Digital cultural collections sites represent a large investment for cultural institutions but often marketing and promotion of these collections take a significant amount of time. While many institutions excel at marketing and promotion at face-to-face events, they may find it difficult to maintain the time and energy to keep promoting resources on social media. Social media is vital for cultural institutions that use web statistics to justify the expense of digital cultural collections. In this paper, the authors will discuss time-saving, practical social media approaches for promoting digital cultural collections sites, such as the Living Histories @ UON site, using a targeted approach which goes beyond traditional social media engagement. The authors will discuss their practical experiences raising awareness of the Living Histories site and enhancing community engagement by designing and executing a multi-pronged social media ‘campaign’.
The correlation between posting on social media and page hits will be demonstrated using quantitative analysis of statistical web data. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest will be some social media tools used. Some strategies utilized include: a Twitter bot, targeting content to specific user groups (i.e. a Facebook group), automated social media posting, participating in global social media events (i.e. Explore Your Archive week), blogging and asking affiliated users and groups to post content on their accounts. The authors will report on which strategy and which social media platform was most successful in drawing users to the Living Histories site. Strategies that failed at engagement will also be discussed.