Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Size matters: Cheat Sheets for Optimal Image Sizing and Update Length on Social Media

This posts features two massive infographics: thanks to Darren Jones and Claire Dolan who I saw tweeting about these a while back.

First of all we have the Social Media Design Sizing Cheat Sheet

The Omnicoreagency.com cheat sheet below shows you exactly how big (to the pixel) the images for each element of your social media profile need to be. This is genuinely useful for organisations on social media, as you can get a huge amount of customer interaction via Twitter and Facebook; the wrong sized image will either be distorted to auto-cropped in your profile or header pics, which undermines how professional you appear. Consistency is important on social media for organisations, but you can't literally use the same image in all circumstances because the dimensions won't be appropriate.

Friday, 28 November 2014

Peripheral Vision: the non-traditional things we do to help our library users

Below is a Storify of responses I got, when I asked on Twitter what 'non-traditional' library services they offered their users. I'm interested in the ways Library's plug gaps and address their communities' needs, even if what this entails is either only distantly related, or entirely unrelated, to the core library offering. This appearing in places our users don't expect - in their peripheral vision - is often really important in building relationships, and establishing the importance and usefulness of library staff. It opens doors.

People asked me to share what I found, so here we go:

(Original post from ned-potter.com)

Library Marketing and the Terminology Problem

When I first started writing and talking about marketing libraries, I was very keen to see libraries adopt the strategies and idioms of business. Libraries were being threatened by massive corporations like Google, Wikipedia and Amazon, whose function or output was for a lot of people a perfectly acceptable replacement for what libraries offered. So we needed to fight back, and market ourselves aggressively - just because we weren't chasing profits didn't mean we shouldn't be chasing customers.

Part of the reason libraries were in a state was that they didn't take marketing seriously, they were in fact scared of the term entirely, and were unwilling to recognise that letting the people come to us was simply not fit for purpose any more. We had to go to the people, and convince them of our value. Finding the term (or the idea of) marketing distasteful was holding us back.

I don't feel entirely differently about this today, although my view has become more nuanced, and I'd rather see Libraries effectively communicating the value of the other aspects of what we do, rather than directly trying to compete with, for example, Google: a fight we'll never win (and shouldn't need to).


In 2010 David Cameron came to power, and his Conservative Government set about making the UK a worse place to live. Part of what they've done is commodify everything, consumerise everything, and it is with this apparatus that they advance their causes of privitisation, destroying the NHS, making education a source of constant frustration for schools and parents alike, and so on.

Increasingly things with which I was previously comfortable - marketing terminology, describing students as 'customers' and so on - are being strongly associated with things which make me decidedly uncomfortable.

Yet sometimes you need to use the vernacular of what you're describing if, like I do, you spend a lot of time describing it - I run marketing workshops and write about marketing on this blog and in a whole book about it. Increasingly I'm drawn to the word 'communication' - not all communication is marketing, but all marketing is communication. So marketing is a subset of communication. Good marketing is often just a byproduct of good communication.