If Netflix’s hit show Black Mirror has taught me anything, it’s that altmetrics are going to catch up to us in a big way. We may be struggling with how to calculate our social media usage statistics now and pondering what all these big data numbers mean for us and our libraries, but down the road, this will be futile. If the social satire has taught me anything, it’s that all people – librarians included – will eventually have our social ratings openly exposed for all to see. So let’s make our libraries social media rating ready!
You’ve seen the show…wait…you haven’t? You mean you are not yet having nightmares about your everyday social technologies? Well, you must remedy this at once, I say! But for those who have, or even those who soon will, we will proceed to discuss ways in which you can enhance your social appearance using the simplest techniques. You think Lacie’s life is as blissful as that smiling cookie? That’s sweet of you. Why not give her a 5 star rating! She would do it for you and your library if you put as much care into making your posts as elegantly presented as she tried to do.
But how, you might be wondering, can your library work on improving the quality of your posts? You’re short on time and your budget for social media is nonexistent. Allow me to introduce Canva. To those of you who are not yet familiar with Canva, it is a (mostly) free website that allows you to turn text and images into stunning, professional quality marketing material fit for any social site. Sure, there are advantages to having some images look raw and unedited when you want to add a human touch to your social media site, but for official events, sometimes professional is better, no? Canva and help you achieve that. Let’s take a look at what the site has to offer.
As you can see, the homepage presents users with some of the most popular free formats for your social media needs. Information Specialists who frequently blog, populate their institution’s Facebook feed, or create presentations for meetings may find these options helpful, but we’re going to create our own design for an event to show how easily it can be done.
Here you can see different options for adding flare to an event sign. Canva provides unique font options, free graphics (or images for purchase), shapes for adding pops of color, free layouts (not seen here), and more. Whereas staff might have previously only considered using Microsoft Word to make signs of graphics for social media posts, Canva offers a free solution for making eye catching images for your events announcements and other posts that might make followers take notice when scrolling through their feeds.
Got an image you wish to use in your design? Canva also allows you to upload images if you wish, which will allow you to use it as a background or extra image within your creation. You can add a frame or border or alter the shape of your image as well. Get creative and see what you can come up with to add a bit of artistic flare to your social media sites to stand out and try and get more engagement from your fans!