Survey Says...

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In June 2016, a social media survey was shared on the LA as Subject listserv as part of a Capstone Project by the LAAS Resident Archivists. 50 responses were received from all over Los Angeles and included academic special collections, museums, historical societies, high schools, and individual research members. The survey was broken down into three sections: websites, blogs and social media. LAAS members were asked about platform usage, frequency of updates, types of content, and strategies used in creating an online presence. Here are some of their findings:

LA as Subject members are online! The overwhelming majority of responses show that LA as Subject members are online in some capacity. Website and social media presence came in the strongest with 92% of respondents stating that they have a website and 92% stating they use social media. Over 50% of respondents stated they have a blog. Of those who have blogs, the most popular blogging platform for their blogs were their own organization’s website. Wordpress was a popular second choice with Google’s Blogger platform following closely.
Facebook and Twitter are the most widely used social media platforms followed closely by Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest. 44% of respondents noted use of other platforms including Vimeo, Foursquare, Vine and Tumblr, a Blog, and direct email list “blasts.” Facebook and Twitter are seen as the most successful at producing public awareness while Snapchat and Pinterest were seen as the least successful.

According to respondents, social media is most often updated on a weekly basis. A few respondents mentioned that their department would have a social media presence, but that they were not allowed to do something separate from the larger institution’s brand. Each of these respondents did mention that they do contribute content occasionally to the institution-run social media outlets.

Types of content posted across websites, blogs and social media are similar: organization news, events, people, and collections related postings are the most common. Some of the comments about what content was posted included: historic tidbits and facts, information literacy, tutorials for undergraduates, links to long form essays, and links to newspaper articles. Some of the most popular posts related items from the organization’s collections that connecting to a current event such as the death of a public figure, elections, world events, and pop culture. Another member mentioned their most popular posting were of a litter of kittens born on the property!

Tl;dr: LA as Subject members have an online presence according to survey results. Organization websites, Facebook and Twitter are leading the way while blogs, YouTube and Instagram are also used albeit less frequently. Most of these sites and platforms are updated weekly with content about events, links and photos. The most popular content tends to be current-event related.