Using the readings and concepts presented in Module 4 as a guide, a draft social marketing strategy (SMS) can be developed for a secondary school library in which I am visiting. The following points are considered:
* Establish goals for the SMS (weekly and yearly) and use these to define the process. Keeping a written record of these goals assists in maintaining focus. Goals will be specific, realistic and be in-line with the relevant policies of the school.
*Ensure adequate time is allocated during the initial stages of social media development and selection of tools. Ongoing attention is needed to maintain an adequate social presence. Time and responsibility needs to be negotiated with members of staff.
*Evaluate the target audience. Teachers, students and parents will all be engaging with the social network therefore it is these groups that will need to find the topics relevant and useful. Further, reading levels, maintaining interest and appealing to a variety of age groups would also need consideration.
* The library budget must meet the ongoing needs of maintaining a social media presence. Whilst the start-up software may not incur a cost, the ongoing maintenance in terms of staff time do need to be included in the strategy.
*Library management will then decide which social media sites to use and what services will be promoted. Most students utilise Facebook therefore this is where the library will reach the greatest number of student users. The library is also able to ensure ‘likes’ rather than ‘friends’, this way updates will reach students via newsfeeds and students do not fear school administration viewing their personal activities.
* Review and assessment is essential in maintaining an effective marketing tool that is responsive to needs and interests across the school. Listening to and engaging with the users will yield valuable feedback that can be utilised when reflecting and reviewing the SMS.