Hacking the Hashtag: Museum Hack’s Social Media Best Practices

Carly Syms - Team Lead for Marketing & Customer Service

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Retweets, DMs, likes, and follows.

Social networking platforms like Facebook and Twitter have become a huge part of sharing our lives and connecting with family and friends — but these days, we use them to keep up with our favorite brands, businesses, and institutions, too!

It’s important in this fast-paced world to maintain a solid social media presence, and at Museum Hack, we know there’s more to it than a well-placed hashtag.

We’ve compiled some of our top tips for engaging with fans and followers on Facebook and Twitter to help get your museum’s social media game in tip-top shape!

Keeping your social media skills strong can help keep your museum ahead of the game.

No two audiences are like

While many of our Twitter followers are museum professionals, our Facebook fan base is much more varied. Because of the differing demographics of our followings on these two platforms, the type of content we post on each one is carefully tailored to our audience’s interests.

Where our Facebook fans are into art mashups, our Twitter followers are more interested in our infographics. Knowing your audience and the type of content they’ll find useful or entertaining is key in encouraging engagement with your posts.

What do I post?

Does your museum have a blog? If so, great! Draw from your existing blog posts and other evergreen content. In addition to exclusives like art mashups and engagement-boosting text posts, we also share a lot of videos and case studies from our blog on both Twitter and Facebook.

On Twitter, we also share Ted Talks and any other content that we find interesting and think would equally appeal to our audience.

While it’s important to post content that provides traffic to your site, it’s just as important to share other things that interest your followers, encourage them to become part of your conversation, and show that your museum (or yourself!) is a thought leader in your field.

We embrace social media use on our museum tours.

Retweets and responses

It’s important to us to try to engage with every comment on our Facebook page, even if it’s as simple as a “like”. For fans that comment on or share a lot of our posts, we make sure to recognize them personally and thank them for sharing.

We try to hop into conversations where it makes sense, too, if there’s something we can add to the discussion to make people laugh or feel acknowledged.

On Twitter, our strategy is largely the same. We try to “like” retweets or tweets that we’re tagged in, responding to followers who tag us in a great tweet or engage with us frequently. We like to retweet people who have gone on our tours, too, to show our appreciation!

Our top rule for handling thoughtful criticism online? Embrace it head on.

Handling negative comments

While negative comments are generally few and far between, it’s always important to address criticism and thoughtful critiques. We love feedback (and your museum should, too)! Ultimately, we respond to negative comments the same way we would anything else: with kindness and appreciation for people taking time out of their day to think about and take part in conversations we start.

Museum Hack’s Top Social Media Tips:

What To Do:

  • Be your best self. On social media, you represent the face of your museum to the entirety of the Internet. Don’t take negative comments personally.
  • Reply as though your response could go viral. This is the Internet — anything can be shared to the whole world at any time. It’s better to go viral for a stellar customer response than a snippy retort.
  • Take your time when crafting responses. Social media feels like it should be fast, but it’s easier to take a moment to proofread your post and say it right the first time rather than correcting a mistake once something’s already published.
  • Own up to your mistakes. If you do make a mistake, take the time to recognize it appropriately.

What Not To Do:

  • Treat your followers like a nameless, faceless mass. Take care of your audience by acknowledging their responses, answering their questions, and making them feel important. Create relationships!
  • Spam. Your fans and followers are more likely to engage with or share things they find important or informative — and no one likes it when you blow up their newsfeed.
  • Post with abandon. Facebook offers analytics about which parts of the day your followers are most active. Use this information to your advantage! Schedule your posts to line up with those peaks in activity. As for Twitter, since our audience is primarily museum professionals, we try to tweet during general business hours.
Use social media to embrace – and share – what makes you and your museum unique.

#nailedit

Creating a standout social media profile is a balance between creating consistent, quality content and taking the time to interact with your fans and followers.

Keeping these things in mind — and following the other tips we’ve laid out — will help you shape your museum’s social media presence into a work of art.

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