Posted by: bluesyemre | July 11, 2013

Understanding Social Capital by Laura Solomon

  • Even if your library has been around the social media block a few times, here are strategies to earn, build, and cash in on your library’s online reputation. During the Save Ohio Libraries movement in 2009, some libraries in Ohio jumped into Twitter. Undoubtedly, they saw it as another avenue for getting the word out about the imminent and catastrophic budget cuts being proposed by Ohio’s governor. However, two major factors prevented them from really using Twitter as an effective rallying tool. The first was simply a lack of followers. Numbers are not the only criterion for social media success (and certainly not the most important one), but some followers are needed to spread a message. When an organization jumps into a social media tool during a crisis before having developed followers over time, there is a distinct lack of audience to hear any pleas for help. The second was a lack of social capital. Social capital is what allows any organization or individual to make requests of its followers successfully. Think of social capital as funds in a sort of intangible bank account that you add to by listening to, engaging with, and doing favors for others. Each time you make a request, you are drawing on that account. If no social capital has been established from which to draw, actions requested of others are likely to be ignored. Having social capital is, in many ways, equivalent to having credibility in a selected online community. Social capital can be earned only over time, by participating appropriately in the community.


  1. […] Understanding Social Capital by Laura Solomon ( […]


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