Instagram for libraries – is it worth it? …or is it just another social media fad?

Social media has taken the world by storm.  This blog post shows that 67% of public libraries in New Zealand have a facebook or twitter account (41% have both) – NOTE: this data is from 2013 so has probably increased.

Newer on the scene is Instagram.  Instagram is “a free app that allows you to share your life with friends through a series of pictures. Snap a photo with your mobile phone, then choose a filter to transform the image into a memory to keep around forever and create a world more connected through photos”.

This clip explains instagram and its popularity.

If you already have a facebook or twitter account for your library, is it necessary to have an Instagram page too? The New Zealand Trade and Enterprise blog says Instagram will continue to be the fastest growing network with a change in preference towards visual content on social media (and confirmed here). Take a look at these amazing statistics on Instagram use from 2015 (like 300 million monthly active users), if you need convincing that your library should consider an Instagram page.

Instagram is one of the best ways of engaging teens and young adults in social media.  The  New Jersey State Library blog says “Be Visual in Social Media. Teens are gravitating to highly visual social media apps including Pinterest, Instagram, Vine, and Snapchat. … Both Pinterest and Instagram offer the best opportunity to reach teens and are easily incorporated into your social media strategy”.  David Moth says “The app is more popular among younger people, with usage at 41% among those aged 16-24 and at 35% among 24-34s”. In New Zealand and Australia ANZ Bank is targeting this ‘new generation’ of customers saying “We are very focused on reaching younger audiences and being relevant to them, so Instagram can be a really great place for us to engage.”

So are you convinced??  

YES … then sit down, grab a cuppa and read on…..

Elise Moreau explains simply how Instagram works … posts, likes, photos, filters. #hashtags

Take a look around at some top library Instagram accounts for inspiration.

Then check out David Lee King’s Blog for Instagram tips relevant to libraries

or Amy Mollett and Anthony McDonnell discussing five cool ways libraries are using Instagram to share collections and draw public interest.

Then if you are still after inspiration try Molly Wetta talking about #libraryshelfie or #bookface pics and some really cool ideas she has used on Instagram (there are some great links at the bottom to further reading)

Last up … if you are not rushing off to post on your new Instagram page take a look at this Youtube Clip (a good overview of Instagram for all you visual people out there).

My Verdict

Instagram is an inexpensive way to connect and market to our teen and young adult customers.  This is a group which we have identified we would like to have greater interaction with, therefore I recommend a trial Instagram in our libraries.


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