For the past number of years I’ve been managing the Activehistory.ca social media accounts, namely Twitter and Facebook. Since the fall I’ve also been managing Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr accounts for my work.
The accounts are somewhat different in nature. The Active History accounts are primarily used to promote new website content, so I don’t have to be overly creative in my posts other than writing captions, pulling quotes, or selecting accompanying images. On the other hand the archives social media accounts are pretty wide open – they can cover ongoing projects, events, draw attention to digitized content, and basically anything else I can think of.
In both cases I’ve found a few different ways to make the process more manageable:
- Schedule content. In the case of Facebook and Tumblr you can pick the time and date of posts and schedule them in advance. I find this a huge help, it lets me put together posts when I have the time and have them appear later on at appropriate intervals. For twitter I tend to use TweetDeck to manage content, and that platform also has a scheduling feature.
- Hashtags are your friends. Hashtags connect new audiences to your content. Andrea Eidinger recently wrote a great summary of hashtags for Canadian historians if you’re interested in learning more.
- Theme days are also your friends. #MinitureMonday, #TinyTuesday, #WordlessWednesday, #InternationalBookDay, #Caturday etc are all easy ways to promote existing content on a regular basis while attaching your organization to a larger social media movement.
- Take photographs of what you’re doing and share them. Photographs of events, new donations, processing, and photographs of all that day-today work GLAM professionals do can be a way to provide a behind the scenes look at your organization and also explain to people what work actually goes on in an archive.
- Start collecting content for future posts. Most GLAM organizations have a lot of existing digitized content that is great for sharing on social media. If you come across interesting photographs, letters, books etc make a reference of them or save a copy for future use on social media. This is an easy way to build up a backlog of ideas that you can pull from for future posts.
- Don’t be afraid to try different things. Experiment with what days and times you post different types of content. Try new hashtags or new approaches to presenting content.
- Use some type of analytics. Many social media platforms come with basic stats built in. But it’s sometimes helpful to add Google Analytics or something similar to the content you’re creating so you can measure how your content is being accessed and used.