Are you thinking of using twitter to reach customers or library patrons? If so, this article from Business Week is a really informative read, and shows how actual questions and problems were resolved by using twitter. It serves as a good model for libraries who want to use twitter to help patrons and promote news and events.
One thing that I found especially interesting was the concept of a person, rather than an institution, twittering. I know many libraries have started twittering, but many of these libraries tweet as the institution, with no person or face to tie the account to. Here’s what Frank, aka @ComcastCares, says about having a face on twitter:
It’s not unusual for customers to address Frank or his team members by name. “Originally when I started to do this, I used the Comcast symbol instead of my picture,” says Frank. “Then I listened to some customer feedback, and one was: ‘Where’s your picture?’ Now when they think Comcast, they think Frank. Right now I have 5,700 followers. They know about my family Web site. It gives a face to Comcast.” Frank’s other Twitter team members go by the names ComcastBill and ComcastGeorge.
I think Frank makes a very important point here. I believe our users will be more inclined to communicate with us via twitter, or even follow us, if we use twitter to give our library a face. In other words, use twitter to increase your library’s presence and outreach to patrons, but don’t have a picture of your logo or you building. Twitter is all about connecting with people, so make sure your library twitter account is a real person.