AskUsNow! Marketing Plan: 2016-2017

Marketing Goal:  Market AskUsNow! to an inclusive, Maryland community.

Action Step:  Broaden the reach of AskUsNow! to Maryland residents and students on all levels at the moment of need.

Strategies:

  1. Social Media:  Use social media to engage 3-5% more Maryland residents and students at www.askusnow.info.
    • Q1:  Focus on 2-3 research and reference topics/month to promote on social media.
      • July:  Teacher Resources, Reading, and Weather 
      • August:  Sailor Database subject areas, English Literature, and Famous Olympians 
      • September:  National Preparedness Month, "Back to School" for adults?, Get in Gear for the start of the K-12 School Year
    • Analyze and report the reach and engagement of the social media posts.
      • Facebook Reach/Views:  20,300
        • July:  6800
        • August:  6400
        • September:  7100
      • Twitter Reach/Views:  26,600
        • July:  8900
        • August:  7400
        • September:  10,300
    • Q2: 
      • Focus on 2-3 research and reference topics/month to promote on social media.
        • October:  Study/Test/Project Prep, Professional Development, and Health Literacy Month 
        • November:  NaNoWriMo, Taking a Stand in History, and Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (travel)
        • December:  Finals/Final Research; Holiday savings, hobbies, and decor; and Stress/Anxiety reducing tools
      • Analyze and report the reach and engagement of the social media posts.
        • Facebook Reach/Views:  21,600 (+1300 to Q1)
          • October:  7200
          • November:  6900
          • December:  7500
        • Twitter Reach/Views:  24,700 (-1900 to Q1)
          • October:  9500
          • November:  7700
          • December:  7500
      • Update the "Pre-Made Social Media Posts."
        • Finalized in December:  will post in January 2017
      • Plan one "Chat Provider-Centric" Campaign:  Feedback was given to and by the Social Media Committee about themes to the campaign.
    • Q3:
      • Focus on 2-3 research and reference topics/month to promote on social media.
        • January:  E-Resources/Services, Martin Luther King and Civil Rights, and Political Literature;Journalism resources
        • February:  African American History Research, "ethics" resources--human rights-focused, and teen identity (bullying, relationships)
        • March:  Women's History Month, Achieving Goals, and Space
      • Analyze and report the reach and engagement of the social media posts.
        • Facebook Reach/Views:  18,900 (-2700 to Q2)
          • January:  6000
          • February:  5300
          • March:  7600
        • Twitter Reach/Views:  24,800 (+100 to Q2)
          • January:  10,000
          • February:  7200
          • March:  7600
      • Finalize one "Chat Provider-Centric" Campaign: The campaign will be finalized in Q4.  A form was sent to prospective contributors.
    • Q4:
      • Focus on 2-3 research and reference topics/month to promote on social media.
        • April:  Financial Literacy Month, Poetry, Maryland History
        • May:  Types of Water, War Appreciation, Physical Fitness
        • June:  Health Awareness, Family History, and Job Searching and Career
      • Analyze and report the reach and engagement of the social media posts.
        • Facebook Reach/Views:  15,800 (-3100 to Q3)
          • April:  7000
          • May:  5800
          • June:  3000
        • Twitter Reach/Views:  19,900 (-4900 to Q3)
          • April:  7400
          • May:  6100
          • June:  6400
      • Implement one "Chat Provider-Centric" Campaign
        • A survey was sent out for volunteers
        • 20 chat librarians signed up and will participate in July 2017
        • The chat librarians will post about their favorite reads.
      • Summarize and recognize accomplishments and followers.
  2. Marketing to Students and Educators:  visit at least 10 schools, institutions, and organizations that need reference support from AskUsNow!.
    1. Q1: 
      • Create, present, and directly give educators and students information about AskUsNow!.
        • AIMS Members
        • Archdiocese of Baltimore
        • Baltimore City Public Schools
        • Baltimore County Public Schools
        • Carroll County Public Schools
        • Charles County Public Schools
        • Montgomery County Public Schools
        • Washington County Public Schools
      • Send information to partner libraries to promote AskUsNow! to educators and students.
        • Disseminated the AskUsNow! student research toolkit to all MD schools.
      • Post information about online marketing strategies on the staff website.
        • Posted social media posts for statewide use.
        • Gave the library partners information about promoting AskUsNow! at events without giveaways.
    2. Q2:
      1. Follow-up with educators that have used AskUsNow! at the point of need.
        • Carroll County Public Schools--Middle School GT enrichment projects and High School English Language Arts projects.
        • Garrett County Public Schools--National History Day
        • Queen Anne's County Public Schools--National History Day
        • Montgomery County Public Schools--Middle School IB Projects
        • Washington County Public Schools--National History Day
      2. Focus on marketing the service towards trending subject areas.
        • National History Day
        • Interdisciplinary Research Projects (i.e. IDRPs)
    3. Q3: 
      • Create, present, and directly give educators and students information about AskUsNow!.
        • University of MD, College Park's iSchool--Continuing education about reference services and their uses by customers and libraries
        • McDaniel College's School Library Media Program--Continuing education about reference services and their uses by customers and libraries.
        • Calvert County Public Schools--National History Day
        • Cecil County Public Schools--Science Projects
        • Harford County Public Schools--History Projects
        • Prince George's County Public Schools--Introduced to Virtual Reference
        • St. Mary's County Public Schools Library Media--Humanities Projects
      • Send information to partner libraries to promote AskUsNow! to educators and students.
        • Continued to disseminated the AskUsNow! student research toolkit to all MD schools.
        • Planning the creation of an AskUsNow! Lesson Plan.
      • Post information about online marketing strategies on the staff website.
    4. Q4:  Report and summarize overall student and educator usage on AskUsNow!.
  3. Website:  www.askusnow.info
    1. Q1: 
      1. Contact statewide and regional services about their websites.
        • Contacted PA, MN, and Western NY
      2. Revise images and text on www.askusnow.info
        • Using WordPress to revise the homepage, and revise content on the secondary pages.
    2. Q2:
      1. Revise images and text on www.askusnow.info
        • Revisions made to the test site's homepage.
        • Revisions made to the subpages:  about us and privacy
      2. Explore and test new chat forms and/or Qwidgets.
        • Completed in cooperation with QuestionPoint and the Pratt/SLRC Web Department
    3. Q3: 
      1. Launch the redesign www.askusnow.info
        • Launched the newly redesigned website on 3/17/17, AskUsNow!'s birthday.
      2. Implement the new chat forms and/or Qwidgets
        • ​The new chat form and Qwidget were implemented on 3/17/17.
      3. Measure the number and types of chats coming from different regions in Maryland.
        • From 3/17-3/31/17, 109 chats came from 18 counties, 1 college, and 2 Maryland special libraries.  9 chats were from out of state customers, and 2 chats were from out of country customers.  
    4. Q4:  Measure and report the number and types of chats coming from Maryland customers.
      1. From April through June 2017, the redesigned AskUsNow! website (www.askusnow.info) received 3,079 visitors. 32% of these visitors asked chat questions. 20/24 customers from Maryland Counties and Baltimore City asked chat questions. Visitors learn about AskUsNow! through a variety of resources, including the Maryland State Law Library (MSLL), Maryland.gov webpages, and school library media websites. (See chart “Referral Websites” for specific data.) Visitors from around Maryland – and around the world – are using AskUsNow! to answer a variety of questions, positioning chat as a barrier-free statewide service. While visitors are asking questions covering a variety of topics, our most frequent questions relate to student research, including personal research questions, secondary-level history assignments, and indepth database assistance.
      2. A summary and detailed report is available at http://askusnow.info/staff/reports/chatlocation/fy17.

Outputs/Outcomes:

  1. Measure and report the total number of reference questions asked at AskUsNow!.  Goal:  30,000 questions.  
    • Q1 YTD:   6783 questions (-575 from Q1 YTD, FY 16)
    • Q2 YTD: 13,869 questions (-2780 from Q2 YTD, FY 16)
    • Q3 YTD: 18,819 questions (-6195 from Q3 YTD, FY 16)
    • Q4 YTD:  23,149 questions (-7800 from Q4 YTD, FY 16)
  2. Measure and report the different levels of questions that customers are asking at AskUsNow!.  Goal:  65% on Level 3 & 4 questions; 35% Directional, Level 1 & 2 questions.
    • Q1 YTD:  66% on Level 3 & 4 questions (+4% from Q1, FY 16)  
    • Q2 YTD:  69% on Level 3 & 4 questions (+3% from Q2, FY 16)
    • Q3 YTD:  68% on Level 3 & 4 questions (+8% from Q3, FY 16)
    • Q3 YTD:  67% on Level 3 & 4 questions (+4% from Q3, FY 16)
  3. Measure and report the effect that social media and www.askusnow.info have on increasing AskUsNow! usage.
    • Q1 YTD:  
      • 4/10 chat sessions are from www.askusnow.info.
      • Social media has brought more schools and research questions into the service.
        • Level 4 (Student Project) Questions:  28% in FY 17 (+1% from FY 16)
    • Q2 YTD:
      • 5/10 chat sessions are from www.askusnow.info.
      • Social media continues to bring more schools and research questions into the service.
        • Level 4 (Student Project) Questions:  32% in FY 17 (-5% from FY 16)
    • Q3 YTD:  
      • 4/10 chat sessions are from www.askusnow.info.
      • Social media continues to bring more schools and research questions into the service.
        • Level 4 (Student Project) Questions:  32% in FY 17 (+4% from FY 16)
    • Q4 YTD
      • 3/10 chat sessions are from www.askusnow.info. 
      • Social media continues to bring more schools and research questions into the service:
        • Level 4 (Student Project) Questions:  32% in FY 17 (+4% from FY 16)

 

Budget:  The LSTA Grant Budget was approved for FFY 17.  $1000 will be focused on outreach and online marketing strategies.