Thursday, February 17, 2011

Results of our twitter user survey

We've been tweeting away since way back in 2008 and in that time have sent out over 1800 tweets about quirky items in our collections. In that time we've had some highlights such as lobsterotica as well as running battles with other institutions over who has the coolest collection items.

We've also gained over 3,400 followers who hang on with baited breath for our next gem from the collections. We follow a fairly predictable pattern with around two tweets a day and although it seems to have been working well we wanted to find out a little more about what our followers thought as well as a bit more about them.

How did we do this? Through twitter again naturally. It took all of a few minutes to come up with a four question survey, which we put up on Survey Monkey and another few seconds to put out a tweet with a link and a quick one-liner grovelling for our hoards of dedicated followers to tell us more.

The beauty of twitter is the instantaneousness of it. Within minutes we had people retweeting our survey as well as people asking if we were planning of stopping – we're not!

Overall we had a pretty good response with around 70 people coming back within a few hours – thanks everyone!

First up we asked where our followers were from. Unsurprisingly the large majority were from New Zealand with only 20% being from overseas. Of those overseas it was a split between Australia and the States with a handful from Britain.
Where are you from?
Next up we were keen to find out if people were from other libraries or cultural institutions or just liked what we do. Again, unsurprisingly, there were a large amount of followers from other galleries, libraries, archives and museums however over half of the respondents just like seeing the cool stuff from our collections. Cheers guys!
Are you in
We also thought it'd be cool to find out if people use other National Library services. Well over half use a combination of online and onsite services which is great. The more interesting stat however was that almost 40% of people don't use any of our other services. While some would take this to be an area of concern it actually shows how great the power of twitter can be. We're able to use twitter to give our collections a far wider exposure than previously and through this are reaching people who never would have seen our collections or perhaps been aware of what we do.


Do you use other National Library services?
Last up we asked if there was anything that we should be doing differently. On hindsight we could have asked this slightly better, as there were a lot of people who wanted for us to keep doing what we do but also talk about other National Library things going on. The awesome news was that we seem to be doing a good job just twice a day which works really well for us and is sustainable over the long term.

We mainly tweet cool stuff from our collections twice a day. Should we
One thing that did come through strongly in the comments was the desire from people to know more about the National Library going ons. We deliberately stay away from mixing this sort of news within this channel as we'd find that it would drive away everyone else who just want to see quirky items from our collections.
The good news is that we actually do have several other twitter channels that would help give a broader view of the library.

The Services to Schools team run an account @L2_S2S which is aimed at teachers and school librarians. They also have several blogs that talk about children's literature and innovation in school libraries.

The Alexander Turnbull Library, @AlexArchivists, tweet about general digital archival interests and the Aotearoa People's Network Kaharoa, @PeepsNetwork, tweet about their service and other IT related things.

Lastly, @DigitalNZ, have also been on Twitter for quite some time and talk about the DigitalNZ service as well as all things digitisation

As yet there are no plans for a newsy type twitter account with general National Library goings on however this may change as we look towards moving back into our building in 2012.
Thanks heaps to everyone who took a minute to help us out with this.

Matt O'Reilly

2 comments:

Jay & Heather, New Zealand Nurses Organisation Library said...

We enjoyed reading about your use of Twitter at the National Library. It has certainly given us some ideas and made it all seem a little less scary. Thanks.

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