In my interview with Lucy Redoglia, we spoke of all things social, the importance of varied content across social channels, and the need for innovative thinking when museums approach their digital strategy. Ms. Redoglia, the former Social Media Manager for LACMA and a vet of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, spoke eloquently about how lucky she has been to work in museums that value curiosity and embrace the challenge of social media. Of the many insightful words of wisdom that Ms. Redoglia passed on, there were a few standout lessons that I believe will come in handy as I continue to develop my project.
Firstly, not every social platform or activation requires a strategy. Redoglia points out that it is often a fear of failure or a lack of curiosity that drives many museums to reject emerging social platforms. When social networks like Snapchat emerged, it was difficult for many museums to figure out how to engage users without undercutting credibility or isolating its core audience. But it is this informality, Redoglia notes, that can be beneficial to enlivening museum collections and elevate user engagement. See what type of content is successful on a particular platform and if your collection has content that can lend itself well to that structure. Try, fail, and try again in order to see how the public responds.
Secondly, having a multifaceted approach to social media as a whole is essential. One of the biggest mistakes that some museums make is uploading the same content and messaging to all platforms despite different target audiences and user needs. This shows a lack of imagination and discourages engagement.
Last, but not least, don’t feel held back by the size of your museum. Institutions that are large and small all suffer from lack of resources and manpower. Think creatively about how you can maximize what you do have and what story you want to tell. Open our mind to strategic partners, be they influencers or larger companies, or even like-minded museums in order to amplify your message and drive home your mission.
Speaking with Ms. Redoglia really helped me envision a more well-rounded and thoughtful activation of my project that can work well with social media influencers and other businesses that share the same vision. Understanding the social media landscape can be overwhelming and daunting, but when you break it down it is all about starting and maintaining a conversation. Much like real life, we speak with different people about a range of subject matter every day in different aspects of our lives. We must apply this same thought process to how we, as museum professionals, wish to engage visitors as they navigate the museum experience both online and off.
Click below to hear the full interview with Lucy as well additional insight on how to effectively run museum social media channels that appeal to a wide ranging audience.