Businesses have adapted to the social media landscape by offering up prizes and promotions through Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and other applications. Libraries, too, have joined in the mix. Last month, I posted on the COLLIB-L and PUBLIB-L discussion lists looking for ideas that libraries are using with social media. Specifically, I wanted to know what types of promotions, contests, or prizes that libraries do for such activities as:
- Friending the library on Facebook
- Following the library on Twitter
- Checking-in at the library on Foursquare (or becoming “mayor”), or similar check-in apps, etc.
What follows are suggestions and ideas from libraries (and thank you to those that responded!):
- Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore offers free movie rentals to its “mayor” on Foursquare. The library also holds trivia contests periodically through its Twitter account (one of the best public library Twitter pages, IMHO!) and Facebook page.
- McCain Library at Agnes Scott College in Georgia holds regular “Tuesday Trivia” contests. Trivia questions are posted to the library’s blog, and also promoted through its Facebook page. The library director told me, “Questions are posted on Tuesdays and the first person with the correct answer wins prizes such as donated theatre tickets, coffee shop gift cards, flash drives/similar swag collected at conferences, etc.”
- A public library in California is also thinking of doing a trivia contest. For example, a monthly trivia contest might ask patrons to search the library’s online databases for the answer, and post it to the library’s Facebook page. Winners would receive a prize, or be entered in a raffle.
- Mudd Library at Lawrence University in Wisconsin has experimented with posing questions on its Facebook page and sending prizes via campus mail to those who answer (prizes such as carabineers, mugs, and notebooks). On Foursquare, the library runs a check-in promotion with users: anyone checking in three times at the library on Foursquare wins a mini-notebook and pen.
- The Orange County Library System in Florida is offering a special on Foursquare: checking in 5 times at the same OCLS library (in April & May) gets you a “Go Green” reusable bag.
- The Kansas City Public Library (another one my fave public library’s on Twitter) held a Twitter Trivia Contest relating to famous catchphrases and slogans that complimented a lecture at the library by an author who writes on the same topic. Winners received a copy of the author’s book. Also, check out their promotion/contest via Facebook and Twitter to meet LeVar Burton. Great ideas!
- McMaster University Library in Canada attracted new followers to its Twitter account by sponsoring a contest where users tweet how they use the library. Winner received an external hard drive as a prize.
- Provo City Library in Utah sponsored a Facebook contest relating to an author that was speaking at the library. Users were asked to post a Facebook comment about the author & why they liked the book. Winner received tickets to the author’s lecture and a collection of books.
- The DiMenna-Nyselius Library at Fairfield University in Connecticut sponsors a Library Photo Contest in support of National Library Week. One aim is to gain friends on their Facebook page through the contest.
- Gleeson Library at the University of San Francisco offers a “mayor” special on Foursquare: a “snazzy no-spill coffee mug.”
- As for prizes, I was contacted by In My Book, which makes bookmarks. Worth a look!
Does your library offer any promotions or specials with Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, or other social media applications? What kinds of of prizes or “freebies” do you pass out? Post it to the comments section below!