Marketing the academic library with online social network advertising

Chris CHAN*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relative effectiveness of different forms of Facebook advertising in promoting the collections and services of academic libraries. Design/methodology/approach: The results of several Facebook advertising campaigns conducted by an academic library in Hong Kong are presented and analyzed. Statistics were gathered from the advertising application integrated into the social networking platform. Conclusions are drawn based on a comparison of the performance metrics of the different advertising approaches that were employed. Findings: In line with an earlier study, the results provide further support for the view that social network advertising has the potential to be a cost-effective means of marketing academic libraries. It was also found that advertising strategies that draw upon the social features of Facebook were more effective than traditional approaches. Research limitations/implications: Since only the experience of a single institution is considered, it cannot be definitively stated that social network advertising will be effective in every institutional context. However, the results provide a basis for academic libraries to consider experimenting with this form of marketing. Originality/value: In contrast with the business and commercial sector, the potential of paid social network advertising has received scant attention from professionals working in non-profit making organizations. This paper provides evidence that such initiatives can have a significant and measurable impact in their outreach efforts with minimal financial outlay.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)479-489
Number of pages11
JournalLibrary Management
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Library and Information Sciences

User-Defined Keywords

  • Academic libraries
  • Advertising effectiveness
  • China
  • Facebook
  • Marketing
  • Online advertising
  • Social networks
  • University libraries


Dive into the research topics of 'Marketing the academic library with online social network advertising'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this