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.

4 Responses to “Creating a Social Media Editorial Plan for a museum”

  1. Kim says:

    I am currently part of a volunteer group working on an exhibition for The Great North Musuem: Hancock due to take place in the summer 2012. We are still in the early stages and have only just begun to set up our social media presence with a blog, facebook page, twitter and flickr. I stumbled upon this blog when searching for social media editorial strategy in relation to museums. Coming from a journalistic background I know how important it is to plan content especially when there are so many platforms to publish on. I have to say this is a great blog with many useful tips and observations and I’ll be checking back regularly.

  2. Zonda Bez says:

    Daily I have to deal with contents like videos, texts and images sent by nearly 30 institutions integrated to brazilian nacional museums network to be shared through our web channels (Youtube, Twitter, Facebook and site).
    Such stream of information is nearly impossible to schedule because museums even taking part of a network have got their own time to develop activities and let us know about them. Editorial plans become hard to manage in such context but it seems to be a good perspective for the future! Thanks for the tips!

  3. [...] work is spread out to a number of people, which is why your team needs to have an editorial plan. On this Jim Richardson writes: One way to approach this is with a Social Media Editorial Plan which is used to plan out your [...]