Category: Ideas

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

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.

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In the Land of Hungry Tourists, the Museum Cafe is King

Let’s turn museums into mmmuseums.

When it comes to making visitors happy, museums sometimes overthink it. We focus on big, complex projects: thought-provoking exhibitions, unique objects and artworks, exciting events, and eye-catching designs.

But for many visitors, it’s amenities like cafes that really make or break their museum experience. After all, if we can’t look after the most basic human needs of our visitors, how can they trust us to fulfill their emotional, intellectual, and social ones?

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Mini but Mighty: Why Small Museums are Superheroes

The most intriguing thing about superheroes isn’t that they leap tall buildings in a single bound or change into capes and spandex tights inside phone boxes. It’s the fact that they help save the world every day – without most people ever realizing it.

That’s why we think small museums are real-life superheroes.

As much as we love the Louvre and go gaga for the Getty, smaller, lesser-known museums provide unforgettable experiences and unique stories for visitors of all kinds – and they’re actually in the majority. More than half of all museums in the United States have three staff members or less.

The Mµseum in Somerville, MA. Credit: Joseph Curtatone, Trend Hunter.
The Mµseum in Somerville, MA. Credit: Joseph Curtatone, Trend Hunter.

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How Museums Can Help Promote Empathy

We talk a lot about how museums can use storytelling to transform museum experiences. We love thinking about fresh and innovative ways to re-engage new audiences and draw in new visitors.

But today we are going to focus on how museums, as institutions of history, culture and change, can help change the world. And, more specifically, how they can help increase empathy.

Elif M. Gokcigdem recently wrote an article for The Greater Good Science Center, located in Berkeley California. In this article, “Five Ways Museums Can Increase Empathy in the World,” Gokcigdem discusses the concept of empathy and how museums can become champions for the increasing empathy in the world.

Another cool thing about Gokcigdem: she has a book called “Fostering Empathy Through Museums” that showcases museums who are actually applying these practices.
We’ve compiled some of our favorite points and takeaways from Gokcigdem’s article below.   

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Twitter Round-up: Museums Advocacy Day 2017

It’s easy to have an election hangover and never want to look at anything remotely political for the foreseeable future – but museums came together this week to fight for the issues affecting them.

The American Alliance of Museums (AAM) recently hosted Museums Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C. where museum advocates from all over the country visited their Congressional Representatives to speak up for museums.

Museum Advocates at home could follow the action on the Hill with AAMs’ hashtag, #museumsadvocacy2017.

We sent Dustin and Julia to report back with a very important message – tell your representatives that museums are f***ing awesome.

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Same Skills, New Tech: Social Media Lessons from a 1967 AASLH Technical Leaflet

Our friends over at the American Association for State and Local History recently reached into the past for some social media tips. Read about their findings below from AASLH’s Marketing Membership Coordinator Hannah Hethmon.

Image via Queens of Vintage

At AASLH, we don’t like to reinvent the wheel. We are constantly looking back through History News, Technical Leaflets, and old promotional materials to remember and rediscover all that the association has done over the last 76 years. Yesterday, we came across a 1967 Technical Leaflet called “Reaching Your Public: The Historical Society Newsletter.” To our surprise, much of the advice given in this newsletter how-to is just as appropriate for history organizations on social media. It starts with this timeless challenge:

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How to Lead an Effective Workshop

Thirty years ago, if you wanted to see a lion in New York City, you’d go to the American Museum of Natural History.


To immerse yourself in the majesty of one of the museum’s wildlife dioramas. Seeing a lion today is as simple as a quick search on a smartphone.

The way we consume education, entertainment, and media is continually evolving, and as museum professionals, we can leverage this change to lead our visitors to new levels of engagement and understanding.

At many museums, things are done the way they are because it’s the way they’ve always been done — and that isn’t really the best reason to do anything, if we’re being honest.

Museum professionals often serve as teachers in their spaces, but it’s rare that they’re offered the opportunity to be taught new things. It’s important to continually learn about and better your craft, and a fun way (the best way, in our opinion!) to do that is through workshops.

Tour Guide Ethan Angelica leads a workshop at the museum.
Tour Guide Ethan Angelica leads a workshop at the museum.

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