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Marketing Finding Aids on social media – What worked and what didn’t work

Marketing Finding Aids on social media – What worked and what didn’t work

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Marketing Finding Aids on social media – What worked and what didn’t work

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  1. Marketing Finding Aids on social media – What worked and what didn’t work Society of Southwest Archivists 2014

  2. Introductions • Felicia Williamson, MLIS, CA • Special Collections Librarian • • Scott Vieira, MLIS • Electronic Resources Librarian • • James Williamson, MLIS, CA • Digital Resources Librarian •

  3. Why we undertook this research • We wanted our archive to be known, fast! • Introduced Archon in January 2012. • Archon is a searchable online finding aid database. • While it was indexed and appearing on search engines, it was not getting a lot of attention. • Special Collection & University Archives did not have a presence on the Library’s social media.

  4. The kernel • The kernel of the idea came years earlier at SAA in Chicago – when a presenter mentioned that Google crawls social media more effectively than a traditional library website! “Corn Kernel” Wikipedia. Accessed May 23, 2014.

  5. Research Questions • Can social media sites be used to promote archival finding aids? • Does this type of material operate well within the online community? • Which sites provide the best return on investment? • Running these sites takes a lot of time – can we see a clear advantage to running two or three sites over their competition?

  6. Social Media Uses in Archives • There is research touting the many advantages of running social media platforms for outreach and marketing purposes such as: • Reaching new audiences. • Advertising events. • Advertising departmental innovations, staff, policies, etc. • Though our social media did serve these purposes, our research is approaching the question of whether people will click through a social media post to conduct archival research using a finding aid.

  7. Methodology – Getting Started • Selected and started maintaining a blog and 9 social media sites. • Steps… • Used statistics on most popular sites. • Included sites that had been promoted within the archival community, e.g., Historypin and Pinterest. • In both Flickr and LinkedIn we joined related historical groups. (In some cases this would provide the benefit of exposing our posts to more groups.) • Blog/Wordpress, Facebook, Flickr, Google+, Historypin, LinkedIn, MySpace, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Twitter.

  8. Methodology – Getting Started II

  9. Methodology - Getting started part III • We selected two listservs with total membership of almost 1,000 people (although we didn’t measure overlap between the two groups). The groups were selected based upon practical issues and geography. • Archives and Archivists (631) • Arkansas History (306) • Archon finding aids content was selected for research phase based upon appealing historic or visual interest. • A publishing schedule for the content was worked out for twelve weeks—the duration of the research phase. • In the six months leading up to the research phase, we built an audience for each site by posting content on a bi-weekly basis. • Drew from materials in Special Collections & SHSU Archives. • Selected content from collections with appealing historic or visual interest.

  10. Methodology – Technical Notes • We choose Google Analytics as our usage analysis tool. • Google Analytics Setup: • Learning Curve • Create a Google Analytics Account. • Added Archon to our account, which creates an unique tracking ID for our Archon URL. • Embed Google Analytics tracking code within Archon’s php footer template code.

  11. Methodology – Technical Notes (con’t) • Setup Google Campaign for tracking social media sites. • Create template URL for Google Campaign. This allowed us to track sessions, page views, average duration of page views and number of pages viewed across ten social media sites. Sample URL: • Setup pop-up survey using Survey Monkey on Archon home page. • Steps… • Design and tested survey in Survey Monkey. • Campus IT placed put together a pop-up with link to the survey. The pop-up was triggered by landing on the SHSU Archon home page. Questions included: • How did you find us? • Are you affiliated with Sam Houston State University? • What research interests do you have?

  12. Methodology – Research Phase • Establish starting point for social media followers. • Prepared content for social media posts and listservs. Primarily edited selection from biographical information and scope and content note. Used Google Campaign URL template and copy and pasted. • During the research phase, publish one finding aid a week for twelve weeks. • Posted once a week around 10am on Tuesday. • Email listserv posts to selected listservs.

  13. Example of Sanford Bates Collection Wordpress

  14. Example of Sanford Bates Collection Twitter

  15. Example of the Map Collection Flickr

  16. Example of the Map Collection Myspace Facebook

  17. Example of the Wild Dog Collection Tumblr

  18. Example of the Wild Dog Collection Historypin Pinterest

  19. Example of Listserv Email

  20. Findings-Explanation of Traffic • Search Engines • Traffic from search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo). • Referral • All traffic from outside websites that contain links to our finding aids. • Library website • Digital Collections website • Emails • Listserv • Traffic from the two designated listservs that we posted to. • Social Media • Traffic from our campaign on designated social media sites.

  21. Findings

  22. Findings-# of Finding Aid Click-throughs

  23. # of Click-through vs. Audience size

  24. Findings- Most clicked Finding Aids • Map collection (Map collection) -Click-throughs:14 -Launch Date: December 3, 2013 • Austin MacCormick (Criminal Justice) -Click-throughs:10 -Launch Date: November 5, 2013 • James V. Bennett Collection (Criminal Justice) -Click-throughs: 9 -Launch Date: October 8, 2013 • Ruiz vs. Estelle Collection (Criminal Justice) -Click-throughs: 8 -Launch Date: November 12, 2013 • John Warren Smith Papers (Research Collection) -Click-throughs: 8 -Launch Date: November 26, 2013 • Sanford Bates Collection (Criminal Justice) -Click-throughs: 7 -Launch Date: October 15, 2013

  25. Findings- Activity with Users • Map collection • 42 likes/re-blogs/etc. • Wild Dog • 13 likes/re-blogs/etc. • WWI • 12 likes/re-blogs/etc. • Sanford Bates • 6 likes/re-blogs/etc. • John Warren Smith • 5 likes/re-blogs/etc. • 3 others tied with 4 World War I Collection, 1909-2005, Sam Houston State University

  26. Findings - # of Views vs Click-Throughs

  27. Findings- Increase in Followers • The only sites that showed a substantial increase were: • Tumblr 84.8% • Wordpress 65.3% • Wordpress content was heavily based on research project. • Tumblr had other content unrelated to the project which produced more re-blogs and likes.

  28. Findings-Average Duration • History Pin - 00:08:46 (1 click-through) • Twitter - 00:02:28 (18 click-throughs) • LinkedIn - 00:02:06 (16 click-throughs) • Facebook - 00:02:05 (25 click-throughs) • Blog - 00:01:33 (30 click-throughs) • Tumblr - 00:01:25 (10 click-throughs) • Every other site had average duration of a few seconds

  29. Findings-Frequency of Use • Tuesday - 40 click-throughs • Wednesday -17 click-throughs • Thursday - 22 click-throughs • Friday -10 click-throughs • Saturday - 2 click-throughs • Sunday - 10 click-throughs • Monday - 8 click-throughs (everyone is bumming around) andria-spafford (2012). Monday Monkey lives for the weekend sir.

  30. Findings-Platform • Only 9 out of the 109 click-throughs were viewed from mobile devices. • Blog • Windows (20 click-throughs) • Macintosh (5 click-throughs) • iOS (3 click-throughs) • Twitter • Windows (16 click-throughs) • Macintosh (2 click-throughs) • Facebook • Linux (14 click-throughs) • Windows (10 click-throughs) • iOS (1 click-throughs)

  31. Takeaways from the findings • Listservs produced the highest results. • 109 click-throughs to the website. • 74 click-throughs to the designated finding aid. • Sites like Flickr, Pinterest, and Historypin provide high numbers of views but not an audience that clicks through. • Sites like Tumblr, Facebook, and Twitter are middle of the pack. • Blog was the winner in term of total number of click-throughs, number of click-throughs/followers.

  32. Takeaways from the findings • Those interested in clicking through to your finding aids are going to be on laptops or pcs. • Interesting images may bring activity and new views but it doesn’t necessarily correlate to users viewing your finding aid.

  33. Benefits of Social Media Effort • After a year of social media efforts, we have already seen these benefits: • People on campus are increasingly aware of Special Collections & SHSU Archives. • More students contacting us for research help or to put up displays (one of our learning objectives). • This is probably the most noticeable and drastic change! • We had a researcher come in who had read about collections on the blog, but never seen Archon. • But is this the point? Does social media lead people to finding aid based research?

  34. Social Media and Google • Our social media campaigns have increased our presence on Google. • We appear higher in the search results (first page, every time) and often have multiple points of entry – for instance we might have a direct hit for a finding aid, a hit for the blog, a hit for Google+, etc. • In a competitive research environment where most researchers start with Google – and some never go beyond Google – this is a compelling result.

  35. Example of Google Search Results • Google search for “Sanford Bates.” • We are 4 out of 10 results on the first page of results.

  36. Social Media Tips • Identify and remember your audience. • Make announcements on Listserv’s and even LinkedIn, but aren’t sustainable as a way to advertise finding aids. • Local community interest was high. When limited by location, Huntsville, TX was the most likely point of origin for a click-through.

  37. Surprises • Google+ received next to no interest from viewers. • It does however enhance Google search results, bringing information about finding aids to the top of the Google Search results page. • There are remaining questions about whether Google+ is worth the effort and whether the Google Search results were a result of Google+ specifically, or the over all social media effort.

  38. More surprises • Historypin is touted in the literature and Myspace is listed in the top ten of all social media sites, but does not seem to garner much attention from our audiences. • Tumblr really surprised us by how much patrons interacted with the content.

  39. What’s next • We plan to maintain the Blog and Tumblr and to contribute to the shared Library Facebook and Twitteraccounts. • We might continue Pinterest and Google+, depending on research interest and staff time constraints. • Pinterest and Flickr are viewed, but don’t generate a lot of click-throughs. They are good for overall archival promotion.

  40. What’s best for finding aids? • If we were only going to use one or two platforms? • We’d rely on the blog and link it to Facebook. Then, for kicks, we’d tweet about it. Easy as 1-2-3! • after a lot of effort, of course! • The lingering question is whether Google+ is truly producing higher indexing results and is worth continuing.

  41. What has happen since 2013 • Our Tumblr has blown up! • Our Tumblr has beena trending blog twice • 3 appearances on Tumblr Radar • Went from 146 to 8,000 followers (as of last week)!

  42. What has happen since 2013 • Subscribers to our blog have increased as well! • From 172 subscribers to 5,600. • Twitter and Pinterest followers have increased at a faster rate than during the research phase. • Cumulative effect, but how would our project have been different if we launched the research phase today?

  43. Questions? • Email us anytime with questions • Felicia Williamson, MLIS, CA • • 936.294.3290 • Scott Vieira, MLIS • • 936.294.3743 • James Williamson, MLIS, CA • • 936.294.3290