“With its rich collection of online storytelling videos for parents and kids, Story Box Library becomes a powerful tool in sparking a love for reading and storytelling. It allows libraries to continue engaging with local families, even when they are not physically present at the library.”

Story Box Library recently spoke with Jonathan Salmon, Library Communications and Promotions Officer from Port Phillip Libraries in Victoria, on how librarians can enhance their social media presence and engage with their patrons. Incorporating Story Box Library into programs at services at Port Phillip, and using downloadable resources, including shareable images and tiles, Jonathan shares his best tips and tricks on promoting Story Box Library to engage library patrons with reading, plus how to make the most of social media to connect with the broader community.

1/ How do you use Story Box Library’s social media ready-to-use assets on Instagram and Facebook? 

Having ready made assets supplied to us in libraries is so important, as it gives us more time to focus on crafting the message. Having variety also means that our audience is not seeing the same content on two different channels. We typically point to the wider collection of Story Box Library but it's very useful during special events like ANZAC Day to be able to highlight specific parts of the collection. 

As we are also seeing the nature of social media change, with reels or 30 second videos becoming much more popular it would be great to look at creating specific videos for significant days like IDAHOBIT Day, Reconciliation Week or Science Week.

2/ When writing a caption, what are some strategies you use to promote the use of Story Box Library to your library community? For example CTA, links, hashtags, tone, length.

  • Firstly, it is crucial to include a clear call-to-action (CTA) that prompts users to explore Story Box Library. This should be as simple as a link to the library's website to access Story Box Library. The CTA should be concise, compelling, and easily actionable.
  • To increase visibility and reach, we try to incorporate relevant hashtags that resonate with the library's target audience. Hashtags like #StoryBoxLibrary, #DigitalStorytelling, or #LibraryKids to help attract users who are specifically interested in these topics.
  • In terms of tone, we always try to maintain a friendly and enthusiastic voice throughout all our posts. As a library, we want to be as easy to read and positive as possible.

3/ After posting on social media, what can librarians do to further their interaction with their online community?

Social media is just that, social. Conversation and interaction is essential to driving engagement and is most easily achieved through creating content that encourages interaction. Book lovers love talking about books so this can be hugely successful if done consistently.

Another driver of engagement is hyperlocal content such as recommendations or Q & A opportunities with library staff. At Port Phillip Libraries we have a fantastic resource in our Children’s and Youth Team who can provide expert advice for engaging young readers. The importance of connecting our reading community (and the broader online reading community) to our librarians cannot be understated. 

The online world is different to in person, but we in libraries look at it as another way of connecting people to reading, regardless of where they are.

4/ What are your top three tips when sharing on Instagram and Facebook?

  1. Have your own voice and tone, be yourself, be different.

  1. A great picture is sometimes worth more than text, thus the old expression, a picture tells 1,000 words.

  1. A reel is literally 1,000 pictures. Video is a very powerful method for communicating, it doesn’t always need to be 100% professional if it captures a moment perfectly.

5/ How can libraries benefit from sharing the promotional assets digital resources, like Story Box Library, create for engaging communities?

Libraries benefit greatly from sharing the promotional assets of digital resources like Story Box Library. With its rich collection of online storytelling videos for parents and kids, Story Box Library becomes a powerful tool in sparking a love for reading and storytelling. It allows libraries to continue engaging with local families, even when they are not physically present at the library.

We recognise the immense importance of reading for early literacy and child development. Story Box Library provides an exciting and interactive experience that goes beyond traditional book borrowing, offering our libraries an opportunity to provide valuable resources in a digital format. By incorporating Story Box Library into our offerings, we enhance our early literacy initiatives and provide a platform for children and parents to explore the world of stories together.

Furthermore, the online nature of Story Box Library content allows us to foster a community via our social media channels. By sharing these assets, we not only showcase the diverse range of online subscriptions available through the library but also encourage users to delve deeper into the digital collection. This ensures that our library remains relevant and accessible to our community, especially as the target group of parents with young children is constantly evolving.

Over the years, Story Box Library has become a beloved resource for our community. However, with the turnover of our target group, it is crucial to have a well-defined promotional strategy in place. By consistently promoting and highlighting the benefits of Story Box Library, we ensure that parents are aware of this valuable resource and can readily access the engaging and educational content it offers.

How to use Story Box Library’s social media promotional assets in 3 short steps:

  1. Download ready-to-use promotional assets and resources here

  1. Write a compelling caption for your audience and include a call-to-action (CTA) to direct your patrons to library resources 

  1. After posting to your feed, share it to your story for optimal engagement and reach!