July 11, 2013

Guide to social media for historic sites and history organizations

We're working on a guide to social media for historic sites and history and heritage organizations.  It will be available individually in electronic form at no cost.  If the first one is well-received, we'll do a follow up with more advanced topics.  (To be notified when the guide is available, and for occasional updates on The History List, sign up here.) 

We're looking for your experiences, insights, recommendations, and questions regarding increasing awareness of and attendance at your site and events, including . . .

  • Using Twitter, Facebook, Vine, Google+, YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram, Flickr, HistoryPin, Pinterest, and others
  • Policies and practices, including getting started, gaining followers, growing and expanding, and managing growth
  • Handling reviews and recommendations, including Trip Advisor, Yelp, Google, and others

Here's an example of a great tip we received from Matt Wilding, who heads the web and social media efforts at The Freedom Trail Foundation:

Guide to social media for historic sites and history organizationsEveryone knows you’re supposed to use hashtags, but often they’re not used very well. Using a tag regularly that might be used by someone else (such as #thisdayinhistory, #history, #mapoli, etc) is a good strategy, but a really good way to boost visibility is to find ways to tie what you’re posting to what’s going on in the world. For example, we have used #pirates when the Pittsburg Pirates are being buzzed about. #Occupy and #OccupyBoston were handy during the Occupy Movement to post about the British Occupation.

Our goal is for this to be useful regardless of the size of your organization or your level of experience with social media.

Please send problems you've encountered, your solutions, your ongoing struggles, your questions, and your successes and failures.  We'll attribute your tips and suggestions to you—unless you'd rather we not.  Just let us know.

Your contributions can be as short as a single sentence or question, a few bullets, or a longer form case study with before and after data points.  

Our deadline for submissions is July 20.  Send us a note, and please include links and screenshots, where appropriate.  

To receive updates on The History List, including information on the guide, sign up here.

And check out the case study we wrote last year about Matt's ongoing "On this day" campaign of 365 videos, which are posted on YouTube and promoted through Facebook and Twitter.

Update on The History List on social media

We started with Facebook and Twitter accounts for The History List.  We recently added Facebook and Twitter accounts under the "Seeing History" name.  

Going forward, the accounts for The History List will primarily focus on the interests of the organizations that participate on The History List, including ways to increase awareness and attendance.  Seeing History is primarily focused on individuals and families looking for something interesting to do in their communities or as part of planning a trip.  The recommendations on Seeing History are drawn from listings on The History List.  In the months ahead we will introduce additional ways organizations can publicize the events they list on The History List through social media.

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