Likes, Comments, Views

A Content Analysis of Academic Library Instagram Posts


This article presents a content analysis of academic library Instagram accounts at eleven land-grant universities. Previous research has examined personal, corporate, and university use of Instagram, but fewer studies have used this methodology to examine how academic libraries share content on this platform and the engagement generated by different categories of posts. Findings indicate that showcasing posts (highlighting library or campus resources) accounted for more than 50 percent of posts shared, while a much smaller percentage of posts reflected humanizing content (emphasizing warmth or humor) or crowdsourcing content (encouraging user feedback). Crowdsourcing posts generated the most likes on average, followed closely by orienting posts (situating the library within the campus community), while a larger proportion of crowdsourcing posts, compared to other post categories, included comments. The results of this study indicate that libraries should seek to create Instagram posts that include various types of content while also ensuring that the content shared reflects their unique campus contexts. By sharing a framework for analyzing library Instagram content, this article will provide libraries with the tools they need to more effectively identify the types of content their users respond to and enjoy as well as make their social media marketing on Instagram more impactful.

Author Biographies

Jylisa Doney, University of Idaho

Assistant Professor, Social Sciences Librarian

Olivia Wikle, University of Idaho

Assistant Professor, Digital Initiatives Librarian 

Jessica Martinez, University of Idaho

Assistant Professor, Science Librarian 


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How to Cite
Doney, J., Wikle, O., & Martinez, J. (2020). Likes, Comments, Views. Information Technology and Libraries, 39(3).