Using Coschedule to Manage Social Media

I always thought that successful social media managers were GLUED to their screens, but I committed to taking some time this summer to create a better social media strategy for our Public History program, and realized this is not necessarily true! I signed up for Kim Jimenez’s Content Calendar System course and realized how I could start recycling some content more efficiently and how tools like Coschedule could help me do that.

Coschedule provides a blog and social media driven tool for planning and releasing content to the world. I signed up for a trial, and, in an hour, I was able to create a week’s worth of content to distribute to our facebook, instagram, and twitter accounts, and, because it’s so easy, I even set up a linkedin page for our program. Once I get the hang of this, I’ll be able to create a month’s worth of content in a few hours.

Coschedule Calendar View

I love the visual display of the calendar — it pulls up my planned content for the week. I also have a grad student working to share current events posts on twitter and Facebook, and Coschedule even pulls in these posts after they’re shared directly through those platforms.

A few features I love:

  • I can let it choose the best times of the day to post based on analytics, which also means that it distributes the posts throughout the day across the different social media platforms, so they don’t all blast out at once.
  • Quite frequently, I use my email inbox as a holding platform for potential social media posts, but now I can schedule a post for the future and archive that email.
  • We also could make better use of recurrent posts about the programs that we offer. Coschedule allows me to set up this content recycling process which takes one more thing off my mental load!
  • I can create one social media cost for four different platforms. After saving it, I can go in and tweak it for each platform – shortening it for twitter, adding tags into different platforms for different entities discussed in the post, etc.
  • Everything is drag-and-droppable like a calendar or Trello board, so you can move posts between days or if you need to reschedule, you can drag them over to an ideas board.

One great feature that I haven’t experimented with yet is the Social Media campaign feature. This allows you to easily take one piece of content and generate multiple social media posts using that same content. This would work great for events announcements – automating reminders posting to social media.

Social Media Campaign view allows you to set recurring posts related to a single item.

Coschedule also has some amazing features to integrate with WordPress blogs. You can edit your blog posts in Coschedule or in WordPress and set when you want Coschedule to release them. 

The only thing I’ve found so far that’s less than perfect is the instagram posting. To post on instagram, it sends a push notification on your phone and you must open instagram and click new post. It adds your image for you and then you do a long-press to paste in the text for you post. It’s not entirely convenient but made as easy as possible.

Overall, I’m really excited about this tool. I’ve tried the free version of Hootsuite before, but always had found it limiting. Coschedule is affordable and extremely user-friendly, and I’m really hopeful that it will meet my needs. They even have a three-week free trial period, so there’s no harm in giving Coschedule a try!

Social Media and Museums

Instagram for Museums Posted by Digital Pathways.

Social Media for Museums: An Overview Posted by Digital Pathways. 

Should Museums Have a Personality By Russell Dornan.

The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Hashtags in 2020 By Benjamin Chacon. 

This week’s readings provided a guide for strategizing how to transfer a museum’s image onto social media platforms. These authors interpret ‘image’ as a museum’s mission, the culture of the institution. With a focus on Instagram, these articles collectively offer a multilayered introduction to the many advantages of branding your organization on this platform. These readings brought forth some of the most fundamental lessons in public history in extending the ethics of traditional methods of community outreach, networking within the profession, and producing original work. Furthermore, these readings also capture the importance of using the platform to strengthen interpersonal relationships between the museum and the people they serve.

Instagram for Museums and Social Media for Museums: An Overview, both published on Digital Pathways (unknown individual author) serve as a more general overview for museum employees in taking the first step of starting an Instagram page. I felt that the objective of these two articles were to persuade museum employees to take the first step of signing up on this platforms. By breaking down Instagram’s usability and promotional advantages, these articles highlight Instagram as a simple, accessible, and effective tool for growing a museum’s community. ‘Community’ refers to the professional and local community of which museums are situated in. One thing that I really like from Social Media for Museums: An Overview is the attention to audience and inclusivity. I think it’s important to highlight the history of exclusion of certain demographic groups, and to recognize the outreach that could be achieved through social media. 

Russell Dornan’s Should Museums Have a Personality and Benjamin Chacon’s The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Hashtags in 2020 provide more minute details for maintaining your museum’s Instagram profile. Dornan, I feel, focuses more on the creativity aspect of producing content and writing captions across various social media platforms. I think this article serves as a lesson in consistency and appropriate language. Two very important factors in conducting public history that are applicable to digital platforms. Chacon’s article, on the other hand, is a more analytical approach to using Instagram to grow your following. Chacon offers probably  the most ‘advanced’ or in depth approach to growing your following, and keeping track of your museum’s social media activity. I really like how Chacon pulls back the curtain of average Instagram posts and captions to dissect how to take advantage of Instagram’s algorithm. Both of these authors do a very good job at providing an example of each of their methods. These authors provide readers with a new perspective to the simplest functions by sharing their approach for using the most common features across social media (Twitter threads, the explore page, hashtags, etc). I think this makes readers feel that they too can maintain an effective profile. 

I really like how all four authors stress that social media is not just about marketing. Each article highlights that maintaining an element of ‘fun’ in effort to ‘humanize’ museums, and maintain memorable social media presence. Each article recognizes that there are actual people behind the accounts that follow, or could potentially follow, the museum. While social media is great for establishing first impressions, this activity should continue this effort with real world interactions.

History, Technology; The Blog and The Passion

to contact this author, click the photo above!

Publicly Historians? Publicly Modern Historians!

Interestingly enough, I have not been a “blogger” for very long but I can tell you this much, as a new student in the Public History program at St. Mary’s University I have grown to be many different things including a blogger. The students in the program have become bloggers, twitter-storians, Slack-ers, and have even hit the nail on the head with the Planner application as planners, innovators and do-ers. History, by the perspective of many, is this old dusty subject that student have to take in grade school. There is an understanding that the topic continues in some people’s lives through writing, and publications of research. The public knows of historians that work in libraries and museums pulling things of historical value out of an old vault or collection.

Transfiguration in History Nation (caution: bloggers in the making)

My colleagues, the fellow students, the professors and the undergraduate students around the Department of Public History at St. Mary’s have begun transfiguration to a new type of historian. The world is changing and we are changing with it. Looking at some of the applications that I shared up above here, I would think the main pivotal platforms are this blog (Publicly Historians), Twitter, and Slack. These three applications have helped re-innovate the way we think and work together in teams and as classmates. The applications started as a requirement to learn a new method of communication and dissemination of information but have since turned into a more preferred method of communicating and sharing than I originally imagined. Blogging however seems to be that one that has given me a new perspective on the capacity of a historian that is different than the traditional historians we have met in the past. Looking through our blog site has been interesting for me as I was considering this topic to. There are blogs that talk about the “mummy brown” paint color to the “Esperanza Peace and Justice Center” and even a blog on a historical project going on in the Westside San Antonio region. The students have jumped past just thinking about the topics themselves in relation to the course but they have also delved into some topics that are just interesting altogether and tried to incorporate the public history aspect of our field into their accounts. becoming a blogger in this day is important though. I have seen and heard of information being researched and written about and then nobody sees it or reads it. I’ve typed out a well thought out blog and attached some great photos and within a few minutes of posting might have a comment or a retweet and the feeling is great. The information that I spent time to gather information and share it shared within moments and at that time I know my research did some immediate good.

Not Just Procrastinators but “Slack-ers”

Now, you might be wondering what Slack is and believe me, I was wondering too. Slack is a platform used by different organizations as a collaborative online workspace. The neat thing about slack is that it works across most platforms including iOS (i-Phone), Android, Mac, Windows and Linux. It is user friendly and is pretty vibrant in color. The platform is pretty simple to use at first and only gets easier after you’ve had your first few conversations. Why is any of this important to the modern-day historian? Well, we are able to not just have a group message type conversation, we are able to schedule events, participate in polls, have side conversations with each other and create our own workflows with the application. We can share resources and blog ideas as well as just pertinent information in relation to the program with each other. We even have fun with it sometimes and share memes and other funny side notes.

P-interesting Huh?

So by now you may have though, “well Geremy, I am not a historian, so why does this matter to me?” It turns out that everyone isn’t a historian (big surprise there) but everyone is effected by these new methods. It could be in 10 years or it could be tomorrow that someone somewhere needs to know something about a topic that we are blogging, tweeting, slack-ing about and we now have these conversations and research topics posted somewhere that can be searched and can be used for future research. It is something worth caring about. The work we are doing is going to change the way historians conduct research in the future. The historian of the future will no longer Face-books all day long but could be searching one of our four-squares of informational platforms.