available for pick-up at the library? Is this the best way to receive information and updates about what services are available at the library? Whatever it is, state that in your promotional materials. 

Many of our partner libraries have adopted an online programming model that helps provide continuation of services for patrons in place of in-person gatherings. It’s uncertain when we’ll resume programming indoors, and it could vary by location, so creating connections online will only strengthen the ties to your community. And, you have the potential to reach even more people since there’s no maximum capacity for online programming. 

Staying connected to your community is important. If your library would like to learn more about how to maximize your WiFi services to enhance programming and more, schedule a demo today.