Kiara King is the archivist at the Ballast Trust. Kiara has written about her experiences of running and contributing to multiple twitter accounts.
Today I counted up my twitter accounts and realised I have access to 7 different ones. Thankfully I can confidently say that I’ve still had more hot dinners than twitter accounts so it’s not yet a problem but it does present challenges in managing them. This post will outline some of the things that have worked for me and some things that have. Many of the suggestions will also be useful if you’ve managed to just stick to the one account!
Figure out what kind of account you have.
Whether you are part of a team or solely responsible for an account will affect how you prioritise and organise your social media activity.
Types of account:
- Creator: Is this a personal account or organisational one that you’re solely responsible for? This means it falls to you to create content and respond to comments, etc.
- Contributing: Is it an organisational or network account? How is the responsibility for generating content for it shared? Are you clear about your role?
- Monitoring: Did you help set it up and have handed it over? This might mean that you’re not responsible for content but help keep an eye on it.
Managing multiple accounts requires some prioritisation if you are to get any of your other work done. How you prioritise will depend on the type of account you have but also the role and importance of that account.
For example, creator accounts that rely only on you to create content are a high priority. However, if it is your personal account you may be comfortable with it being inactive which means it can become a low priority.
Make use of the tools out there. It is far too time consuming to log in and out of multiple twitter accounts. There are many different tools around (some free and some paid for services including SproutSocial, Buffer, MavSocial). The ones I have used and continue to use today are tweetdeck and hootsuite, both of which are free (although hootsuite offers a paid for option with more features).
A social media management tool makes it so much easier to manage multiple accounts and/or single accounts across different platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram). These tools allow you to:
- Schedule content (essential for team accounts to see what others have planned already)
- Receive notifications for comments, mentions and messages (allowing you to reply quickly)
- See your saved likes
- View multiple user timelines
- View twitter lists for your sector (see what others are tweeting about)
- Save a keyword/hashtag search
- View activity from accounts you follow (useful to see what others are doing)
Plan & Schedule
We all know that social media can be a time suck, carving out some time to plan what you want to contribute to and taking the time to think about a strategic approach can be very useful. With multiple accounts you need to be clear that you know what you’re doing and why.
- What will your success look like? Plan from the beginning to measure your activity and decide on the important metrics for your organisation (eg likes, retweets, follows, comments or shares).
- Develop a content calendar, which will help you to plan social media activity according to events and anniversaries and hashtags.
- Schedule content at set times or when you know you’re going to be too busy to tweet.
- Share the work, can you involve colleagues in contributing? Giving people a themed day can be a good way to encourage activity.
- Is it sustainable? Don’t be afraid to assess whether you can manage multiple accounts. You don’t have to do everything.
Ultimately social media can be hard work but it should also be fun. It gives us the opportunity to:
- Tell the unique stories in our collections
- Connect to a global audience
- Build an engaged community around our heritage