The Kansas City Library is Better Than You at Instagram

January 6, 2015  |  Jacquelyn Gozdowiak

Thinking Big

Can you believe a library is doing Instagram better than you? A friggin’ library.

An institution that is supposedly experiencing a death rattle. An institution that is supposedly out of touch with the modern, digital audience. An institution that is supposedly only of interest to the elderly or those looking to use free internet.

The Kansas City Library is doing Instagram better than your so-called cutting edge company.

They aren’t bothering with content that tells you to come to the library. They aren’t saying it’s something that it isn’t. They’re simply showing you why you should do go there. They’re doing this by posting fun, interesting photos from around the library that shows you what you can expect there.

Oh, so teens don’t like to read or go to the library? And they don’t like authority? What about pictures showing shelves of banned books that they have a right to read no matter what out-of-touch authority figures seem to think? With a handful of said books propped open with the letters B-A-N-N-E-D scribbled in bright red paint across the pages. That’s what the KC Library did on Instagram.

It’s no secret that people love to work at coffee shops, where they can sip coffee and go about their work for hours, from a public space. The KC Library knows this, too. So they posted a behind the scenes photo from their internal coffee roaster taste-tasting, to announce the opening of a new cafe in their library. That photo of a row of slow-drip coffee brewers with coffee names obscured to maintain non-biased anonymity in choosing the best brew sure is a lot more intriguing and share-worthy than a poster that says “New Cafe Coming Soon!”

Let us not forget about the photos of the librarians dressing for and geeking out over the Scripps Spelling Bee. Be(e)cause people don’t follow businesses on social media. They follow the people, the voices, the personalities that embody the business. We like to see who is behind our favorites brands and businesses that we support.

Oh, and of course there are photos of books.

A public library that only posts photos on their Instagram stream every few weeks or so, is doing Instagram better than your company is. Why? Because they love what they do. They believe in what they do. But wait, you’re about to say you love what you do, too, and your business is just as passionate about it, right?

The difference is, that feeling actually comes through their posts and their content.

Libraries and books are about the imagination, the excitement, the places you’ll go between the pages of that book. I expect the content of any social media account to embody the same essence of that company’s product. Otherwise, why are you on Instagram? Why are you bothering with Twitter, Facebook, etc.? Show me what I’m getting with you, don’t tell me.

I live nine hours away from the Kansas City Library and I know (and love) more about them than many of the national brands and big box chains that have larger marketing budgets and are close enough for me to patronize.

You can find the Kansas City Library on Instagram at @kclibrary



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