Libraries, what’s your Twitter Response Strategy?

Many libraries have already jumped on the social media bandwagon, and library staff will tell you that they do have a Twitter account to help them reach out to their customers. Uses of Twitter vary from library to library, but concerns over formal procedures come out in queries to list-servs, friends and blog posts.

Does your library have a Twitter Response Strategy? Odds are that you do, you probably just didn’t know it. A Twitter Response Strategy is your approach on how and when you are going to respond to comments and direct messages via Twitter. And, for libraries, you often have to add on steps to comply with your state’s open records policies too.

From a customer service and interaction standpoint, you need to think of things like: Do you send a DM to everyone that follows you when they first sign up to follow you? Do you thank all RTs (retweets)? Do you acknowledge all Follow Friday mentions? These are decisions you’re going to have to make as you move forward.

From an open records standpoint, I’m going to point you to your city, county or other organizational legal counsel to give you feedback on anything you may need to do to be in compliance with Open Records for you. Maybe your library isn’t subject to those rules, in which case I’m jealous, but many many libraries are.

If you need to get started on a formal Twitter Response Strategy, American Express’ Open Forum has good guidelines to walk you through the process:

  1. Decide what you’re going to respond to. Examples, Direct @ reply questions, @ mentions of your brand, people talking about your brand name, etc.
  2. Response speed matters.
  3. Know when to DM and when to publicly reply.
  4. Set guidelines, but also trust your community managers.
  5. Listen to your community.

Check out the entire post for some great info on each of these items. It will walk you through some of the decisions you need to make as you look into how to approach your Twitter responses.


About Sandra Fernandez

Sandra Fernandez is a social media and public relations consultant, tech enthusiast, book lover, and blogger. You can find her main blog at and more of her writing at

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