This past summer, I completed an independent study focused on how archives and special collections use, could use, and should use social media platforms. As part of that class, I put together a series of guides targeted towards archives and special collections (although they could be equally useful to libraries, museums, and other cultural institutions). The guides are intended to be one-page, ready reference sheets for archivists using social media. Each guide is focused on a single platform. Although much of the information could be transferred to any social media platform, each platform has its own uses and quirks. The guides include suggestions on what to post and when to post, tips for good content, a few projects to try, a few options for measuring social media “success,” and some repositories who I think use that platform to their advantage. They do not include information for how to work each social media platform (e.g. – uploading photos, adding tags, etc.). There are already a large number of resources on the web for individuals needing help with technical issues. My primary goal was to provide quick, useful resources to those people who wanted guidance on how to best use social media platforms for their repository.
I based each guide on my own experience managing a social media program for an archives, advising archivists on social media use, and as someone who follows archives and other cultural institutions on a number of social media platforms. I also took into account advice from other institutional users of social media (including the non-profit and corporate sectors), archives and library literature on the subject, and the results of my 2012 Social Media Use in Archives and Special Collections survey.
Because I wanted to keep the guides at one page each, there was a limit on how much information I could include. I intend to write a series of posts expanding on each guide – explaining them in more detail, offering more examples and advice, etc. Right now I have completed guides on using Facebook, Twitter, blogs, Flickr, tumblr, and YouTube. As I continue my research on social media use in archives and special collections, I plan to put together guides on additional platforms such as Pinterest and Historypin.
I created these guides with a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. They are posted on my personal website, and with this license in mind, feel free to print, share, and repost them! All I ask is if you use them, please provide a link back to rebeccahopman.com/socialmedia. You can find all of the guides here.