Running Socialism Realised’s Twitter Account

September 16, 2018

The Socialism Realised Twitter account came into being in 2016, soon after the website itself was ready for use. The first tweets just attempted to share the website’s educational material, but it quickly became clear that people weren’t paying attention. In order to draw people in, SocReal (as we lovingly call it) started to expand its focus. Not just communist Czechoslovakia, not just history; now, mostly anything related to Central and Eastern Europe or the former Soviet Union during the communist period or today is fair game. If someone is interested in communist Czechoslovakia, what else might they be interested? Or on the flip side, what other interests might lead someone to take an interest in communist Czechoslovakia?

One of the things that makes Twitter most difficult to master is how quickly things trend and then disappear. That’s also its beauty, though; if you’re paying attention, you can keep yourself relevant all the time. This becomes particularly applicable for a history-focused account, because there are always anniversaries to mention — to celebrate, in some cases, or to honor, in others.

Take the 50th anniversary of the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia, which ended the Prague Spring in August 1968. Usually, it’s only a very small subset of historians, students, and visitors to Prague who might be interested in reading about the Prague Spring; but in mid-August of 2018, the subject had a much bigger reach. SocReal’s Twitter account attempted to capitalize on that interest, posting all of its Prague Spring- or Warsaw Pact invasion-related material in addition to sharing numerous other articles and tweets on the subject. Engagement is one of the key ways to expand your reach on Twitter, so we also tried to engage with other accounts that were posting about the Prague Spring by commenting on and sharing their material in addition to our own.

It’s not every day that a 50 year anniversary of a major event — or, say, the centennial of the Bolshevik Revolution, which of course happened in 2017 — comes along, but once you’ve expanded your area a bit, there’s always something that your followers might be interested in. SocReal’s next big target will be in November, for the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution — but expect to see plenty of other material between then and now.