Mastering Mobile through Social Media: Creating Engaging Content on Instagram and Snapchat

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  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the authors

Platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram are communication staples for many key library demographic audiences, particularly those between thirteen and thirty-four years old. In this issue of Library Technology Reports, Paige Alfonzo explores the ways libraries can maximize their presence on Instagram and/or Snapchat, paying special attention to the transitory world of Instagram and Snapchat Stories. She starts with a mini-case study based on interviews she conducted with 11 standout library professionals who are using the aforementioned platforms in very effective ways. She then builds upon these ideas to bring you a series of practical ideas, tools, and resources you can implement to enhance your library’s content on these primarily mobile applications.

This report can be used by individuals at any stage of the marketing process from considering if your library is ready for Snapchat and/or Instagram to finding new ways to craft fresh content on your established account(s). The intention of this report is to provide you with considerations for platform management and offer new ideas and concepts to get your creative juices flowing.

This report

  • Introduces Snapchat and Instagram and offers tools and content recommendations that you can utilize to improve your marketing;
  • Provides real-world examples, recommendations, and methods for engaging patrons;
  • Shares tips you can employ to ensure your accounts are set up for success, including providing resources for policy creation and collaboration; and
  • Offers a list of applications that you can use to boost your content and a list of suggested events you can add to your content calendar.


Chapter 1: Real-World Examples

  • Why Instagram/Snapchat?
  • Staff Management
  • Account Logistics
  • Content Creation Tips and Ideas
  • What’s on the Horizon
  • Notes

Chapter 2: General Best Practices, Tools, and Resources

  • Creating a Social Media Strategy and Policy
  • General Management Ideas, Tools, and Resources
  • Content Ideas, Tools, and Resources for IG and Snapchat
  • Conclusion
  • Notes

Chapter 3: Snapchat in the Library

  • Optimization
  • Snapchat Tools and Features
  • Content Tips and Ideas
  • Analytics
  • Conclusion
  • Notes

Chapter 4: Instagram in the Library

  • In-App Instagram Tools and Features
  • Optimization
  • Content Tips and Ideas
  • Analytics
  • Conclusion
  • Acknowledges
  • Notes

Paige Alfonzo

Paige Alfonzo received her M.S. in Library Science from the University of North Texas and B.A. in English from Texas State University. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Denver studying Research Methods and Statistics. Previously, she worked as an academic reference librarian at the rank of assistant professor at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. She started blogging about Snapchat in the library ( in 2013. In 2014, she created a Snapchat contest in her library to promote National Library Week. She has also held various social media management positions and has written extensively on the use of social media in libraries and higher education more broadly. She specializes in social media research, qualitative and mixed methods analysis, and information literacy instruction. In her dissertation, she is examining the impact of contemporary social movements by modeling Bennett and Segerberg’s Logic of Connective Action and Papacharissi’s related work on affective publics, using a novel method that combines social media content analysis and structural equation modeling. In 2016, she published the book Teaching Google Scholar: A Practical Guide for Librarians.

Library Technology Reports

Published by ALA TechSource, Library Technology Reports helps librarians make informed decisions about technology products and projects. Library Technology Reports publishes eight issues annually and provides thorough overviews of current technology. Reports are authored by experts in the field and may address the application of technology to library services, offer evaluative descriptions of specific products or product classes, or cover emerging technology. Find out more information on this publication here.