The USC Digital Library offers digital images of drawings, illuminated manuscripts, maps, photographs, posters, prints, rare illustrated books, as well as audio and video recordings.
USC hired Red Cup to increase online awareness for the library collections, push traffic to the online store, and build interest among potential buyers, especially those in new networks who might have never considered using a digital image in their work.
This was a data driven project. We started with a deep dive into the library’s Google Analytics, and also studied traffic going to the library’s online store. We discovered a few surprising things. While Facebook was the most active social referrer, social networks like Pinterest, Twitter, WordPress, Blogger and Tumblr brought visitors who were more engaged than Facebook users, judging by the time those visitors spent on web pages and the number of pages they viewed. Working from this data, we started an engagement program with selected interest groups who would be likely to use library resources.
As activity on social media increased, we analyzed traffic flow to surface the most popular posts and most active users. I reached out to thank them, which encouraged more sharing. As the project unfolded, we prepared story pitches to influential writers and designers. We also worked to forge cross-promotional relationships with museums and influencers.
The project brought increased organization and purpose to the library’s Twitter feed. We set up Buffer to schedule posts and introduced Asana for project management. I developed a database of events in history that tied in with images in the library’s collection, effectively creating a database of content for posting to social channels. I provided databases of interest groups to follow on social channels.
Over the course of the months-long project we grew the library’s Twitter following substantially and increased activity on its Pinterest boards. Users visiting the library store pages were more likely to buy images or return for a closer look. We have systems in place and are prepared for an influencer outreach program. The library has an action plan to carry their online marketing and outreach through the year.