One of the last sessions of the Museum Association Conference was Michael Spender from Poole Museum and I talking about the Social Museum. While we were referring to museums themselves being social, it did obviously integrate social media into the talk.
The concept is simple: Have a social environment within your museum and it will shine through via the social media. The social environment could be created with an open plan office, where lines of communications are opened and barriers (walls) are removed.
Our’s was a Soapbox session which was great as I took the opportunity to mention a few tips such as:
- Do not let your social media sit within your PR department. Allow everyone to tweet for you – if you don’t trust them to tweet for you, don’t let them in your museum.
- Visitors recognize when there is discourse within a museum. Why would visitors want to come to a museum with long faces, even though free, when they can go to the movies for a few hours and leave with a smile?
- Museums who are knew or unsure can get involved with hashtags to get involved online. Of course we mentioned CultureThemes (as Michael and I are both Founding members) but there are many to get involved with.
- Making mistakes on social media is OK! Not only does it show your human, but it shows things aren’t scripted. If the mistake is more than a typo – just apologize (and be genuine about it).
The tweets (pdf) from our session are available to download here.
I’ll be writing more about the conference in another post.