Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine 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: As the findings are based on the results of one campaign at a single institution, they cannot be used to make generalizations. However, the results may prompt further inquiry into 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.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Library and Information Sciences
- Hong Kong
- Social networking sites
- University libraries