Social media tools have been pervasively adopted as an effective way for library marketing and outreach. This paper presents best practices of innovative uses of social media (e.g. WeChat and QQ) in library instruction education and user engagement based on first-hand experiences of the IEEE Client Services team in China. Case studies to be shared include making social media official accounts functional for maximum outreach, conducting real-time information literacy trainings at social media, establishing target user groups by subject and engaging faculty and students 24x7, building an self-sustaining learning community and facilitating embedded learning in users’ daily lives, working with student groups to design and implement interactive games (e.g. large-scale in-person library scavenger hunt “Library Break”) with the assistance of social media, and so on.
Positive relationships are revealed between the use of social media and the levels of both library activity turnout and user engagement. Interesting findings and metrics in designing and implementing different types of events at social media are also discussed. This paper not only brings an international perspective to US tales of using social media, but also provides practical suggestions to academic librarians who are interested in seeking innovative ways of end user outreach, education, and engagement.
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