Promoting museum collections on social media beginner's guide

Museums preserve and protect our heritage, so it's essential they use communication channels with the widest reach.

Social media provides an excellent opportunity for museums to connect with the public and get them excited about new initiatives and events. The challenge is knowing how to use these platforms effectively.

In this article, we'll share some insights into how you can create a strategy that helps your museum use social media successfully and continue to grow engagement with your audiences.

Audit current platforms and initiatives

The first step is to assess your current position and look at what's working - and what isn't. If you already have an existing social media presence, start by reviewing the pages you have on the various networks and ensure that all branding is consistent.

Update your About section if it's out of date or inaccurate, and ensure that important information like opening times is correct. Make your museum easy to search for by listing it under the correct category and use hashtags and keywords to help locate your pages and posts quickly.

Link your accounts to other apps that will help users learn more about your museum. Making TripAdvisor reviews visible on your social media page will help the public get excited about their visit and boost confidence that any travel or entrance fees are worth it.

Facebook and Instagram give museums an additional income stream by enabling them to sell souvenirs and gifts directly through the platform's Shop feature. If you already make use of this, be sure to check its current success rate and look into what can be done to optimise your sales.

Have you previously used Facebook's event pages to generate interest for exhibitions? What was the engagement like and how many people responded to your invitation? Understanding how followers and visitors of your pages are interacting on platforms will help you to create a more strategic plan moving forward.

Set goals for using social media

To put an effective social media strategy into action, you need to set goals. Would you like to spread awareness and send out an educational message related to your collections, or perhaps you'd like more visitors coming to your events?

Branding and marketing are just as important for museums as they are for businesses.

One of your goals might be to make sure your image across each platform is consistent so there's a clear expectation about your services. You might be interested in collaborating with other businesses and institutions to create a better experience for visitors to your museum.

Whatever your goals are, be sure to write them down so that you can use them as the foundation for your social media planning.

Create an internal communication strategy

It's likely that other members on your team will need access to your social media profiles when they're working on events or projects. To maintain consistency, everyone should have a clear understanding of your standards and brand guidelines.

Make sure these are shared with all administrators of your social media accounts so that they always use a tone of voice that supports your museum's messaging. Share instructions on how images and videos should be created, edited and branded, and have a protocol for answering any questions posed by the public.

To get the most out of your social media strategy, ensure your team responds quickly to comments and questions in a professional and friendly manner.

Tools to support

There are plenty of tools that can help you streamline your social media strategy and allow you to share content easily across all the platforms you engage with.

Depending on your goals, you should choose tools that help you gather the data you need to check on the effectiveness of your campaigns.

For example, tools like Hootsuite and SocialSprout can help you organise your social media posting so that you can share your content from a single platform. What's more, these tools can provide you with easy to understand data so you can analyse the engagement and interaction your posts are getting over time. With this information, you can make decisions based on fact around what's working and what could be improved.

Another important tool to help you optimise your social media strategy is a Digital Asset Management (DAM) system. This will provide you with a centralised location for all your assets, enabling everyone in your museum to tap into the same version of the asset you're promoting. This helps to keep things consistent - and it means that archivists or more senior members of the team can have control over what is being shared and presented on public platforms.

Your DAM will prevent duplication and help you to keep track of what you are posting according to category. ResourceSpace helps your team to keep the continuity behind your museum's social media strategy by providing standardised templates that users can follow. This means that every image is sized and optimised for the channel you're sharing it to.

We help you to save time by making it easy to locate assets (permissions permitting) so that team members can self serve instead of needing approval or guidance from more senior staff. This is because assets that are to be used for social media will have already undergone a process of review and approval before being filed in the DAM. You can organise your campaigns to ensure that you're always posting something new and engaging, helping you to plan ahead and bookmark the resources you'd like to include in future releases.

Would you like to find out more about the impact the right DAM can have on your social media strategy?

To try ResourceSpace for free and find out how it can manage your museum's digital assets and promote them on social media, click the link below. You can also learn more about how our software integrates with your existing infrastructure and how we can support you in growing and managing your collections.