Museums Online

A blog to go with a series of workshops for museums on social media

Social media – free web marketing November 2, 2009

Filed under: social media — museumsonline @ 10:47 am
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Does your business or community group have minimal funds?
Do you want a web presence?
Get signed up to Twitter or Facebook and you now have a web presence.

It will only cost you your time, and it can be updated daily.

Facebook has been a brilliant marketing tool for us,  it keeps our followers up to date and they provide us with positive feedback.

Sherri Murphy, Shantytown


One thing … October 30, 2009

Filed under: social media — museumsonline @ 4:06 pm
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Bridge 13, West Coast

Some final thoughts from the West Coast museums …

‘Blogging – connecting something to our existing website – to show them a wee bit more about our museum. And adding objects to our NZMuseums page.’

‘Organise the photos and audio and information that I’ve gathered for my museums studies project and add it to the West Coast Kete project.’

‘For our genealogy and history group, all of the things we’ve looked at are relevant because it’s about reaching out.’

‘I’m looking forward to visiting the Northern Buller Museum, which I haven’t visited before!’

‘I’m keen to update our presence on NZMuseums – add photos, update the text.’

‘I’m going to develop some strategies for the use of social media. If you know why you want to use it, it’s easier to decide which tools to use.’

‘I’m going to get the staff more involved in our current social media activities (take photos and write status updates for our Facebook page and make updates to NZMuseums and NZLive). We’ll strengthen what we’re already doing before taking on new stuff.’

‘Integrating blogging and Twitter on to Facebook, and initiate some conversations about our future website at this early stage in our redevelopment.’

‘I’ve realised that you need to use a number of tools to reach different audiences. It’s possible to reuse content – translate your media releases into a blog post, promote your latest post on twitter etc.’

image cc electropod


Westport social media workshop underway

It’s a glorious day in Westport! And we’re sitting inside, in the lovely Westport Library, looking at the web 🙂

These are some of the things we’re wanting to find out:

  • How do you separate personal from professional on social media?
  • What are the benefits of social media?
  • How do we get greater visibility for our museums and services?
  • How can we connect with an international audience (who may never be in a position to visit us physically)?
  • How do we get feedback from and connect with our audiences?

One thing … October 23, 2009

Robert Burns in the Octagon

Robert Burns in the Octagon

As at the other workshops in this series, participants at the Dunedin workshop shared the one (or two or three!) things that they’ll do next with social media:

‘Develop a social media strategy to give direction to our efforts.’

‘Involve younger people in our organisation through technology.’

‘Gather community contributions, as well as push out our own content and information!’

‘Report back to the team, show examples of what others are doing, and demonstrate that using social media is possible and manageable.’

‘We’ll review our website – make sure we are updating it regularly – and establish blog to promote various projects. We need to identify specific purposes and uses for each tool we’re using, have a play to explore possibilities, and include all the businesses we work with in this process.’

‘Try some simple ways to promote our major festival. We’ll contribute events to and add visitor comments to our website while we develop a longer term social media strategy.’

‘Social media is not necessarily frivalous but could be a key promotional channel for us.’

‘Time to explore the tools! We need to schedule social media activities in our diaries: expand our events listings on and other services, and set up analytics to measure website stats.’

‘We need to value ‘virtual’ visitors, and develop visitor involvement in all future exhibits.’

‘We’ll create a strategy to identify priorities and small steps – selecting one or two activities that will serve us best. This might include refining our e-newsletter, exploring Facebook and getting our friends group on Flickr.

‘Refining our existing strategy is the next step – getting a listing on and exploring Facebook and a blog.’

Participants came up with some great ideas at the workshop, such as:

  • using wikis to gather stories and reflections from the community – maybe partnering with a school and inviting students to gather oral histories and build the wiki
  • blogging about a museum and building redevelopment project to demonstrate, amongst other things, progress and value to project sponsors
  • getting the gardner to blog
  • creating short videos for posting on tourism sites to target international audiences
  • using social networks to support  ‘friends’ groups and reach young families.

Thanks to everyone for sharing their ideas and social media experiments. Great to hear that some of you are already getting promising results from promoting events on Facebook and other services and from networking with related websites!

image cc filippo_jean


What’s on top October 22, 2009

Filed under: social media,social networking — museumsonline @ 11:10 am
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Today’s workshop is in Dunedin, with 13 participants from a range of museums, heritage organisations and archives. The things that are taxing our minds this morning are:

  • attracting new volunteers and new audiences
  • quick and easy social media solutions
  • upgrading our website
  • growing audiences for specific exhibitions and programmes
  • developing a strategic approach: prioritising, coordinating and maximising efforts
  • increasing visibility of our organisation and capture the uniqueness of our service
  • reaching international audiences
  • using social media to promote connected experiences for visitors
  • networking with other organisations
  • scaling up our current experiments with social media.

One thing … October 19, 2009



Just as we did in Whanganui, we ended the session in Whakatane with the Bay of Plenty museums commenting on the one thing they’d like to try next. Here are those things:

‘I’d like to start a twitter account for the profiling our collection.’

‘We’ve already done some research into social media and even tried a few things – we need to develop a strategy that focuses on where we want to be further down the track.’

‘Build a business case for using social media for our council.’

‘I’m keen to see a blog set up for museum studies students to get communicate and get some experience prior to job hunting.’

‘Build professional networks … but first I need to process all the options before choosing!’

‘I’d like to use twitter for out museum and I’m trialling Facebook at home with my family … plus I think a blog would give us the opportunity to easily and quickly reflect the changing life of our museum.’

‘Develop a strategy for each of our council’s services – I can see that you need to match the tool to specific needs and audiences. We need to be able to justify what we are doing and be credible to funders and sponsors.’

Thanks to everyone for their enthusiasm – and some great blogging and tweeting 🙂

image cc by rengber


The story behind the Otautau Museum blog

Filed under: blogging,social media — museumsonline @ 3:38 pm
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Otautau Museum

Otautau Museum

I’ve asked Cathy about the story behind the lovely Otautau Museum blog. She wrote back to me – thanks very much, Cathy! (I like the way she included all her web links and exhibition info in her email signature). If you’ve got a question for her, feel free to leave a comment …

‘I actually started with a blog for our town and then liked it so well that thought that having one for the museum would allow me to add more content for those specifically interested in what we are up to.

‘Having a blog has been the most flexible outlet for us in terms of adding content easily plus it’s cost effective. We are a very small, volunteer-run museum and have to keep all costs down. Having a domain name and server costs for a website is really out of the question for us at this point.

‘Google Analytics shows we get around 0 to 1 visitors a day. Sometimes I’ll post on the Otautau Blog and mention that I’ve put something on the museum blog and that drives visitors over. We’re a small town, around 750 people, and most are not heavy internet users so getting visitors is tricky. It’s possible we are a little ahead of our time with regard to our own community but hopefully someday the visitor numbers will be higher if we can keep adding worthwhile content.

‘It would be great if other small museums were into blogging. Rural museums are rather isolated from each other so we don’t often get to know what others are doing.’


Otautau Museum
146 Main Street, Otautau
Mailing address: c/- 11 Knutsford Rd
Otautau 9610
New Zealand

Current displays
Student artwork – and – Local Transport
On now until 31 Dec 2009
Open Wednesdays and Sundays, 2pm-4pm

On the web
Otautau Museum Blog
Otautau Museum Website
Otautau Blog