Reaching out to younger audiences with n8


Concerned, as they are, with history and permanence, museums are not generally in the business of shaking things up. The idea of new blood – a youthful, invigorating force that can re-imagine an organisation – is not usually high on the Trustee agenda at established and venerable institutions. Big changes are often slow, perhaps almost generational, yet these same institutions are perpetually charged with attracting new and different types of audiences.

In fact, one of the most consistent themes of the past decade or so of museum funding, at least in the UK, has been the push for audience development: how to reach groups that have been underrepresented amongst museum visitors. One such group is young adults and one network of people outside the UK, Amsterdam-based n8, has taken great strides to address this, bringing young adults closer to the city’s museums whilst remaining independent of the institutions themselves.

Building gradually from the success of a late night opening of Amsterdam museums in 2000 (in text vernacular n8 would be pronounced as ‘nacht’, the Dutch for ‘night’), n8 became a non-profit organisation in 2003. ‘The idea initially came from a board of directors from Amsterdam museums who decided it was a good idea to set up a group that could connect the museums with young people in the city,’ says Sarah Berckenkamp, n8’s current project manager.

Museum Night, n8’s flagship annual event, now attracts more than 25,000 visitors to its participating venues, including the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam Museum and the Jewish Historical Museum. Almost 70 per cent of these visitors are under 35. This is no mean feat, if UK research by the Museums, Libraries & Archives council (MLA) is anything to go by. In 2004, the MLA reported that only 27 per cent of museum visitors in England were aged 35 or under. The same research showed that 16-34 year olds represented a smaller proportion of museum visitors than their proportion of the total population. In fact, it is only in the 35-plus age ranges where the proportion of museum visitors outstrips that age group’s proportion of the population as a whole: 27 per cent of museum visitors fell in the 35-44 age bracket, even though this group only represented 19 per cent of the population of England, according to the 2004 Renaissance Visitor Exit Survey.

Attracting this younger adult audience is tricky. Cultural awareness and reflection with a historical perspective – the kind presented by most museums – is something that tends to develop with age. Young people, particularly 16-24 year olds, typically inhabit a different cultural field from older generations, consuming and producing material in different modes and with different perspectives.

Recognising this, n8 has developed a range of platforms for engagement and interaction between Amsterdam’s museums and its younger citizens, targeting in particular the city’s creative sector. As well as the Museum Night, n8 programmes and promotes Nacht Salon, another late night event that takes place in just one museum – a different one each year – and features a specially selected programme of workshops, music, talks, tours, films and installations, all served up with a bar running into the small hours.

With its later night and culturally youthful programming, the Nacht Salon attracts an even younger audience than the main Museum Night, with an average visitor age of just 23. To make these events successful, the museums have to relinquish control of their spaces for the duration of the night, allowing n8 to use the museums in ways they think will appeal to their network of young people. ‘The museums have come to trust us to run these nights well – you have to be trusted to do something like this. But we do build the programme around the collections and exhibitions of the host museum, working with the curators on ideas,’ says Berckenkamp.

In another strand, called n8pro, the organisation offers Amsterdam’s museums 20 young professionals, aged 18-28 and drawn from outside the museum sector, as consultants on reaching younger audiences. This ‘cultural advice’ is richer than an ad hoc focus group, but remains drawn from outside the institutions themselves. With a keen awareness of the cultural make-up of Amsterdam’s young adults, the n8pro network can advise on things such as ​​communications, web strategy, programming and public outreach.

Online initiatives from n8 include regular blogging and Nachtgeluiden, or Night Sounds, an mp3-based platform allowing people to record their personal responses to museum objects and exhibitions and upload them for others to listen to and share. ‘We want the museums to get to know and understand the world of young people and we want to get these young people to get to know their museums,’ says Geer Oskam, n8’s previous project manager. ‘I ask my friends what they read or which websites they visit and we try to make a connection with [those media rather than] advertise. We don’t have a lot of money and we don’t read a lot of advertisements ourselves.’

Because no one at the foundation stays longer than three years, Oskam has now moved on from n8, replaced by Berckenkamp. New blood is built into the n8 personnel structure from the very beginning, with more experienced members handing over the reins to younger recruits. And although n8 staff and contributors are interested in and passionate about museums, they are not already museum professionals. In these ways, n8 ensures that its rolling programme of activities continues to be drawn from, and developed for, the young people that the group was set up to reach.

 

What can museums do for sick kids?


 

Last week my two-year-old son was admitted to hospital, and for the past week he has been confined to a ward. Brody is crazy about dinosaurs and animals, and much of the time has been spent watching The Land Before Time and playing with his toy diplodocus.

So what does this have to do with museums? My son also loves museums, especially those with dinosaurs and animals in their collections. His favourite, the Great North Museum is only a street away from the hospital, but he can’t visit and a loan box would be too much of a health risk to allow on to the ward.

I think museums could have a role to play in making staying in hospital a more pleasant or at least a less boring experience, and confined by hygiene and mobility, digital media seems the ideal tool to do this (again I this relates to the value of a museum investing in their digital platforms not just the physical venue).

I have been reminded this week of a conversation with Tijana Tasich from TATE at MuseumNext Barcelona about how a live video feed from a gallery could enable those who aren’t able to travel, to experience an exhibition.

This could take the form of a tour like the Phygital tour which MAS in Belgium used to allow remote web users to control guides with webcams? Perhaps this would work for older audiences, but I’d imagine that children my son’s age would quickly get bored of this.

What would be fantastic would be the ability to bring a collection of augmented reality dinosaurs and animals from the museum and position them around the ward for him to see, allowing us to bring the museum into the hospital.

Perhaps such an app exists or your museum has ‘an app for that’ (if you do, please tell me, so I can share it with Brody), but I’d encourage every museum to think about how they could make their collections accessible to sick kids and brighten what can be very long and tedious days.

What do you think?

Is a physical space a vital part of being a museum?


This week my local council in Newcastle upon Tyne announced their intention to cut arts funding by 100%*, in response to cuts to their budget central government. The city has enjoyed a cultural renaissance over the past decade, with an image of industrial decline to a large extent transformed by a series of high profile new arts venues and museums.

However, austerity Britain can no longer afford such luxuries and many of the beautiful new buildings which house our museums, theatres and galleries will now have to fight to keep the lights on.

With the arts under tremendous financial pressure will any museum consider abandoning their physical space and look to digital media and pop up museums as an alternative way to fulfil their missions, or is a physical space which is open to the public vital to being a museum?

While collections dictate the need for a physical space of some description, is putting this collection on permanent display to the public in an expensive building vital or are there alternative ways to tell their stories.

While I am not suggesting that all museums should close their doors, I do think that just as every museum doesn’t need to have dinosaurs in it, every museum doesn’t necessarily have a physical space.

Should museums look at reducing their physical footprint and growing their digital outreach in response to smaller budgets?

 

* Note: Whilst arts funding was cut by 100%, two museums will still receiving some funding at a reduced rate while other lose all local government funding.

Audio Tour Hack


Audio Tour Hack offers a twist on the traditional museum tour, with two high quality alternative views of exhibitions. Earlier this year they launched with Artobots, which transformed the John Chamberlain exhibition of twisted car metal sculptures at the Guggenheim into an exhibition of destroyed Autobots from a Transformers war.

The follow up Audio Tour Hack is Unadulterated, which gives a kids eye view of MoMA and modern art with help from  3 – 10 year olds, with predictably hilarious results as they share their unique perspective on Pollock and Warhol.

Hal Kirkland, one of the creative minds behind the project ‘It was part of a larger idea and creative strategy to make art galleries and other cultural institutions more interesting and accessible.’ The project certainly seems to be turning the traditional museum tour on it’s head and offering a high quality alternative.

Shouldn’t every museum have an audio tour narrated by kindergarden children?

[Thanks to @ruibeep for the link]

Forget apps and get responsive



Technology has changed the expectations of arts audiences, they no longer want information broadcast at them, they want tailored experiences available where and when they want them and the revolution in smart phones offers a powerful tool to achieve this.

Since the advent of the iPhone in 2008, smart phone ownership has grown at a rapid pace, with 47% of the UK population now owning such a device. With the relatively short timescale which people keep mobile phones (2 years) this is set to continue rise.

A smart phone app lets an arts organisation get into their audiences pockets, whether that is in the form of an exhibition guide, a promotional game or exclusive video of a new production, but this rush to be on mobile devices often seems to be done out of fear rather than for sound business reasons.

Many arts organisations feel under pressure to develop apps, worrying that they will fall behind the technological curve if they don’t offer a way to interact with them on the move and the result is poor apps and rich app developers.

Developing apps is an expensive business, with the average costing over £20,000. However the cost of reaching all smart phone users is far greater, as three main mobile operating systems exist (in November 2011 the three biggest players were iPhone with 30.9% of the UK market, Android 46.6% and BlackBerry 16.9%) and an app developed for one platform will not work on the other devices.

Faced with expensive development costs and fragmented smart phone platforms, I believe that arts organisations should take a step back from apps and first consider how their website is working on the smaller screen of these devices.

The mobile web isn’t as sexy as apps, but it has a vital role to play. Research suggests that while your existing audiences may download an app, those who are not already attending your exhibitions, productions or events are far more likely to end up on your website.

Over the past few years the amount of traffic to websites from smart phones has been steadily increasing, this isn’t seen by most as having reached a point where it is worth developing a website especially for smaller screen sizes, but I believe that doing this can increase traffic from these devices a huge amount.

In 2011 the English Heritage Picnic Concerts developed a mobile friendly website for the first time, the result was that half of the web traffic came from mobile devices, a much greater percentage than the usual 10% you would expect to see coming from smart phones.

Most websites don’t work well on smart phones, however responsive website design is changing that.

Traditionally, websites have been designed on a one size fits all basis. A website will be displayed the same on a large computer monitor as on a smart phone. Responsive website design changes this. The website is designed to be fluid, changing how and what it displays depending on the device.

This means for example that you are able to reduce the content shown on a mobile phone to focus more on the kind of information your audiences will need on the move, highlighting what’s on and how to find your venue while hiding less important information such as news and collections.

It is important with responsive websites to think about your content before the design, so that you can prioritise which information is essential for all users to see, and what can be hidden for those browsing on mobile devices.

Responsive website design is now the industry standard, and any cultural organisation looking at redeveloping their website should demand a solution that will work across devices ranging from large desktop computer monitors down to the smallest smart-phone.

Two recent responsive websites which we’ve launched at my agency will give you some idea of how responsive works, York Minster and Tyne and Wear Museums and Archives. Look at these two websites on different devices and you’ll quickly understand the benefits of responsive website design.

Creating a buzz around ‘The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman’


The British Museum is UK’s most popular visitor attraction with over six million visitors last year, the museum has a collection which spans the world with over 8 million objects including Egypian mummies, The Rosetta Stone and the Parthenon sculptures.

Though the museum has a collection of contemporary art and has held contemporary art exhibitions  in the past, it is still very much associated with ancient objects and exhibitions about ancient times.

That is until Turner Prize winning artist Grayson Perry came to the museum with a proposal for an exhibition he called ‘The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman’.

Like many artists Grayson has been inspired by the collection in the British Museum, an institution which he has visited since he was a child, and he wanted to curate an installation of new works which paid homage to all the unknown men and women throughout history who have created the beautiful objects found in the museum.

The marketing challenge was to sell 60,000 tickets at £10 each, bringing a new audience through the doors with a very different exhibition than the public might expect from The British Museum.

The marketing manager Jessie Hunt decided to target early adopters and innovators to try and convince them to see the British Museum as a place to see contemporary art.

She felt if she could create enough buzz to bring this group to the museum, then this would have a trickle down effect and also reach less adventurous audience segments.

Segments

The museum targeted three segments with their campaign:

Stimulation: Group of people who are very much involved in arts and culture, it is an important part of their lifsytle, they really like discovery and are quite experimental. They like all art but especially contemporary art. They like to be in the know and like to see things and then tell their friends about them.

Essence: They are discerning, spontaneous, arts and culture is an important part of their lives. They tend to be professionals or intellectuals and see themselves as very independently minded. They aren’t keen on marketing, which they see as dumbing down. They like to make their own decisions about things.

Expression: They are very receptive interested in community and love the opportunity to debate and discuss, it’s a lifestyle thing, interested in making things, they are interested in recommendations.

Focus groups were used to find out what aspects of ‘The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman’ would be the most attractive to each segment, so for example the Stimulation group were more interested in the controversial nature of Grayson Perry and his alter ego Claire and pushing late night opening on a Friday, and the exhibition as something which they could enjoy with friends.

The focus groups also found that social media was very appealing to this group, so The British Museum created a competition which brought together technology and Grayson Perry’s unique personality with a competition to find a stunt bear to stand in for the artists childhood teddy bear (Alan Measles) and sit on a throne in the exhibition.

People were asked to put forward their teddy bears for the stunt bear position, 300 people entered their bears into the contest and twelve were selected by Grayson (and Alan Measles) to be shortlisted and put to the public vote.

Each prospective bear was accompanied by its back story in the form of their occupation, interests and profile.

The bears received 2,500 votes, and the contest attracted 50,000 page views, national press and many posts on blogs and social media. British comedian Harry Hill also did a sketch about Alan Measles and the stunt bear in his prime time Saturday night television show.

The budget for this competition was just £500 which was used to purchase some Facebook advertising, though obviously internal resources were used to put together the web pages and to put out press releases.

For the Essence group, who are the advertising averse intellectual group Jessie and her team produced a short film which was show on the institutions website and also seeded on websites like YourTube.

This film showed a different side to artist, moving away from the gimmicks and highlighting the importance of craft featured in the exhibition and unknown men and women who made the objects in the British Museum.

A Blog series was also targeted at this group with curators from the British Museum looking at Grayson Perry’s work and talking about their experience of being involved in this exhibition.

For the expressions group the British Museum reached out with a series of craft themed twitter conversations using a hashtag #craftdebate and working with the UK Craft Council, The Craftivist Collective and Grayson Perry who each shared their thoughts on the importance of craft today.

This was a chance for this group who had highlighted the importance of community, discussion and debate to get involved in themes relating to exhibitions in the hope that this would virally inform people with an interest in craft about the exhibition and to make them realise that the British Museum might be something for them.

These different activities all created a buzz around the exhibition, and combined with traditional marketing they helped to attract 112,194 visitors to The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman.

The exhibition was extended by one week due to demand and while Friday nights are normally a quiet time to visit The British Museum, during this exhibition it sold out every week.

The British Museum are now applying what they have learnt to other temporary exhibitions. How are you using digital media to create a buzz around your exhibitions?

How to approach digital engagement for museums


Most people believe that digital media can benefit their organisations, but when it comes to using these tools, even the biggest, tech savy museums and galleries can struggle to know where to start.

The Digital Engagement Framework was developed by Jasper Visser and myself as a simple to use roadmap to help the sector to approach digital media in a more strategic manner. Over the past six months we’ve used it with our clients and run workshops which have shared the methodology with more then 100 people from a broad range of institutions.

The feedback that we have received is that the system works, and it is gratifying to hear institutions are finding the framework to be a powerful tool to design a digital strategy for museums of all shapes and sizes.

So what is the Digital Engagement Framework?

The framework (above) can be divided in three parts: whywhat and how (see figure below). These three parts are about three different levels of your digital strategy: the strategy itself, activities that engage and reach out to audiences, and your day-to-day operational planning.

Why? Every successful digital strategy starts with answering the why-question. Why are you on Facebook or do you invest in a mobile app? You do so, because it will help you organisation achieve its mission. Therefore the DEF starts by asking after your organisation’s digital ambitiongoals and values. These may or may not be stated in official documents (like the mission statement) of your organisation. They are essential to knowing what to do next, measuring success and motivating your team, just to name a few of the reasons why every digital strategy process should start with “why”.

What? When you know where you want to go, the next step is to determine the digital activities that might get you there. This is the what-question (“what will you do?”) and comprises two organisation-driven elements (your assets and audience) and two action-driven elements (engagement and outreach). Together these four form the bulk of the DEF and the scaffolding for your digital engagement strategy. The trick in this second part of the DEF is to design activities that reach (first) and engage (second) a particular target audience with a particular asset of your organisation, for instance by providing an artistic hotel app (about which more later).

How? Finally, the how-question helps you determine how to make the activities happen. In this third and final part of the DEF you look at platformscontent and the link between the two. Your audience determines your platforms and content is broadly speaking the digital representation of your assets. All this together helps you come up with an actionable planning for your digital strategies that will make your ambition come true.

You can learn more about the framework and download a free workbook on the Digital Engagement Framework website.

Should museum websites be ugly?


Museum websites look more professional, than they did a decade ago. Now most are well designed and aesthetically pleasing, but recently I’ve started to think that museum websites are starting to look rather bland.

Is it possible for a museum website to look too polished? Shouldn’t we have more fun with the way we present ourselves online? Those questions were inspired by a brilliant presentation by Ling Valentine, the ‘boss of Ling’s Cars’.

The Ling’s Cars website is unique, incredibly memorable and pretty ugly, but it works brilliantly for the business. Because while their competitors look bland, her website screams personality.

Ling doesn’t try to appeal to everyone, knowing that some visitors to her website will be turned off by the design. But ‘they’re boring, and I’m not interested in talking to boring people.’ Ling says. She is happy to be memorable rather than instantly forgettable like her competition.

Ling says that websites are competing with entertainment websites such as YouTube and we must give people fun ‘so that they will stay on your website and tell other people about it’.

So should museum websites be ugly? No, but they could learn a lot about personality from Ling. Most museums are full of interesting stories, inspiring collections and exciting exhibitions. That needs to be communicated through their websites.

To achieve that they need to think a lot more about personality, and a lot less about what other museums are doing online.

What do you think the museum sector can learn from Ling’s Cars?

How would you create an on demand experience for museums?


When I was a child growing up in England we had four television channels, and if I wanted to watch my favourite programme I had to wait for it to appear on my parents television set at the time which it was broadcast.

My children live in a different world, a place where broadcasting has evolved to meet and often exceed to expectations of the public. In the UK, our public broadcaster the BBC has in recent years led this evolution, with iPlayer, an on demand service which allows me to view there programmes online, on mobile or on television with the click of a button.

The service is incredibly popular, with 1 in 4 people in the UK saying they view more television via iPlayer and similar services than regular TV. In an age when the public increasingly expect services on demand at a time and place that suites them, this public service (BBC) is delivering an excellent service.

The traditional model of a museum is similar to that of television. The museum opens its doors at set times and ‘broadcasts’ through a set channel. The public are expected to be there if they wish to participate in the experience.

What we are now seeing (or need to see) is a shift towards an iPlayer model. The museum needs to move beyond expecting people to come to them, and see the value in taking their knowledge to their audiences in a format which fits in to peoples lives.

This does not only mean investing in technology (though I believe that is key), but rethinking opening hours and taking collections beyond the walls of the institution. Many institutions are doing this, yet I still find myself standing frustrated at the doors of a closed museum on a Sunday afternoon.

How would you create an on demand experience for museums?

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Take over an empty shop in a shopping center and take the museum to people who might never visit spend time.
  • Open later (even if it means you open later) so people can visit after work.
  • Invest in digital capacity (technology and staff) and use the web and apps to be open 24/7.
  • Open up your collection data through API’s to allow others to find ways to share your collection.
  • Use free channels like Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, Twitter, Pinterest etc to take your museum beyond its walls.

I’d love to hear your ideas on how we can create an on demand museum, so please leave a comment with your thoughts.

Why most museum websites are terrible (at achieving mission)


What is the main aim of a museum website? Browsing the internet, you quickly conclude that this is to promote the institution to potential visitors. This is of course a worthwhile aim, museums would not exist without an audience, but I believe that museum websites can be much more.

The starting point for all digital activities within a museum should be it’s mission, this is likely to be to educate, to inspire, to preserve and to share (or similar). Visitor figures have a role in a museum, but these should be a way to measure how many people we are reaching, not the reason that the institution exists.

The solution I believe is for museum websites to become hubs for ideas, publishing platforms which allow institutions to pursue their missions by sharing knowledge and inspiration with the public.

Walker Art Center recently did this, becoming a digital hub for not just contemporary art which is hanging in their institution, but for contemporary art as a whole. The result was a 40% increase in traffic to their website and a digital experience which seems to ties in more closely with their mission.

Old attitudes

For the Walker Art Center website to grow beyond being primarily a marketing tool they had to invest in the team who produce their website, adding members of staff to manage and produce the huge quantity content needed to keep this ideas hub constantly changing.

Many have said that this added expense means that other institutions are unlikely to move their websites towards being publishing platforms. ‘Museums don’t have the budget to do this’ they say.

The Walker art Center has an annual turnover of around $17 million, and the idea that a few extra staff would put a huge strain on this budget is preposterous, they have simply decided to fund their website over something else.

I believe that even much smaller institutions could do the same, but there seems an unwillingness to divert funds from the physical museum to pay for digital activities, perhaps because many institutions see websites as primarily a marketing tool and things which happen in the physical museum as delivering on mission.

An open letter to Museum Directors

Museum leaders need to rethink digital, and look at it from a more strategic perspective, one which can really deliver on the mission of the institution and the needs of the public. Museum leaders need to recognise that a powerful website can deliver just as much as a powerful exhibition and fund the roles within the institution to produce something credible online.

If museums see updating their websites as something which their marketing people can do in a couple of hours per week, then they are missing a huge opportunity to step beyond the walls of their institutions and settling for little more than digital leaflets.

I believe that our website have a real role to play in delivering on the mission of museums, but to do that, we need to be prepared to invest in them.

What museums could learn from the National Geographic Society


The mission of the National Geographic Society is ’to increase and diffuse geographic knowledge while promoting the conservation of the world’s cultural, historical, and natural resources.’

This mission could easily be that of a museum, and the ambition of the National Geographic Society to take their message to the world is one which I think could be an example to museums.

Just nine months after the society was founded in 1888, the first National Geographic magazine was published. This publication with its iconic yellow frame delivered knowledge about places, animals and peoples which most of us would never see. 123 years later the magazine is published in thirty-four languages and had a global circulation of 8.2 million in 2011.

The success of the magazine is impressive, with the Louvre being the only museum in the world to attract more visitors annually than the National Geographic has readers. However, it is the societies expansion into television and film which really interests me.

In September 1997, National Geographic Channel was launched in the UK, Europe and Australia. Today the channel is available in 143 countries, in 160 million homes and in 25 languages.

Museums as broadcasters

The Walker Art Center relaunched their website in December 2011, and in doing so, they moved from a format which could be described as a traditional ’museum’ website which focused on the institutions programmes to offering a broader view of contemporary art.

The Walker Art Center describe this new website as an ’idea hub’, but it is really just a very interesting website for anyone interested in contemporary art, even those who might never visit their physical venue.

This concept of the museum as a publisher is perhaps nothing new, afterall the Walker Art Center has published a magazine for a number of years as do many other institutions, but while one suspects that most museum publications are more about revenue or giving members something which feels worth their annual fee, this feels more like the institution using online publishing as a tool to reach more people and to fulfill its mission.

The Walker Art Center website has become a destination for those interested in contemporary art and having increase their reach with a 40% increase in traffic to their website. I am sure that many other institutions are thinking about how they can use publishing to reach new audiences and fulfill their missions.

Personally I would love to see a science museum website which went beyond telling me about exhibitions and also got me interested in science. After all, is the mission of these institutions to grow their visitor figures or to educate people about the subjects which they cover.

Ultimately why isn’t their a museum which is doing what the National Geographic Society has done, taking the subject which they are passionate about beyond the walls of an institution and into the homes of millions of people?

With the convergence of television and the internet, the barrier to entry in launching a ’television channel’ is about to fall dramatically. I wonder which museum will be the first to grasp this great opportunity to go beyond their walls and fulfill their mission on a global scale?

What’s your MET?




The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York is an institution which constantly impresses me with its marketing. A few years ago they had the good sense to shift their communications to include their audiences with the ‘It’s time we MET’ campaign. For this, they asked members of the public to capture their visit to the museum in pictures and share these on Flickr, they then selected a handful of these ‘real’ images to feature in their advertising campaign.

This shift of marketing focus from objects to people was a risky one for a museum of such stature. I am sure that they got a lot of comments about dumbing down, but it transformed my view of the Metropolitan Museum of Art from a stuffy institution, to a place where the staff understood that the status quo was shifting.

People have been central to their advertising ever since, and when I was recently in New York I was pleased to see the latest iteration of this concept with ‘What’s your MET?’ a campaign which caught my attention because of the big name celebrities who had selected items from the collection.

Perhaps only the Metropolitan Museum of Art could put together a campaign in which Hugh Jackman, Alica Keys and Zaha Hadid share their favourite objects from their collection, afterall this is an institution which is inextricably linked with celebrity through its Annual Gala.

However, the campaign is far smarter than a little celebrity endorsement.

What’s your MET?‘ is a section on the Metropolitan Museum of Art website which allows people to select and store their favourite items from their online collection, this is linked to social media platforms to encourage those creating collections to share them with friends on Facebook or Twitter.

Many museums now let people play curator with their online collections, but I think that the way that the Metropolitan Museum of Art tie this seamlessly into their advertising is outstanding.

The ‘What’s your MET?’ campaign takes things to a perfect conclusion by not only featuring celebrity collections, but also those of ‘ordinary’ members of the public. In doing so, I feel that they show that anyone can have an opinion on the arts, not only the MET’s curators, the star of the X-Men or other familiar faces.

To me, this is the right message for a museum to communicate to its audiences and a near perfect campaign.

Big changes and opportunities with Facebook brand pages


Facebook has announced that it is rolling out redesigned ‘brand pages’, which will follow the timeline format which they introduced for individual users earlier this year.

Is this is good news for museums? I think so. The timeline format puts updates in the context of an organisations history, allowing them to tell their story.

While Facebook used brands with long histories like American Express, Coca-Cola and Burberry to showcase how the timeline can be used to illustrate their stories, it isn’t hard to imagine how a museum could use this to tell the history of not just their organisation, but the history of art, a nation or the earth.

Though it should be noted that Facebook only currently let brands add milestone back to 1800 and backdate posts to 1900.

The switch to timelines is going to make the history of your timeline more accessible to your fans, so now is probably a good time to have a spring clean and to look for opportunities to add new content.

The new Facebook brand pages offer the opportunity to create profiles which look more aesthetically pleasing. As with profiles for individuals these now include ‘cover photos’, this is a large image which appears at the top of the page. This is important real estate, so think about how you can use this space.

Facebook have put limitations on this image, banning brands from using this space for calls to action such as ‘like this page’ or ‘discounts on our website this week’.

With this update Facebook have also stopped brands from using custom landing tabs. These were a key marketing tool which many brands used to tempt Facebook users to click ‘like’ with discounts and contests.

Facebook are giving brands until March 30th to prepare their content for the new style of pages, so you have a few weeks to get ready.

Social commerce and the museum


Most cultural organisations now understand the value of social media, and big brand destinations like TATE, Guggenheim and MoMA have excelled at creating huge fan bases on Facebook and Twitter.

While promoting the museum offer as a whole and creating engaging posts or tweets has for many become standard practice, one area of the museum which doesn’t seem to have felt this social media impact is the museum shop.

Only a few institutions have Facebook pages or Twitter profiles for their retail operations. The MoMA design store has over 9000 fans, but this kind of success is the exception rather than the rule.

As social commerce becomes the norm for high street brands, are museum shops missing out on a vital channel to promote their offer and increase profits?

What is social commerce?

Social commerce is the integration of social media where people shop, and shopping where people are social.

This could mean selling items from your shop on your Facebook page, alongside a ticket to your latest blockbuster exhibition. Several brands are doing this, and tools like North Social make it easy for you to showcase what your shop sells on the social network.

North Social has a number of other tools which can help a museum to promote it’s retail offer. For example, you could offer exclusive discounts for fans with a ‘fan-gating’ page which requires people to like your institution to access the offer.

This not only promotes your retail offer, but also gives an incentive for people to become a fan.

As well as being active on websites like Facebook, museums shops can benefit greatly from adding ‘like’ buttons to the products in their online stores. Across the web, the Facebook ‘like’ button are clicked 1 million times per day, and this provides an easy way for people to share products that they like.

A recent survey found that 83% of UK consumers want to share information about purchases with friends and family, and people do this before, during and after buying.

Eventbrite, the ticketing company found that a Facebook like was worth on average $2.52 to those selling through their website, whilst a tweet was worth less than a fifth of that at just 43¢.

Another tool that museum shops might find useful is Facebook Connect. This uses information from an individuals Facebook profile to create personalized content. Amazon and Ebay use this to help their customers to select gifts for their Facebook friends, while MoMA used the same technology to create custom events programmes for their audiences.

Conclusion

Big brands see Facebook as a key battleground for the hearts and minds of consumers, but it doesn’t need to cost a fortune to use social media to benefit your museum shop.

Look at how you can add social sharing in to your online store and build from there. Track every click through to purchase with Google Analytics and learn what works and what doesn’t work for your unique audiences.

Instagram for museums


Instagram is a photo sharing App for iPhone, which allows people to share real-time photos with their followers. Over 12 million people from all over the world are using the free App.

Instagram makes sharing photos, and looking at pictures from the people your following effortless, through an intuitive interface which delivers what could be described as a ‘visual Twitter’, a stream of pictures from around the world which give you a glimpse into people’s lives.

I feel that Instagram can offer museums a great platform to connect with the public, afterall museums are visual places and this makes it easy to capture and share pictures of events, objects and exhibitions in seconds.

Instagram also allows you to share your pictures in to Twitter and Facebook making it even more useful. Rather then seeing Instagram as yet another social media platform that you would need to create content for, you can use it as a tool to put pictures on your existing networks, and in doing so, also tip your toe into this new social arena.

Brooklyn Museum is one of the first institutions to use Instagram, and after posting just 111 photo’s they have 6595 followers. Followers are interacting with Brooklyn Museum by commenting on the images they post, or simply by liking them.

Getting started.

- Download the Instagram App (iPhone / iPod only)
- Secure your museums username
- Post a few pictures and experiment with the filters
- Share content into Facebook and Twitter
- Tell your followers in these networks that your now on Instagram
- Ask for feedback
- Interact with followers
- Show your museum in new and interesting ways
- Use hashtags
- Use the Instagram API to put the pictures on your website

Rethinking the Museum for the digital age


The following presentation was made by MuseumNext founder Jim Richardson at the Gulf Arts and Cultural Leaders meeting in Qatar in November 2011.

Today I want to talk about a vision for the museum for the digital age that we now find ourselves to be living in. You are building the next generation of great museums here in the Gulf, and I think you have an incredible opportunity to move beyond your European and American counterparts by using technology to create a better museum.

I have been told that historically there is not a museum going culture in the Gulf and that this means that to a certain extent your local audiences lack an understanding of what a museum does and why they should visit.

Personally, I feel that this presents an incredible opportunity to move beyond traditional museum models and give audiences exceptional experiences.

In truth, the museum has always evolved. From its origins in Ancient Greece, through the private collections of European Aristocracy and wealthy merchants to the public galleries of the 18th and 19th centuries with their focus on educating the masses.

Today the museum must continue to change. This is in part both enabled and in response to technology in the world around us, and the changing expectations that our audiences have because of this technology.

Consumer technology has put incredibly powerful tools in to the hands of the masses. A cell phone can guide it’s owner around a city, a computer game can be controlled by the movements of a player and Google have put the knowledge of the world at everyone’s fingertips.

One of the biggest changes in technology has been the evolution of the internet from a place to find information into a forum for collaboration, a place to create, curate and share online and I think this could be a metaphor for a museum of the digital age.

Through this more social web, our audiences have found there voice, and I think that exciting possibilities exist in encouraging them to see the museum as another space in which to express themselves.

I am not suggesting that a member of the public can be more knowledgeable about a collection then a curator, nor are they a replacement for this expert. However, everyone can have a valid opinion on art, and even the most unexpected person can add important information to a collection. So perhaps it is naïve to think that the best expertise always exists within a museum.

Beyond the value of this kind of interaction to the institution, I feel that a more participatory experience based on personal observation better facilitates outcomes which are of value to the individual.

Lets look at three examples of digital engage from Brooklyn Museum, TATE and a group of smaller institutions from across Yorkshire in England.

Click! was a crowdsourced and crowd curated exhibition which took it’s inspiration from the critically acclaimed book The Wisdom of Crowds, which asserts that a diverse crowd is often wiser at making decisions than expert individuals.

Members of the public were asked to submit photographs on the theme “Changing Faces of Brooklyn,” along with an artist statement.

These pictures were uploaded through the museum’s website, where an online community scored the images.

The top ranked 20% of the images submitted were then displayed in the gallery according to their relative ranking from the juried process.

What is perhaps most interesting is that when a panel of experts ranked the images, there were a lot of similarities between their selection and those picked by the crowd.

I think this is a great example of a museum using technology to get audiences to participate in culture. This made people step beyond browsing an exhibition, and offered them perhaps a richer experience by asking them to think about what makes a good photograph, what makes one image more successful than another and whether they represent the “Changing faces of Brooklyn”.

TATE Modern in London also looked to engage audiences with ‘one-to-one with the artist’ a digital project which accompanied the Ai Weiwei sunflower seeds installation which ran from late 2010 till May 2011.

This invited members of the public to record videos in which they ask the artist questions about his art, his work and his life. Just under 23,000 questions were recorded, and Weiwei took the time to answer some of these with his own video responses.

Another example of dialogue around art comes from Yorkshires Favourite Painting, a project which asked members of the public to pick their favourite artwork from over 30 participating museums and galleries and say why you liked it and where they would like to hang a replica, the prize which was offered to those who took part.

Over 600 people participated, taking the time to think about what art meant to them and gave very personal responses to art. So one painting could feature in stories of mythology, marriage, beauty, childhood, home and even prompt someone to respond with a poem.

While these musings on art are far from a curatorial point of view, they give a different perspective on the paintings, and perhaps one which the public will find easier as a starting point from which to explore the collection.

I few this kind of participatory experience as the next step in the evolution of museums, which have in the past century transformed from being primarily focused on their own scholarly pursuits such as collecting and researching to becoming defined more by how it serves its audiences and how they can facilitate the experiences these people have in their institutions be they educational, social, emotional or even entertainment.

While these projects have on the whole proved successful, I think that this is just the start of a revolution that will create a museum with the buzz of the constantly changing social web, a place of exchange where people come together to be inspired, to be creative and learn from each other.

The idea of this museum for a digital age won’t appeal to everyone, and I think that highlights another exciting opportunity that technology provides. Today a museum creates one experience for all it’s audiences, but in our reimagined institution, every visitor could have an experience tailored for them.

Today I am going to look at three experiences of audiences interacting with a fictional museum of the future, our guides on this journey will be Akram, a 12 year old boy who is visiting with his family, Mohammad a student who is studying in a nearby city and Nina, an American academic with an interest in the museum’s collection.

Lets start our journey with Mohammad.

He is introduced to the museum through a smart phone application which he reads about in a newspaper. This app takes archive photographs from the museum and overlays these on the location where they were taken through augmented reality.

This takes the museum collection beyond it’s walls and makes it accessible to the public in a way which makes these old pictures seem more relevant to contemporary audiences. It generates conversations about local history and is perhaps the best kind of marketing, something which spreads virally and gets people talking about the museum.

This smart phone application also invites contributions from the public, so Mohammad can add information to a photograph about a shop in which his grandfather once worked.

This could be just a short note, or perhaps he would use his smart-phone to record a film of his grandfather speaking about working in this place and life during the period when the picture was taken and share this with the museum.

The app encourages Mohammad to visit an exhibition of these photographs at the museum, where he is able to appreciate the images both as large prints and through large interactive touch screens which allow him to zoom into archival photography on an interactive map.

During his visit, he learns that the museum wants to contrast these archival images with contemporary images, which they are asking members of the public to contribute through a competition. As a keen photographer, Mohammad is pleased to have the opportunity to have his images displayed within the museum.

Both the chance to contribute information about the historic images and to participate in capturing contemporary photography of the city give Mohammad the opportunity to feel part of the museum, this is an institution that values his opinion and contribution and therefore, he feels a sense of ownership.

I think this sense of ownership is key to building a community around an art institution.

A contemporary photography competition lets the museum reach out to a large niche audience, those interested in taking pictures. Museums around the world have used this kind of model to attract those interested in video, design, craft and art through similar calls for participation.

While Mohammad is experiencing the museums collections in person, at the other side of the world American academic Nina is browsing the collection online, having discovered it collection through a Google search.

Like most museums it’s website contains information about their collection, displaying a picture and description of each item, but this goes one step further by learning from how the visitor interacts with the data.

For example, as Nina browses the collection the website might learn that she is interested in modern Islamic art, and therefore, tailor the content she sees to suggest other items from the collection, upcoming exhibitions or events that might interest her.

This increases the time that she spends on the site and encourages her to come back.

This kind of feature was made popular by Amazon, and it’s ‘customers who bought this also bought’ feature. Why should a museum website not work in a similar way if it gives her a better experience and makes the museum seem more relevant to her?

The website also lets Nina bookmark items or build collections of items that interest her and invite others to view this and to comment on the items she has selected.

One of the collections that Nina has created has been shared with a group of her students, and she can log-in and join in with the conversation about the items.

This kind of dialogue is encouraged by the museum, and curators and other interested individuals have also engaged with the students, answering questions or discussing the merits of the items that Nina has selected.

The museum might give website visitors the chance to take this experience further, inviting someone like Nina not only to print out a picture of an item, but to print a photopolmer resin replica through a 3D printer.

This technology was recently used by an exhibition in the United States to print a replica of King Tuts mummy for an exhibition on ancient Egypt.

This would allow Nina and her class to look at items from the collection in detail, without ever stepping foot in the museum, it presents a new frontier in the concept of sharing a museum collection.

Meanwhile, back at the museum Akram and his family are arriving for their visit.

When they walk through the doors Akram, and his brothers are given handheld computer tablets which give them access to digital experiences to accompany their visit to the museum.

In the lobby of the museum projections update with the latest activity and comments from around the museum. Two visitors are discussing an object from the collection, one is standing in the gallery space with the object while the other is thousands of miles away in America, viewing the collection online.

Other activity includes visitors collecting objects for their virtual collections, adding addition information to the museum’s collection database and sharing objects with friends.

This shows visitors that the museum is alive and as constantly changing as the internet. This sets the museum very much in the present, rather than being an institution focused on the past.

As his brothers race in to the first gallery, Akram logs into his tablet computer using his log in from the Facebook social networking website, this allows the device to personalise the content for him. Another user can be looking at the same object, and be fed totally different information based on their age, interests and experience that they want from the museum.

Someone looking for a cognitive experience might get a video in which an artist speaks about their work, while someone is more interested in an emotional experience might get questions about how an artwork makes them feel.

For Akram, it has scanned his interests as recorded in his Facebook profile and it suggests a game which will let him compete against other visitors his age by finding facts about the objects in the gallery. He must collect objects and answer questions to unlock hidden information about the collection, giving him an incentive to go beyond the usual six seconds a visitor spends with an item.

Increasingly the way in which children learn is being influenced by computer games, and including games as part of the museums learning experience will appeal to those who enjoy learning in this way.

As Akram walks around the gallery the way he uses the tablet is tracked by the museums computer system, it feeds him content relevant to each object he looks at and learns from every interaction measuring how long each he spends with each item and which digital information is most popular.

This informs not only which information should be displayed to Akram, but also the design of future exhibitions based on how people are moving around the gallery spaces.

In addition to tracking through his tablet computer, some museums are starting to look to the world of retailing to build up data about how people are using their spaces. They run data from close circuit cameras through computer programmes to measure which areas have the most footfall and linger times.

In retail this measures which are the most valuable spaces within stores, and in museums it can do the same. This would allow curators to locate blockbuster items in the spaces where they can be most appreciated.

I was listening to a piece on the radio last week in the UK about a loyalty programme which the countries biggest supermarket chain runs. The person who developed this scheme which awards points which can be redeemed against future purchases for every product bought said that the value in the scheme was the knowledge it gave them about their customers. This knowledge gave them the power to stay relevant to their customers and I think museums could learn from this.

As Akram enters the second gallery, he notices the digital projections on one of the walls changing. This has been triggered by him entering the room and some of the objects this displays now reflect items he has ‘liked’ when browsing the museum’s website.

In other spaces in the museum, these digital projections might show items that will surprise him, challenge him, or intrigue him.

As Akram browses the collection the handheld tablet shows relevant information about each object, but also prompts him with questions, giving him the option to move his experience beyond a passive one, and leave his thoughts and opinions.

But do the opinions of a twelve year old really merit sharing, do they deserve a place within a museum? I believe that they do, because allowing Akram to have a say and validating this by sharing it in the museums digital space is going to encourage him to engage with the museum and strengthen his interest in their collections.

But this digital channel is not only the preserve of the visitors, it is also used extensively by museum staff. If Akram asks a question about an item in the collection, he will receive a video answer from an expert on the subject. This takes visitors virtually behind the scenes and gives the passionate experts working within the museum a voice in this digital space.

As Akram enters the next gallery, the handheld tablet tells him that a Facebook friend has bookmarked an item in this room. This displays the item and the comment that his friend left. This kind of personal recommendation allows visitors to turn the museum experience into a social one, even if they are visiting alone.

Akrams interaction with the museum reaches beyond it’s walls, broadcasting his thoughts and the relevant items to his friends on social networking websites.

When he returns home, perhaps Akram would receive something from the museum to reward his interaction with the collection. An example I like of this comes from the National Maritime Museum in London, where a visitor who uses their compass card to learn about and collect objects receives a personalised ebook, which references the items that they have interacted with on their visit.

In Conclusion

So in conclusion, I want to leave you with five points that I hope you will take away from this stroll through the museum of the digital age.

1. Technology: The scenarios that I’ve spoken about today aren’t science fiction. This technology is all very real and museums are making use of it, but nobody is yet using it to it’s full potential.

2. Expectations: People have access to incredible technology in their homes and I believe that this is changing their expectations of the world around them. If museums don’t do digital, then they risk seeming irrelevant in a digital world.

3. Participation: I believe that offering museum visitors participatory experiences is offering them better experiences. We should want our visitors the opportunity to step beyond passive visits and create new ways to encourage them to think about our collections and their individual place in the world.

4. Personalisation: We need to recognise that different people want different experiences from the museum, and create personalised experiences to appeal to the different motivations.

5. Future: By creating a more participatory culture in our museums, we can learn from our audiences. Giving us the knowledge to stay relevant in a constantly changing world.

What would your museum for the digital age look like?

Google+ and the museum



It has been five months since Google+ launched, and while the initial buzz around this new social network being a potential Facebook killer hasn’t proved correct, the service has ‘slowly’ built a user base of over 50 million.

This week Google+ added Pages, brand-specific accounts for businesses. Companies like Pepsi, GAP and McDonald’s have been quick to set up profiles for themselves, but is there a place for museums and galleries on this new social network, and for those struggling to keep up with their institutions profiles on Facebook and Twitter is it really worthwhile adding Google+ to the mix?

Here are a few reasons to consider it:

1. Landgrab
Google don’t verify that Google+ business page are being set up by someone authorised to do so by the organisation in question, so it is important for museums and galleries grab their pages before someone else does.

2. Google+ doesn’t have to be hard work
You don’t have to create unique content for this new social network. If your already producing posts for Facebook and Twitter, just replicate some of these for Google+ (Disclaimer: though in time you may find this audience does need different content).

3. Video
When Google+ launched earlier in the year it included a ‘video conferencing’ tool called ‘hangouts’. This is also available for business users, including museums and I feel that this has huge potential.

Imagine a curator hosting ‘hangout’ sessions and engaging in discussions with followers, I think that is an exciting prospect.

4. Less competition
While Facebook and Twitter have more users then Google+, they also have the disadvantage of a lot more competition for the attention of users.

Google+ lets you reach audiences through less cluttered newsfeeds.

5. Search
While Facebook uses a walled garden approach where content can only be accessed by members, Google+ is an open platform so someone doesn’t need to subscribe to your newsfeed to read them.

Search is Google’s big advantage over Facebook and you can guarantee that they will leverage this to make it worth businesses, and museums being on Google+.

Conclusion

It is early days and Google+ may thrive or struggle to survive, but I feel that it is worth museums and galleries reserving their Google+ profile and dipping a toes in the water.

Has your museum set up a profile on Google+, what response have you had so far?

 

Measuring social media success


While it is easy to get carried away with the number of followers that your museum attracts on Twitter or Facebook, it’s important to be objective about why you are using social media.

Engagement is quality rather than quantity – regular sharing between a number of fans on Facebook demonstrates more engagement than a high number of fans who only leave one post on the wall and never come back. Starbucks and Coke are prime examples of mass scale Facebook groups with low levels of engagement.

At the start of any social media project, you should think about your goals, and it is these objectives rather than how popular your organisation appears to be that matter most when measuring our online success.

There are hard and soft measures for demonstrating success. Hard metrics include standard web metrics such as:

• Visits and referrals
• Search volume terms
• Analysis of stats to evolve procedures into more effective ones
• Numbers of followers, fans, friends

These hard metrics make it far easier to record the return on investment in social media than traditional media, it is for example virtually impossible to accurately measure how many people act on a newspaper advert.

Taking the influence that social media can have on the public further, and trying to measure how many people who interact with you online visit the physical museum is a little harder, but in no way impossible.

In 2009 TATE offered fans on their Facebook page a discount voucher for an exhibition by British artist Chris Odofi. This voucher was redeemed by over 10,000 people, showing a direct link between those interacting with the gallery on Facebook and those paying to attend an exhibition.

In addition to using tools like vouchers to measure the effectiveness of social media, you should also include relevant questions in your annual visitor surveys, finding out if your audiences are active on websites like Facebook and Twitter and asking if they are aware that your museum has a presence on them.

Also measure the quality of your interactions, for example if you ask people a question on Facebook, how many people respond and what are they writing? Facebook’s Insight analytics gives you the tools to measure how much engagement is taking place around your content on the social network.

You would also look beyond what people are saying directly to you, monitoring any mention of your museum on social media platforms and recording both positive and negative responses.

Why measure?

While social media can seem like a low cost resource, it can take a lot of time to manage these platforms and you may need to justify your activities, especially if you have a management team who are sceptical about its usefulness.

Measuring the response to your museums and to social media activity is also important to record progress, record success and to learn from – you will never really know if what you’re doing is having any impact if you don’t record.

I also feel that museums can have tremendous success using social media, and this should be recorded to justify the time managing these websites.

How do you measure your social media success?

Creating a Social Media Editorial Plan for a museum


Updating the Social Media presence for your museum may seem overwhelming, with Twitter and Facebook updates alone demanding perhaps half an hour in your already busy day.

One way to approach this is with a Social Media Editorial Plan which is used to plan out your content for the week or even the month ahead.

Jesse Ringham, Digital Communications Manager at TATE told me, ‘We have a weekly meeting which brings together people from across our press, marketing, visitor experience and digital teams to discuss what worked in the previous week, what we have coming up and to plan the week ahead. This means that you know each day what you need to do, and it gives you more time to respond to tweets or Facebook posts from the public’.

An editorial calendar doesn’t replace reactionary tweeting or Facebook posts, but acts as a backbone to your social media activity, ensuring that your audiences get fresh and interesting content even when you’re busy.

As Jesse described in the case of TATE, ideally this plan is created through a quick weekly meeting, which provides a forum for people from across your museum to make suggestions. The content should be steered by the overall goal of your social media activity and by the audiences that each network connects you with.

As well as bringing together different voices from across the organisation, an editorial meeting can hopefully share the work which needs to be done across a number of people.

Some activities such as blogging are especially demanding, and it is essential that the burden of creating content isn’t all on one individual, not only because of the time that this takes, but also because you will get better content if a range of voices and opinions are included.

Mark out the content which you will publish day-by-day across the social media platforms that you are active on and try and establish regular features to make your life easier. It is fine duplicate some of content that you broadcast on Facebook on Twitter and vice-versa.

Some museums use web based calendar software such as Google Calendar to share their social media schedule with colleagues. This is especially useful when a number of people are delivering the editorial plan across different social media channels.

Once the plan has been agreed, automated updates can be scheduled using a third party website like Hootsuite. This is especially useful for planning updates for weekends.

A social media editorial meeting can also be a forum for housekeeping, for example agreeing a hashtag for an exhibition or event which will be used across all social media platforms.

How does your museum plan out it’s social media activity? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Creating social media guidelines for a museum


In many museums you will find enthusiastic members of staff who understand that social media can play an important role in a museum, but who find it difficult to persuade their management team, board or the local government who manage their service to let them proceed.

Social Media Guidelines are one way to help those with concerns by showing that you are managing any risk associated with social media, and setting clear boundaries around how museum staff will participate on these websites.

Another driver for creating Social Media Guidelines may be that a growing number of people in your organisation want to use social media and as this activity is decentralised you need to provide guidance across your museum.

If you are just starting to use social media on your museums behalf, and your under no pressure to formalise the work that you are doing from management, then you probably don’t need guidelines, but as you get to grips with social media tools it makes sense to share what you learn by creating guidelines for your organisation.

The guidelines will typically contain:

- An overview of what the museum is trying to achieve with social media
- Approval procedures and contacts
- Personal use of social media
- Tone of voice when speaking on behalf of the museum
- How images should be attributed and copyright issues
- How the museum’s brand should be reproduced on social networks
- How to deal with complaints
- A directory of all the social media networks on which the museum is active on
- Measuring success

Your social media guidelines should be a living document; changing frequently as the way that the museum uses social media evolves.

The National Museums Scotland Social Media Guidelines and this list of not-for-profit Social Media Guidelines offer valuable insight into what these documents might look like.