Posted by: snowflakeshona | April 4, 2011

Social Media and Museums – March 2011

Museums Association: Social Media and Museums conference 31/03/11

Had a great day at the Museums Association conference on social media and museums.  Here is a summary of the presentations.

The Current Landscape – Mark Ellis, sounddelivery

(Link to presentation on Slide Share – http://www.slideshare.net/sounddelivery/sounddelivery-social-media-conference-310311)

Mark gave a great introduction into the current landscape of social media and gave us all something to think about when thinking about how we want to use social media.  Firstly, you need to think about who you are, and what are you trying to do, other than what platforms should you use.  Don’t think,” let’s go on Twitter”, think “Twitter is the best way to achieve our goals.”

Statistics:

  • 30.1m adults accessed the internet everyday – that’s 60% of the UK population.
  • 73% have internet connection at home. (According to one attendee, this is 80% in Sweden).

How do we spend our time online? This is often an important question as a very small amount will be on museum websites.  However, there is massive amount of time spent on Twitter. I know personally, an app told me that I have spent over 360 hours on Facebook since I joined.  Just to put that in perspective, that’s roughly 15 whole days or nearly 8 working weeks.  And that wasn’t the largest number I have seen.  So this does equate to large amount of your time, so you have more chance of people seeing your content on social media than on your traditional websites.

See link below to a site revealing how Britons spend time online.

www.iabuk.net/en/a/ukonrevealshowbritonsspendtimeonline190510.mxs

Mark also explained the importance of friend referrals.  You won’t trust a company telling you that their product is great, but if a friend does than you are most likely to click to learn more about that product. Same works for museums.  People who have enjoyed a visit to your museum and most images/links to it, will have their friends click on it as they trust the content they are sharing as it is someone they know.

One of the biggest preconceptions is that social media is for the young.  Although the largest percent of users are 20-29, just under half of those on Facebook are aged over 30 and this is growing as more people add themselves to social networks.  With the ease of using mobile apps for accessing your social media content, more businessmen and mothers are increasingly signing up for social media through their phones.

Mark Ellis explained some of the benefits of using social media for your museum.

  • Talk about issues that are relevant to us

o   Whether this be something regarding your collections or cuts to the arts.  It can be a platform.  Useful place to gain support if you are running a campaign too.

  • To engage with visitors with similar interests

o   People who are interested in what you are talking about will talk to you and discover new things about your collection and what you do.

  • Cheap way of communicating our events and exhibitions

o   With 500million users on Facebook, it’s a great way to access a wide audience and advertise your events and exhibitions.

  • Get information

o   Your friends and followers will know a lot about your collection and can be asked to contribute information about objects.  This was successfully done by the Science Museum who create a wiki for this reason.

  • Find new audiences

o   Not everyone will know you are online and what you do.  This is a way to get people interested and discover what you do.

During his talk he also highlighted some good examples of cultural venues using social media.

o   Updates on the museum, word definitions, and interaction with other twitter users.

o   Great use of Twitter for fun, educational use.

  • Torquay Museum on Facebook

o   Great interaction with users

  • Psamtek Boy Mummy Facebook page

o   Mummy from a museum, has his own Facebook page

o   Great use of Twitter from Rufford Abbey

o   Tullie House to discuss life in Roman Britain.

Social Media and your Marketing Strategy – Dickie Felton

Dickie Felton is from the National Museums Liverpool and in the press/media office.  The NML has been involved in social media for a long time, with accounts on flickr, myspace, twitter, facebook.  They are not afraid to try things, even if it eventually fails.  But it would be wrong to not try.  Some of their accounts have not worked, but others have been highly successful.  Like with much we do, it’s a case of trial and error to see what works.  Nice to see that their disappointments have not stopped NML from taking part in social media, but strengthened their message.

As for the tone of voice, NML have used the museum building as their character and given it it’s own character and voice.  Each building and museum has a personality, and this particular personality has it’s own twitter stream and talks to its visitors.  It even talks about when the boilers are broken and its a little cold inside!  This gives the museum a human touch, rather than being a scary institution that people don’t know if they can talk to or not.  It also looks like there is someone behind the account (similar to a wizard behind the curtain) so that people feel if they do respond, they might actually get a response back.

The NML also have several accounts including one for journalists to get in contact to get information or content from.  This is a genius idea, and I have not heard of this before.  I love the idea that journalists don’t have to trawl through all the different tweets or accounts to find the information they want, but have one single account where the basic information they need is displayed.  It also gives them one single account to use to get in contact with the museum, so it does not get swallowed by the other general comments about the museum on the other accounts.

One way they are using social media well is in building hype for the new Liverpool Museum, opening soon.  They distribute information about how the project is going, and even post images on their Flickr account of what it looks like.  This gives their followers a ‘sneak peak’ into the museum.  This exclusive preview will increase excitement and hype about the project, and maybe increase footfall through the door upon opening.

Dickie Felton also mentioned about how you need to think about how to get your content out there. Bloggers are an important resource and they can promote your exhibition or museum on their blogs.  Allowing them to use your content and share it with their readers is a great way to get that information out there in the world!

The Practicalities of using social media in a museum – Stephen Devine & Andrew Gray

Stephen Devine talked about their use of social media through The Frog Blog (http://bit.ly/coKwUB).  They stated that there were two important uses when thinking about the content to use on social media:

  • Rules: 1. Don’t say anything you wouldn’t say in front of your boss…
  • Rules: 2 don’t say anything you wouldn’t say in front of your NEXT boss.

These easy rules means that the content on the Frog Blog will be varied and challenge people.  It won’t remain static or become ‘boring’ to your readers.  Also include content that is related to your organisation, but promotes others.  Andrew Gray blogs about similar collections on the frog blog and is a good way of promoting good work of other organisations (http://bit.ly/gVKxCA)

Stephen reinforced the point that you’re not competing with other blogs, you’re sharing content.  You need to share that content with people to get them interested.  It is also ok to repurpose content for use on social media.  Got videos? Put them up. Why hoard them?  (Video of children meeting a chameleon at Manchester Museum: http://youtu.be/s9URYHlN4UU)

Steve also demonstrated how using tools readily available online can help you.  The two they had found useful (among others):

6 tips for Museums on Social Media – Jim Richardson

Jim’s presentation was about the 6 top tips for museums on social media.  This was not restricted to one type of platform, which I found particularly useful. Also reinforced a lot about what we should be doing.

1.      Make you’re content easy to like, there’s a lot of things to like in museums

So add a button on your site so people can like it and share it on Facebook.  Here’s how to add a like button to your museum page: http://bit.ly/eWJQBW

2.       encourage reviews, can use social media (free to use on Facebook – Review app)

You’re best advocates are your visitors!  So asked them to write a review on your facebook page (or their/your blog) to encourage visitors to come.  I find these often include things we forget are important (“The toilets were lovely” – these things are important to visitors!).  See also, information on google +1 button that’s just released! http://bit.ly/dNXapo

3.      allow photography! People take photos all the time, great publicity for your venue!

People take photographs in your venue all the time, from digital cameras to on their phones. Put up signs in your venue to encourage them to add them to your flickr or facebook site so all the world can see them having fun!  See ‘It’s time we met project’ by the Met! Fantastic use of crowdsourcing and using social media: http://www.metmuseum.org/metshare/timewemet

4.      take in a lodger

This is what the Museum of Science +Industry Chicago did.  They asked someone to live in the museum and blog about their experience. Great way to share stuff and completely off the wall so that it really grabs attention!

5.      run a competition – Democracy exhibition by @SumoJim

This is what Jim and the team at Sumo did for their exhibition Democracy (http://www.sumodesign.co.uk/work/branding/democracy.html) where the public submitted art and voted for which work of art they wanted to see in an exhibition. The end prize would be to see their artwork on the wall.

6.      treat bloggers like rockstars! \m/

Getting them excited in your work or exhibition can mean they will talk about you in a favourable light.  Remember that people actually read these blogs and they can affect what people think.  So treat them to exclusive previews and treat them well!

Developing a Social Media Strategy – Shona Carnall

Well, this was my session.  Check my earlier blog post to find the slides!

Stargazing – new opportunities around social media – Kostas Arvantis

Kostas began his talk by changing his title to talk about social ‘objects’ rather than social media and how objects have a social life.  This can be used successfully within social media.  He highlighted this by looking at the National History Museum London who often talk about their objects by explaining their lives.  One interesting example is from Richard MacManus, ‘The Future of Social Objects’.

“A Social Tennis Racquet ca2050)”

“Imagine your tennis racquet automatically checking you in to a tennis court on Foursquare.  Ot the racquet updating your Facebook page when you defeat your mate in a social game of tennis.  Or your racquet sending you a DM on Twitter when it requires a string tightening.”

We must remember that objects have a social life and that they can tell us great stories.

He reminded us of a great quote by Maurice Davies, ‘a museum nowadays is a website with a building attached’.  This is redefining the museum experience, as it no longer is just about the onsite experience, but the online too.

Kostas also stressed the shift from media-rich to museum-rich experiences onsite, online and on-the-move where you can create ‘museum moments’.

In the past we had object postcards, collection catalogues and miniatures for people to see objects in the collection, now we have social media sites like flickr, YouTube and apps.

He ended his speech with a quote from Manuel Castells: ‘technology is neither good, nor bad, nor is it neutral.  It is a force’ (insert picture of Yoda here).

Museums Association: Social Media and Museums conference 31/03/11 Had a great day at the Museums Association conference on social media and museums.  Here is a summary of the presentations.  The Current Landscape – Mark Ellis, sounddelivery (Link to presentation on Slide Share – http://www.slideshare.net/sounddelivery/sounddelivery-social-media-conference-310311) Mark gave a great introduction into the current landscape of social media and gave us all something to think about when thinking about how we want to use social media.  Firstly, you need to think about who you are, and what are you trying to do, other than what platforms should you use.  Don’t think,” let’s go on Twitter”, think “Twitter is the best way to achieve our goals.” Statistics: · 30.1m adults accessed the internet everyday – that’s 60% of the UK population. · 73% have internet connection at home. (According to one attendee, this is 80% in Sweden). How do we spend our time online? This is often an important question as a very small amount will be on museum websites.  However, there is massive amount of time spent on Twitter. I know personally, an app told me that I have spent over 360 hours on Facebook since I joined.  Just to put that in perspective, that’s roughly 15 whole days or nearly 8 working weeks.  And that wasn’t the largest number I have seen.  So this does equate to large amount of your time, so you have more chance of people seeing your content on social media than on your traditional websites. See link below to a site revealing how Britons spend time online. www.iabuk.net/en/a/ukonrevealshowbritonsspendtimeonline190510.mxs Mark also explained the importance of friend referrals.  You won’t trust a company telling you that their product is great, but if a friend does than you are most likely to click to learn more about that product. Same works for museums.  People who have enjoyed a visit to your museum and most images/links to it, will have their friends click on it as they trust the content they are sharing as it is someone they know. One of the biggest preconceptions is that social media is for the young.  Although the largest percent of users are 20-29, just under half of those on Facebook are aged over 30 and this is growing as more people add themselves to social networks.  With the ease of using mobile apps for accessing your social media content, more businessmen and mothers are increasingly signing up for social media through their phones. Mark Ellis explained some of the benefits of using social media for your museum.  · Talk about issues that are relevant to us o Whether this be something regarding your collections or cuts to the arts.  It can be a platform.  Useful place to gain support if you are running a campaign too. · To engage with visitors with similar interests o People who are interested in what you are talking about will talk to you and discover new things about your collection and what you do. · Cheap way of communicating our events and exhibitions o With 500million users on Facebook, it’s a great way to access a wide audience and advertise your events and exhibitions. · Get information o Your friends and followers will know a lot about your collection and can be asked to contribute information about objects.  This was successfully done by the Science Museum who create a wiki for this reason. · Find new audiences o Not everyone will know you are online and what you do.  This is a way to get people interested and discover what you do.  During his talk he also highlighted some good examples of cultural venues using social media. · http://twitter.com/#!/drjohnsonshouse o Updates on the museum, word definitions, and interaction with other twitter users. · http://twitter.com/#!/suethetrex o Great use of Twitter for fun, educational use. · Torquay Museum on Facebook o Great interaction with users · Psamtek Boy Mummy Facebook page o Mummy from a museum, has his own Facebook page · http://twitter.com/#!/gertrudesavile o Great use of Twitter from Rufford Abbey · http://twitter.com/#!/itweetus o Tullie House to discuss life in Roman Britain. · Social Media and your Marketing Strategy – Dickie Felton Dickie Felton is from the National Museums Liverpool and in the press/media office.  The NML has been involved in social media for a long time, with accounts on flickr, myspace, twitter, facebook.  They are not afraid to try things, even if it eventually fails.  But it would be wrong to not try.  Some of their accounts have not worked, but others have been highly successful.  Like with much we do, it’s a case of trial and error to see what works.  Nice to see that their disappointments have not stopped NML from taking part in social media, but strengthened their message.  As for the tone of voice, NML have used the museum building as their character and given it it’s own character and voice.  Each building and museum has a personality, and this particular personality has it’s own twitter stream and talks to its visitors.  It even talks about when the boilers are broken and its a little cold inside!  This gives the museum a human touch, rather than being a scary institution that people don’t know if they can talk to or not.  It also looks like there is someone behind the account (similar to a wizard behind the curtain) so that people feel if they do respond, they might actually get a response back. The NML also have several accounts including one for journalists to get in contact to get information or content from.  This is a genius idea, and I have not heard of this before.  I love the idea that journalists don’t have to trawl through all the different tweets or accounts to find the information they want, but have one single account where the basic information they need is displayed.  It also gives them one single account to use to get in contact with the museum, so it does not get swallowed by the other general comments about the museum on the other accounts. One way they are using social media well is in building hype for the new Liverpool Museum, opening soon.  They distribute information about how the project is going, and even post images on their Flickr account of what it looks like.  This gives their followers a ‘sneak peak’ into the museum.  This exclusive preview will increase excitement and hype about the project, and maybe increase footfall through the door upon opening. Dickie Felton also mentioned about how you need to think about how to get your content out there. Bloggers are an important resource and they can promote your exhibition or museum on their blogs.  Allowing them to use your content and share it with their readers is a great way to get that information out there in the world!
The Practicalities of using social media in a museum – Stephen Devine & Andrew Gray Stephen Devine talked about their use of social media through The Frog Blog (http://bit.ly/coKwUB).  They stated that there were two important uses when thinking about the content to use on social media: · Rules: 1. Don’t say anything you wouldn’t say in front of your boss… · Rules: 2 don’t say anything you wouldn’t say in front of your NEXT boss. These easy rules means that the content on the Frog Blog will be varied and challenge people.  It won’t remain static or become ‘boring’ to your readers.  Also include content that is related to your organisation, but promotes others.  Andrew Gray blogs about similar collections on the frog blog and is a good way of promoting good work of other organisations (http://bit.ly/gVKxCA) Stephen reinforced the point that you’re not competing with other blogs, you’re sharing content.  You need to share that content with people to get them interested.  It is also ok to repurpose content for use on social media.  Got videos? Put them up. Why hoard them?  (Video of children meeting a chameleon at Manchester Museum: http://youtu.be/s9URYHlN4UU) Steve also demonstrated how using tools readily available online can help you.  The two they had found useful (among others): · Addictomatic: http://bit.ly/xQQPQ · Posterous: http://bit.ly/d5Zr4R
6 tips for Museums on Social Media – Jim Richardson Jim’s presentation was about the 6 top tips for museums on social media.  This was not restricted to one type of platform, which I found particularly useful. Also reinforced a lot about what we should be doing. 1. Make you’re content easy to like, there’s a lot of things to like in museums So add a button on your site so people can like it and share it on Facebook.  Here’s how to add a like button to your museum page: http://bit.ly/eWJQBW 2. encourage reviews, can use social media (free to use on Facebook – Review app) You’re best advocates are your visitors!  So asked them to write a review on your facebook page (or their/your blog) to encourage visitors to come.  I find these often include things we forget are important (“The toilets were lovely” – these things are important to visitors!).  See also, information on google +1 button that’s just released! http://bit.ly/dNXapo 3. allow photography! People take photos all the time, great publicity for your venue! People take photographs in your venue all the time, from digital cameras to on their phones. Put up signs in your venue to encourage them to add them to your flickr or facebook site so all the world can see them having fun!  See ‘It’s time we met project’ by the Met! Fantastic use of crowdsourcing and using social media: http://www.metmuseum.org/metshare/timewemet 4. take in a lodger This is what the Museum of Science +Industry Chicago did.  They asked someone to live in the museum and blog about their experience. Great way to share stuff and completely off the wall so that it really grabs attention! 5. run a competition – Democracy exhibition by @SumoJim This is what Jim and the team at Sumo did for their exhibition Democracy (http://www.sumodesign.co.uk/work/branding/democracy.html) where the public submitted art and voted for which work of art they wanted to see in an exhibition. The end prize would be to see their artwork on the wall. 6. treat bloggers like rockstars! \m/ Getting them excited in your work or exhibition can mean they will talk about you in a favourable light.  Remember that people actually read these blogs and they can affect what people think.  So treat them to exclusive previews and treat them well!
Developing a Social Media Strategy – Shona Carnall Well, this was my session.  Check my earlier blog post to find the slides!
Stargazing – new opportunities around social media – Kostas Arvantis Kostas began his talk by changing his title to talk about social ‘objects’ rather than social media and how objects have a social life.  This can be used successfully within social media.  He highlighted this by looking at the National History Museum London who often talk about their objects by explaining their lives.  One interesting example is from Richard MacManus, ‘The Future of Social Objects’. “A Social Tennis Racquet ca2050)” “Imagine your tennis racquet automatically checking you in to a tennis court on Foursquare.  Ot the racquet updating your Facebook page when you defeat your mate in a social game of tennis.  Or your racquet sending you a DM on Twitter when it requires a string tightening.” We must remember that objects have a social life and that they can tell us great stories.  He reminded us of a great quote by Maurice Davies, ‘a museum nowadays is a website with a building attached’.  This is redefining the museum experience, as it no longer is just about the onsite experience, but the online too. Kostas also stressed the shift from media-rich to museum-rich experiences onsite, online and on-the-move where you can create ‘museum moments’. In the past we had object postcards, collection catalogues and miniatures for people to see objects in the collection, now we have social media sites like flickr, YouTube and apps. He ended his speech with a quote from Manuel Castells: ‘technology is neither good, nor bad, nor is it neutral.  It is a force’ (insert picture of Yoda here).
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Responses

  1. Great blog! Thanks for posting a summary of the conference Shona! Added your blog as link to mine. Keep up the good work! Andrew


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