By Sean Smith, Maryland and Washington DC Chapters, Legal and Pharmaceutical & Health Technology Divisions
Libraries that are increasing their online presence—building information portals, intranets and other online resources—frequently come up against a new kind of challenge: How to effectively drive usage of online resources? This can be especially challenging for libraries that have limited marketing resources or experience.
Believe it or not, this is the exactly the dilemma that Mark Zuckerberg and Eduardo Saverin faced just seven years ago when they founded Facebook on a shoestring budget.
I just published an article on The Huffington Post entitled, How Facebook Really Won the Social Media War: Viral Marketing Lessons from The Social Network. The article examines how a couple of college students, with almost no resources, marketing budget or staff launched and built the most successful social networking Web site ever. More importantly, the article demonstrates the viral marketing lessons that information professionals can learn from watching “The Social Network.”
The lessons include:
- Why having the right email lists is critically important to a successful launch;
- Why it is more effective to reach “influencers” or trendsetters than to try to reach the entire universe;
- How one email got more than 5,000 to register for Facebook in the first two weeks; and
- What time-tested marketing strategy is the real secret of Facebook’s phenomenal success?
Click here to read the full article.
Driving usage of online resources is by no means easy, but as “The Social Network” shows, with some planning, patience and perseverance, information professionals can learn to effectively drive usage to online resources. However, most SLA members have the added advantage of marketing to an internal audience with shared business objectives. The challenge, therefore, becomes how to identify specific audiences within the organization and find clever and fresh ways to capture their attention and engage them.
I encourage you to use this forum to share stories about any clever and fresh marketing ideas that you have tried to boost online information resource usage. Please leave a comment below or email me.
Sean Smith is Director of Marketing for InfoDesk, Winner: 2011 CODiE Award for “Best Business Information Resource“. InfoDesk specializes in information management solutions that help integrate, deliver and share content resources more quickly, cost effectively and securely. Follow Sean Smith on Twitter or email him directly with questions or comments at email@example.com.