On May 29, 2014, Scott Vieira, James Williamson and Felicia Williamson presented “Promoting Finding Aids on Social Media: What Worked and What Didn’t Work” at the Society of Southwest Archivists Annual Conference in New Orleans. The presentation centered on the findings of our yearlong project during which we attempted to determine whether social media sites could be used to promote the use of finding aids from our Archon website (https://archon.shsu.edu). We also wanted to know if certain sites were better the others at promoting the use of our finding aids to conduct in depth archival research.
To determine this, we selected 9 social media sites (Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Flickr, Myspace, Google +, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and HistoryPin) and a blog (WordPress). For six months, we managed all ten sites — adding content, increasing the number of followers and promoting SHSU Archives and Thomason Special Collections. At the end of the six month period, we began our research phase by posting one finding aid a week on each site with a description of the collection. Using Google Analytics, we tracked the progress of the finding aids week by week including how many times each finding aid was viewed and various demographic details about the viewers (point of origin of the click, etc.)
Our presentation generated a great deal of positive feed back at SSA and we are happy to share our PowerPoint, which can be viewed at the link below. We are currently working on a journal article to be published (we hope!) next year.