Museums Online

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

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

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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?
 

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.
 

Themes at today’s workshop October 15, 2009

Filed under: social media — museumsonline @ 1:19 pm
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It’s lunchtime, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to document some of the themes from the morning session of today’s workshop in Whakatane. We’re aiming to address these themes throughout the day.

  1. There’s such a variety of tools – how do you choose which ones are most appropriate for your audience?
  2. And how do you assess the workload involved (and prioritise)?
  3. How do you build a business case for your organisation to adopt social media (in light of concerns about the pitfalls and issues like copyright, security and workload)?
  4. How do you optimise your website or blog for search engines, and what does it take to promote your social media?
  5. What do you do for segments of your audience that struggle with technology (either in terms of access or confidence)?
  6. What are the ramifications for copyright?
  7. What are the ways we can use social media in our exhibitions?
  8. Who in the organisation should blog, and what sorts of policies do organisations need for social media use?

If we don’t have much time to talk about social media strategy development or how to promote social media, there are links on this blog (see the page ‘workshop links’) that provide further information …

We’re recognising that these tools are accessible and relatively inexpensive ways to promote your museum, and also excellent ways to gather feedback from your audiences.

 

Yellow pages are dead – long live social media! October 6, 2009

It’s been a great session with the Whanganui museums today. Participants said they wanted to get these things out of the workshop:

  • ways to connect to the collegiate community
  • avenues to earn money
  • making my museum more visible
  • increasing the value of the museum to the community
  • increasing the professionalism of our museum
  • what comes next after a website?
  • new, smart ideas to encourage contributions from the community.

Of course, the yellow pages aren’t dead – Mark points out that social media is another channel to reach audiences. This means more work for stretched museums, so prioritising is important.

First steps – make sure your museum is on NZMuseums and NZLive – these organisations will do the marketing for you if you provide the content. Send them content regularly – press releases and events. They love getting new content and will post it to their sites. They’ve also got staff on hand to help you out.

Then maybe contemplate a blog – especially if you don’t have a website at all – to share your stories and engage your community (and don’t forget to promote your blog to your networks). Further down the track, perhaps a twitter account to promote your events and highlight your collection and also a flickr page for photos and images.

Social networks are another step up again … What’s important about these sites is that you can put your information in the places where your audience goes. They are likely to spend more time on Facebook and Twitter than on your website.

‘There’s so much out there that you have to remain focused and in control – or you’ll be overwhelmed and confused … even depressed!’, says Mark from MAVtech Museum.

I think the key is focus on your goal – what you want to achieve – and then use the tools that will best help you achieve this – whether it’s increasing audience visits, raising money or professional development for staff. You’re likely to use a range of marketing methods (print, online, environmental) to achieve your goal.

‘You have to realise that there is redundancy – what you do on twitter and the blog and on Facebook may overlap, but that’s not a problem – you are making sure you reach as wide an audience as possible’, Mark adds.

As well as marketing and building audiences, social media are invaluable for supporting the professional development of museum staff. Again, information overload is a potential problem – find one blog you want to read and one community to join (it might even be a community that relates to your personal interests instead of your professional ones, to get you started).