The incredible increase in sales of smartphones and tablets has been well reported, and even if you havent read the news that mobile sales surpassed PC sales two years ago, you certainly have witnessed the growth. Everywhere you look, people are using smartphones to check Facebook, get directions and make dining reservations. Its also not uncommon to see scores of people using tablets or e-readers to read books, shop online or share finds on Pinterest.
Here are a few interesting statistics to consider:
- 78% of the U.S. populations uses the Internet (Meeker)
- 48% of the U.S. use smartphones (Meeker)
- 29% of U.S. adults use tablets (Meeker)
- Half of children are asking for an e-reader or a tablet for Christmas (Meeker)
- 35% of 25-34 year olds prefer social networks for customer care rather than the phone (Nielsen)
- The time spent using mobile apps doubled between July 2011 and July 2012.
For public libraries, this underscores the importance of using social networks, especially mobile-enabled ones, to reach patrons and advocates.
Here are five easy tips that will help you reach a more mobile audience.
- Start pinning on Pinterest
Pinterest has become popular in recent months, and many use it on their tablets. It can be a fun way to add another dimension to reading pinning photos of places where the story takes place, for example. Its also a great way to promote events and art exhibits.
- Snap photos with Instagram
We covered the fundamentals of Instagram in a recent post, but its worth noting that this application is primarily mobile. Be sure to use hashtags and follow and comment on others photos to get the most engagement.
- Claim your library on Foursquare.
This geolocation service allows users to check in and earn points each time they visit your library.
4. Create a business page on Facebook.
Facebook is by far the most used social network, and many young people are tied to it through their smartphones. Having a Facebook page is as essential as having a website.
5. Promote your e-book collection.
According to Meeker, sales of tablets and e-readers have far outpaced that of phones or PCs. She sees a societal trend toward what she calls asset-light, which means that people are replacing hard objects for electronic ones. Extolling the virtues of free, easy access to e-books via the public library will be a win-win for both libraries and patrons.