Document Type

Journal Article

Department/ Unit

Library

Abstract

Purpose - This paper examines the effectiveness of using online advertising on the social networking site Facebook in encouraging university students to connect with their library’s Facebook page. Design/methodology/approach - A two-month paid Facebook advertising campaign was conducted. Using the tools provided by Facebook Adverts, the campaign was targeted only at current students at the university who were not already connected with the library’s Facebook page. At the conclusion of the campaign, the statistics recorded by Facebook Adverts were used to assess how effective the advertisement had been in attracting new connections. Findings - The campaign statistics showed that the advertisement was shown frequently to the targeted user group, and that the click through rate for the advertisement was high. Furthermore, the advertisement accounted for over half of the new connections made to the library’s Facebook page during the campaign period. Research limitations/implications – It is impossible from statistics alone to determine how the advertising was received by users. An area of further research would be to survey the opinion of students on the use of social network advertising in marketing academic libraries. Originality/value - While previous studies have examined using Facebook as a free tool for marketing libraries, this paper explores the potentials of paid advertising on social networks. Given the finding that such advertising can have a significant positive impact for a relatively small financial outlay, practitioners could consider this as another means to build their own library’s brand in a cost-effective manner.

Publication Year

2011

Journal Title

Library Management

Volume number

32

Issue number

4/5

Publisher

Emerald

First Page (page number)

361

Last Page (page number)

370

Referreed

1

ISSN (print)

0143-5124

Link to Publisher’s Edition

http://www.emeraldinsight.com/fwd.htm?id=aob&ini=aob&doi=10.1108/01435121111132347

Keywords

Marketing, Social networks, Facebook, Online advertising, Hong Kong

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