Social Media: FY2017

Social Media Committee (5 members):

  • Karen Skirchak, Calvert Library (January 2017-Present)
  • Eden Parks, Towson University (January 2017-Present)
  • Ashley Jones, Worcester County Library (January 2017-Present)
  • Tracy Miller, Harford County Public Library (through December 2016)
  • Dale Pastor, Montgomery County Public Library (through December 2016)
  • James Neal, Prince George's County Memorial Library (through October 2016)
  • Joyce Garczynski, Towson University (through December 2016)
  • Megan Kellner, AskUsNow! Volunteer (through June 2016)
  • Becca Starr, Admin and Co-Chair
  • Paul Chasen, Admin and Co-Chair


  • Advise the Admins on creating daily content and sporadic campaigns for AskUsNow!’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.
  • Review social media analytics and revise content based on identified trends.
  • Research and recommend additional (or replacement) social media platforms to reach our target audience.

Pre-Made Social Media Posts: 

June 2017

  • Facebook: 27 posts reached approximately 3,000 users.
  • Twitter: 94 tweets engaged approximately 6,400 users.
  • Strategies: Posts for June focused on health awareness (including nutrition and exercise), family history research, and job searching. Posts covering various facets of genealogy research received the most impressions. AskUsNow! also received 19 responses to our survey for social media ("What are you reading?") from providers. These will be posted throughout the month of July on Twitter and Facebook.The Social Media Committee met for its quarterly meeting. The committee brainstormed ideas for future campaigns and topics for Fall 2018.

May 2017

  • Facebook: 30 posts reached approximately 5,800 users.
  • Twitter: 97 tweets engaged approximately 6,100 users.
  • Strategies: May's social media posts covered oceans and other bodies of water (including drinking water), fitness, and war history. AskUsNow! also continued to locate and follow key social media accounts for schools and educators. We also received two research questions via Twitter, which gave us an opportunity to highlight the type of assistance we give on the service (and end each post with the suggested referral to      

April 2017

  • Facebook: 26 posts reached approximately 7,000 users (267 users per post).
  • Twitter: 88 tweets engaged approximately 7,400 users (260 users per post).
  • Strategies: AskUsNow!'s social media engagement remains steady; posts in April covered topics showcasing Maryland history, Financial Literacy Month, and poetry. Our posts on publishing poetry and finding financial literacy tools for students performed well. We're also continuing to see active engagement with Maryland's schools via social media; schools and educators from Baltimore City, Montgomery County, and Prince George's County all interacted with our social media content.        

March 2017

  • Facebook: 27 posts reached approximately 7,600 users (283 users per post).
  • Twitter: 95 tweets engaged approximately 7,600 users (272 users per post).
  • Strategies: Social media in March saw a slight increase in engagement, particularly with school library social media accounts. Schools and educators from Baltimore County, Calvert, Frederick, and Montgomery interacted with our social media accounts. March's social media topics included Women's History Month, Space and Science Fiction, and Goal Achievement. Posts focusing on women's history in Maryland -- as well as posts highlighting the late-night hours of the service -- performed well.

February 2017

  • Facebook: 25 posts reached approximately 5,300 users (213 users per post).
  • Twitter: 84 tweets engaged approximately 7,200 users (289 users per post).
  • Strategies: February's social media posts focused on civics research and topics, African American History, and teen identity. Despite February being a shorter month, engagement remains steady, with a slight increase in activity on AskUsNow!'s Facebook page. On February 28, the new Social Media Committee met on Blackboard to discuss current social media trends and ideas for outreach to schools and educators through our social media accounts. The new committee -- which contains two former grade-school teachers -- offered invaluable advice for communicating with teachers, both through social media and in-person marketing initiatives.

January 2017

  • Facebook: 29 posts reached approximately 6,000 users (203 users per post).
  • Twitter: 95 tweets engaged approximately 10,000 users (351 users per post).
  • Strategies: Social media engagement saw some of its highest engagement numbers, with marked increases in reactions and retweets. Posts in January focused on finding and using eReader materials, civil rights research, and questions regarding journalism's ethics and history. After staff changes in some of our partner libraries resulted in departures from our Social Media Committee, AskUsNow! reenergized the group with three new members from Towson University, Worcester County Library, and Calvert Library. The committee will meet again in late February to discuss new social media initiatives.

December 2016

  • Facebook: 29 posts reached approximately 7,500 users (258 users per post).
  • Twitter: 91 tweets engaged approximately 7,500 users (308 users per post).
  • Strategies: Using posts discussing research wrap-up, final semester projects, and holiday shopping, AskUsNow! saw a slight increase in engagement for December. In order to align with Twitter posting guidelines, AskUsNow! will also be decreasing the number of links inserted into posts during the second half of the fiscal year. This strategy will allow us to try posts of increased length and examine the effectiveness of including the URL in our social media posts. 

November 2016

  • Facebook: 29 posts reached approximately 6,900 users (280 users per post).
  • Twitter: 86 tweets engaged approximately 7,700 users (238 users per post).
  • Strategies: AskUsNow! tested a variety of topics, focusing on National Novel Writing Month, research for National History Day, and holiday travel. 
    AskUsNow! also reviewed social media trends so far from FY17. Findings included:
    • Postings about specific topics receive the most engagement (For example, posting about National History Day help over the general "assignment help").
    • Student and school interest topics tend to receive the most engagement. This includes assignment help, research, and professional development for educators.
    • Social media is random and changes quickly. AskUsNow! will continue to adjust its social media approach.          

October 2016

  • Facebook: 29 posts reached approximately 7,200 users (248 users per post).
  • Twitter: 99 tweets engaged approximately 9,500 users (353 users per post).
  • Strategies: AskUsNow! remained steady with engagement, focusing on posts related to test prep for students of all ages, professional development (particularly opportunities available online), and topics related to health literacy. Posts covering personal interest topics - such as exercise and community activities - garnered the most engagement on Facebook.
    AskUsNow! also continued their concerted effort to connect with Maryland school and library media specialist accounts on Twitter.                

September 2016

  • Facebook: 27 posts reached approximately 6,800 users (565 users per post).
  • Twitter: 103 tweets engaged approximately 10,300 users (359 users per post).
  • Strategies: AskUsNow! saw a sharp increase in total impressions in both social media channels. Posts on Twitter during September received four times more engagement as compared to August, while Facebook received double the engagement. As we continue to market to educators and schools, posts covering back to school -- for children and adults -- received a high number of clicks. However, even general promotional posts and personal interest topics performed well. 

August 2016

  • Facebook:  24 posts reached approximately 6,400 users (267 users per post).
  • Twitter:  97 tweets reached approximately 7,400 users (77 users per post).
  • Strategies: Posts focused on Olympic current events and history, literature, and promotion of the newest SAILOR databases. AskUsNow! saw self-initiated promotion from Prince George's County Public Library, Worcester County Library, and Washington County Public Schools. 

July 2016

  • Facebook: 31 posts reached approximately 7,100 users (227 users per post).
  • Twitter: 97 tweets reached approximately 8,900 users (91 users per post).
  • Strategies: Focused on summer learning opportunities, including teacher professional development and summer reading. We also focused on weather, with posts covering weather patterns and maps receiving steady engagement. Posts covering school and education topics led to the most link clicks, with posts on Praxis study guides, teacher blogs, and quiet study spots all obtaining link clicks.