NLS Operations Alert


No. 16-54


DATE          :    May 20, 2016

TO                :    Network Libraries

FROM         :    Jane Caulton, Head, Publications and Social Media

SUBJECT   :    Network Library Toolkit tips: Using social media to spread the word



This message—part of our monthly series of Network Library Toolkit tips—focuses on the best ways to use social media to spread the word about the braille and talking book program and your network library. If your library doesn’t have a Facebook or Twitter account, that’s OK—you can still use toolkit items for your other online platforms.


Writing Your Social Media Content


Make sure content is relevant to your audiences and conversational in tone. Look at the Sample Social Media Posts (on page 31 of the toolkit guidebook) for some examples. Content might include:



Use calls to action. Words and phrases such as “learn more,” “visit,” “like,” “comment,” and “share” encourage fans and followers to take action after they’ve read your content.


“Tag” NLS and partner organizations when you mention them. This brings those organizations and their audiences into the conversation, giving them the opportunity to read and interact with your content. To mention another account in one of your Facebook posts or tweets, follow these steps:


  1. Type “@” in the status box.
  2. Begin typing the organization’s name.
  3. From the related accounts that the platform automatically populates, select the correct organization, which will then appear in your post.


Use appropriate hashtags. To join existing conversations on social media, include hashtags that people are already using. For example, if you are posting about a book festival at your library, you could include a hashtag with the festival name (#YourLibraryBookFestival). When appropriate, use the NLS #ThatAllMayRead hashtag in your posts or tweets so that others can follow and add to the conversation. 


Include images. Photos and graphics attract the reader’s attention, making your posts and tweets stand out. (Be sure to briefly describe the content of any images in your post or tweet for fans and followers who are blind or visually impaired.)


Determining Your Social Media Strategy


Schedule your posts and tweets. If you make a plan, such as a monthly social media content calendar, then you can make sure your content is balanced and doesn’t repeat


itself. You can also schedule posts and tweets to align with holidays or seasons to make them more timely and relevant.


Engage with your audience. Ask relevant questions for your fans and followers to answer. You could ask, “What is your favorite braille or talking book? Comment on this post to share.” Good content sparks a conversation.


Share or retweet other organizations’ posts and tweets. Share content from NLS or your partner organizations to make your posts and tweets more diverse. (This also supports your partner organizations by spreading their content to a wider audience.)


Monitoring Engagement on Your Social Media Platforms


Watch how your audiences engage with your content. Do they like certain posts more than others? Which types of posts see the most comments and shares? Monitor your accounts daily and respond to comments and questions in a timely fashion.


Using Toolkit Items for Your Other Online Platforms


No social media, no problem! Even if your network library doesn’t have a social media account, you can use items from the toolkit to support other types of online content—such as e-newsletters and websites. Use the Sample Newsletter Item (on page 8 of the guidebook) to help you write an article about your network library and the Web Badges (page 11) to link to NLS on your site. 


We hope you found this info useful. If you haven’t already, “like” NLS on Facebook to stay up to date on information about the braille and talking book program. Then be sure to stay tuned for next month’s email, which will help you plan and host a webinar!


If you have questions, please email them—along with your full name and the name of your library—to [log in to unmask].


Important Links


Toolkit guidebook:

Links to toolkit files:

That All May Read microsite:

NLS Facebook page:

Campaign email address: [log in to unmask]

Webinar recording:


For more information contact:

Jane Caulton

Head, Publications and Media Section

[log in to unmask]