At ALA Annual 2014, I participated in a photo scavenger hunt hosted by ALCTS on Flickr. Loved it! There was also a Twitter trivia quiz that I missed because it slipped through my listserv filters. Both of those challenges had fabulous prizes, and participating in the ALCTS photo scavenger hunt got me talking to lots of interesting people I wouldn’t have approached otherwise.
— Survey Respondent
ALCTS does quite a few things very well in terms of outreach and engagement with its members. In January of 2014, ALCTS had a trivia contest and scavenger hunt conducted using social media to engage their members to drum up excitement over the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia. The trivia contest was conducted through the ALCTS’ official Twitter account a week before the ALA MW meeting. Questions were posted once a day and the first 15 people to answer the question with the contest hashtag had their names added to a drawing to win prizes. During ALA MW 2014, ALCTS held a scavenger hunt where members took photos, tagged them with #alamw14 and #alctsmw14, join the ALCTS Flickr Group, then posted them to the official ALA MW 2014 ALCTS Flickr album.
These events seemed to foster community among ALCTS members, and drive people to follow ALCTS social media accounts. One survey participant stated “At ALA Annual 2014, I participated in a photo scavenger hunt hosted by ALCTS on Flickr. Loved it! There was also a Twitter trivia quiz that I missed because it slipped through my list serv filters. Both of those challenges had fabulous prizes, and participating in the ALCTS photo scavenger hunt got me talking to lots of interesting people I wouldn’t have approached otherwise.”
Additionally, 40% of survey participants who answered a question about what types of content they consider valuable selected “Special themes (e.g., ALCTS Preservation Week, highlighted ALCTS members).”. 52% of those who answered this question also selected “Live coverage of events, such as conference sessions.”
Through reading comments and looking at some of the survey data, we recommend that ALCTS focuses on the things they do well, like coverage of live events like the ALA Annual Conference, Preservation Week, and fun features like the trivia contest. Highlighting these events that are unique to ALCTS is a way to leverage interest in what the division has to offer and get people to engage with the existing social media accounts.
- Continue to pursue content the audience responds to positively.
- Take advantage of special events and occasions to draw attention.