Many of us spend time on Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media chatting with friends and family. Did you know that you can use social media for family history? Social media is a tool that can be used to connect with a target audience. This means you can use it to connect with your family members in ways that are efficient and fun!
FamilySearch posted a blog that is filled with great information about how to use social media for family history. The blog is called Hashtags, Tweets, and Blogs: the New Language of Family History. It is a good starting point for those who are using social media and who aren’t super savvy about all that the various social media websites can do.
Do you have a lot of family members on Facebook? It is quite possibly the most popular form of social media. As such, there are many who have several generations of their family connected through Facebook.
This makes it the perfect social media in which to set up a private family page or group. It is like having your own, family-only, message board. Invite your relatives into it. Start using it as a way to plan and organize family reunions. FamilySearch suggests that you post old family photos on your family page or group. Who is that person in the photo? Maybe another family member can solve that mystery for you.
Twitter is another popular form of social media. It allows you communicate in 140 characters. You can include a link to something or add a photo to your Tweet. The most effective way to organize something on Twitter is through a “hashtag”.
A hashtag looks like this: #. To use it on Twitter, you add words after the #. For example, you could start tagging Tweets about a family reunion with #SmithFamilyReunion. Your family members can search Twitter for that hashtag. The search will bring up all of the Tweets that used it. One Tweet that includes a hashtag can connect thousands of people who are interested in the topic. It would make it really easy to share thoughts, photos, and comments about family gatherings on Twitter.
Need a good place to post a bunch of family photos? Instagram or Flicker are two popular photo websites. You can post all the photos from a family birthday party, wedding, Christening, or reunion and share it with every member of your family. They can go check out the photos whenever they have time.
A person does not have to have their own Flickr account in order to view what you post on Flickr. You also don’t have to have an Instagram account in order to view the photos that are posted on Instagram. In other words, family members who don’t use either of these forms of social media can still see the family photos you post there.
Image by Renato Mitra on Flickr.
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