Rebecca Boyde is Youth Engagement Officer for Dig It! 2017 and Archaeology Scotland. Since joining the Scottish Heritage Social Media Group, she has gone from social media novice to setting up and coordinating the Scottish Learning Group on Twitter, Facebook and blog).
Don’t you love it when the right thing comes along? In 2015, I was super excited to hear about SHSMG! At the time, I wanted to get more of a handle on social media. It wasn’t something that I felt very confident about, despite the fact that I’d posted as part of Archaeology Scotland’s ‘learning team’ voice for years and of course had my own active Facebook profile.
It wasn’t only the subject matter that I was happy about. What really attracted me to SHSMG at the beginning was the knowledge that people are welcome to just come and listen. In other words, I didn’t need to know the latest social media trends or have anything prepped ahead of time. I could view it as my own personal learning opportunity. My lack of confidence didn’t last long! At the first meeting I discovered that I had things to say after all and had more experience than I’d given myself credit for. Finding something frustrating on social media (such as Facebook algorithms) actually is a learning experience in itself. By day I am a learning officer and I found that this worldview – such as what kind of information I give a thumbs up to as good learning practice on social media – was helpful to others. SHSMG often say ‘we are all experts’ and I found that this was true right away. Each meet up I’ve been to has been different and includes people from a different stages in their working lives.
Listening to the event speakers and everyone in the group else opens your mind to the current challenges and opportunities that are out there. At the same time, no one seems to mind if you ask a ‘novice’/simple question. In fact, coordinators Julianne and David have spent several minutes explaining things and stimulating group discussion over simple questions I’ve asked (e.g. how to manage a Facebook page vs Twitter). Sometimes I contact them via Twitter to ask a question publically, figuring that if I’m stumped, others will be too.
So what is it like to attend? We all need to greet friendly faces, share experiences and ask questions in an arena where we feel comfortable. SHSMG is exactly that. Everyone is really lovely! The meet ups take place every other month in either a quiet corner of a pub or a member’s workplace (so far I’ve been to the Registry of Scotland offices and behind the scenes at the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards Regimental Museum, but SHSMG have had more meet ups elsewhere). Both kinds of venue work well, as the meet ups are always casual and friendly. At the beginning of each meeting, Julianne let us know about any upcoming job openings, news or events, introduces that meet up’s speaker, and David starts live Tweeting. Each meet up is themed and we hear from a (informal) speaker, who either tells us a story (such as social media in their workplace or how they link their work with social media trends) or has come to ask advice. I love it when the newest meet up info comes out because the topics are always really interesting!
SHSMG has done 9 meet-ups over 18 months in both Edinburgh and Glasgow. From this I’ve picked up some top tips.
Set up your own personal (not work related) Instagram, twitter and blog accounts. This has helped me find my ‘voice’ in an arena where I don’t have to worry about looking polished. It also is a good way of familiarizing yourself with how the various platforms work and a variety of ‘social’ writing styles.
At the Scotland Registry meet up, @TheCastleHunter (David C. Weinczok) said ‘audiences will be forgiving’ over technical issues like talking during windy conditions. After that I felt confident to start recording my own videos, even though I don’t have his technical expertise or recording equipment (yet).
Always use an image
because the social media platforms/algorithms will push it out for you more…and get it sorted for posts by using Canva, which has templates for Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Facebook and Instagram.
Schedule, schedule, schedule
Don’t get caught out by your annual leave. Your social media reach will wither if you don’t feed it.
- Tweetdeck – schedule tweets and use multiple Twitter accounts, including allowing colleagues access the same account but not need to share a password
- Hootsuite will allow you to post to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and others.