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The Library on social media: Facebook

Library's Facebook pageAt the time when some companies are criticising the use of Facebook for promotional purposes, we decided to create a page on Facebook. Are we wasting resources or grasping an opportunity? Well, the time will tell, but we think we have good arguments.  

As explained in my first post, more than 500 Members (of 754) are on Facebook. Their strategies and level of engagement differ significantly. A vast majority of them created a Facebook Page, where they are active in their mother tongue. Majority allows commenting, but they do not allow direct posting on their wall. On rather rare occasions, they seem to engage in conversations.

Furthermore, we can only speculate how many of them update their Facebook profiles personally. Nevertheless, Facebook seems to be important for Members. What do they want to get from being on Facebook is another question, but there is a sort of a trade-off between keeping in touch with their constituencies (a major argument) and keeping up to date (though Facebook is not perfect for this).

So, how can we help Members to be more successful on Facebook? Quite conveniently…!

Youth unemployment Facebook postTo share products with citizens

Among others, we provide analytical summaries of EU related topics. Without using much EU jargon, our briefings offer an overview together with EU positions and stakeholders’ opinions. They are the result of an in-depth research presenting the topic in an objective, non-partisan and balanced way. We wrap these products on Facebook with an intriguing photo and/or a stunning fact…

…you see where we are heading with this?

Indeed, the products are ready for Members to share them instantly without much effort. They can use them to either explain the topic of their interest or answer the question from their constituency. 

Pay-gap Facebook postTo keep up to date

Besides the obvious informative value of our briefings, we produce several even more timely and “Facebook-friendly” products. The most obvious among them are plenary briefings, which give background information on a topic on the agenda of the EP plenary session. They are always published a few days before the session and translated into six different languages. With our plenary briefings, Members can get a very short and timely overview of the topic they might not be completely familiar with.

And what do we get from it?

Foremost, experience, visibility and feedback. Experience of Members’ needs. Visibility among the professional community outside the EP. And feedback on our products – that we can make them even better and more focused.

And you? Have you seen our Facebook page? What do you think about it?

About Mitja Brus

Social media coordinator at the European Parliamentary Research Service in the European Parliament.

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