For my guest expert interview, I spoke with Catherine Mastrangelo, the Marketing and Communications Manager for the Montclair Art Museum in Montclair, New Jersey. An aspect of the interview that I found fascinating was what prompted the creation of MAM’s social media accounts. In 2009, MAM hosted an exhibition called Cezanne and American Modernism. This show brought record numbers to the museum, and MAM rode that momentum to create Facebook and Twitter accounts and establish an audience. I think capitalizing on a successful exhibition or event is a great way to get a solid foundation for a museum’s social media, and a practical strategy to know for the future.
We discussed SnapChat at length during our interview, since the Montclair Art Museum launched their SnapChat account fairly recently. Specifically something I found interesting was that Mastrangelo expressed the Montclair Art Museum was working on “finding their SnapChat voice”. This includes discovering what aspects of the museum are most SnapChat-friendly and will result in the most excitement from the audience. The first Thursday of every month MAM has a free museum day, which includes a bar and large amount of activity. Mastrangelo expressed that this, combined with behind-the-scenes snaps every Friday (i.e. showing the pending installation of an exhibit), have resulted in the most success.
The aforementioned “behind-the-scenes” snaps are very interesting to me because they reflect a collaborative technique of social media marketing. In my interview Mastrangelo explains that these behind-the-scenes access is possible because the curatorial staff allows her to document exhibition processes. She also receives a big help from the Yard School, because they provide photos of classes taught at MAM. She also discusses how she collaborates with the development department to brainstorm ideas for content. Mastrangelo took advantage of the museum’s experts and specialists to find “killer content” to advertise numerous different programs the museum has to offer that will most excite audiences (Dilenschneider, 2012).
One aspect of my job is to post on my company’s Facebook and Twitter, and I can especially see how helpful it would be to have a department provide photos. In my experience reviewing social media analytics of my own content, posts and tweets reach a wider audience when they have photos or a visual aspect to go along with them. After a while it becomes difficult to find a variety of good quality, unique, and interesting photos. Even when there’s a backlog of photos, it becomes quickly apparent when photos are dated. Things as simple as people’s fashion can give old photos away, or outdated technology being present in them. Having constant, new photos would be such a huge help.
The future for social media at the Montclair Art Museum is very exciting. The spiritual successor to the Cezanne and American Modernism is going to open in February of 2017, Matisse and American Art (Montclair Art Museum, n.d.). I am excited to see the kinds of content Mastrangelo posts for this exhibition, especially in contrast to what was posted for the exhibition that started it all!
Dilenschneider, C. (2012). Social Media: The EveryDepartment Job in Nonprofit Organizations. Retrieved October 16, 2016, from http://colleendilen.com/2012/12/12/socialmediatheeverydepartmentjobinnonprofitorganizations
Matisse and American Art | Montclair Art Museum. (n.d.). Retrieved October 16, 2016, from https://www.montclairartmuseum.org/exhibition/matisse-and-american-art