One of the most exciting developments in ‘business’ at the moment, if you ask me, is the renewed attention to the idea of ‘social business’. Running a museum in this context is most definitely a business. For the sake of clarity I call a museum run as a social business a social museum, although there are many possible other names.
A social museum is a museum that has the strategies, processes and technologies in place to maximise the value created by all individual involved, from directors and curators to visitors and passers-by and everyone in between. Recently I wrote an essay with some early thoughts about the social museum and how to get there using social media thinking, which gives some more background.
The social museum was the idea lingering throughout many sessions and conversations at this week’s MuseumNext. The conference traditionally focuses on new media and technology, but has grown to look beyond the digital teams at education, overall strategy and even recruiting and training. “We should have invited our director,” one colleague said, “because this [digital strategy] is something that will change the entire organisation.” I cannot agree more. Read the rest of this entry »
It’s an interesting time to be a value-conscious social media manager in the cultural sector. On the one hand Facebook has started charging to reach your hard-earned fans with your updates, while on the other hand the new service Pheed allows you to monetize your social content. This poses a question that has been in the making for years: what is the value of your social media content and what is it worth to you when you’re selling stuff such as art, heritage and culture?
First, Facebook. Although not all the details are clear, if you want to reach all your fans with an update from your fanpage, you will (soon) have to pay for it. Otherwise your updates will reach only some 15% of your followers. The amount is comparable to what it costs to push a press release to all relevant press, at least in the Netherlands, so this is not outrageous. Yet, are (all) your updates worth to pay money for?
Posting updates has never been free. Creating great content takes time, monitoring and fuelling a discussion takes time, investing in being a brand that is worth following takes time and resources. So, is it still worth writing these (costly) updates if you are unwilling or unable to pay Facebook to push them to your fans. Read the rest of this entry »
Most of the workshops I run I conclude with a simple and effective game I call Bag It or Bin It*. Simply put I ask participants to summarise the main ideas of the workshop and put them into two categories: the ideas they will follow up (these go in the bag) and the ideas they never want to hear about again (these go in the bin). The result is a nicely coloured co-created do’s and dont’s list for the participants.
Minke Havelaar, with whom I run a series of workshops for Mediamatic’s Kom Je Ook?, has made a summary of a couple of Bag It or Bin It games we played about social media marketing strategy with cultural institutions. The result reads like a trend list for social media development in the cultural and non-profit sector. Especially interesting is what people put in their bags regarding the strategic use of social media.
So, what do our colleagues focus on when it comes to social media? Here’s 100s of ideas summarised in six clear trends:
Quantity versus quality of content
Do’s include writing Tweets and Facebook updates according to best practices (short, images, etc.), the 9-1 rule for writing more about others than about yourself and thinking more strategically about each piece of content.
Almost overnight my RSS timeline changed from “Facebook blah Facebook blahblah” to “Pinterest blah Pinterest blahblah”. There’s so much buzz around this new social network that I’m not even going to explain what it is and why it is the future. Others have done so and have done so better, especially Neil Patel’s marketing guide to Pinterest. A must read, which lists SFMOMA as a brand doing well on the platform. Chapeau.
Pinterest is the perfect platform for culture, if you ask me. It’s the platform most suited to give meaning to our mission statements and values. Among the many, many things you can do on Pinterest (thanks Jenni), here are five I find especially valuable:
Make your blog more compelling, and easier to fill
Regardless of your topic, an image and strong tagline almost always tell a more convincing story online than an image and a 2,000-word essay. I’m sure a good board can replace many a regular culture blog, reach a wider audience and be more engaging. Plus, it’s easier to get a 5-word quote about a painting from a curator than have her write a 500-word blogpost.
Create a mindblowing gallery of influencers and influenced
So the Guernica inspired hundreds of artists (and rightfully so)? Make a board that shows a “timeline” of all the art influenced by this piece, and where Picasso took his inspiration from. This makes a great exposition, and – thus – a great board on Pinterest. You could also crowdsource such a project by opening up the board to contributions by your followers. Read the rest of this entry »
Regardless of Google’s don’t be evil ethos, they are successfully slaughtering serendipity. For a while now, on most searches I do the only surprising results are ads. Most others in the top-x are recommended or shared or +1d by people in my social circles. The announcement of Search plus Your World hints the web will only be getting smaller as time goes on.
It made me think of a forgotten social network I probably spent more time with than Google+ and Facebook combined: StumbleUpon.
StumbleUpon is the cabinet of curiosities of the web. StumbleUpon is the unGoogle, a curated collection of stuff you didn’t even know you were looking for. I stumbled around in the arts section and sawmoregreatstuff than in a week on Twitter.
With a population of 20 million StumbleUpon doesn’t have the body of most other social networks. However, unlike most other social networks, the users of StumbleUpon are open to chance encounters, welcome serendipity, and value quality regardless of its origin.
StumbleUpon is around since 2001, but I think its potential for museums is severely overlooked when we talk about social media. Ranked 126th worldwide on Alexa, the website is directing huge amounts of visitors to great content on the web. Plus, according to Wikipedia they added millions of users in the past year, which strengthens my believe that there’s a growing interest in content from beyond once’s social circles. Read the rest of this entry »