Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Museum on Facebook

As Andrea mentioned in the previous post, the Museum now has a Facebook Page and you are invited to join.

I've been on Facebook for some time and its been an interesting experience, maybe better described as a learning experience. As we've thought of additional ways to promote the Museum in this new year, Facebook and other social media platforms always come up. I've done some reading on this - it's not hard to find critical, constructive thinking about the use of social media in museums - and as we explore the medium further, and even explore other platforms possibly in the future, I'll link more often to others who are talking and thinking about these issues.

Dozens, maybe hundreds, of museums (including heavyweights like the Brooklyn Museum of Art and cousins of ours like at the Navy Museum here in DC) have taken to Facebook in recent months in order to engage with the audience that the platform offers. If the research is accurate, there are potential segments of our core audiences that are best reached through platforms like Facebook. These are audiences who don't necessarily subscribe to e-newsletters or respond to appeals through traditional print advertising campaigns. It's not fair to generalize these audiences as simply 'young people' and move on: Facebook audiences do cross generational divides especially as the services grow in popularity. The number of baby-boomer moms joining FB is growing, I think, so that those moms can communicate with their children living in faraway states. (That's just one example I've seen on several occasions with my own circle of FB friends in recent months.)

So, here we are. It's likely we'll make a few missteps as we get used to how to use the Page and its features. But I remain convinced that this is a great direction for us. I hope you will join us.

The page, for now, includes links to two of our newest exhibits, as well as links to the Museum's five major collections. You will see that we take advantage of a Flickr badge to show off the latest images from the Archives' most recent Flickr uploads. And we'll promote new programs there, too, as well as news and notes from around the Museum.

Hopefully this link works: NMHM on Facebook. Obviously, you need to join Facebook to get the full picture. Let me know if that link fails. If you are already on Facebook, simply search for the Museum and look for the official page. Click the button to become a fan and let us know what you think.

It's a work in progress, which will have to be worked on away from work since social media sites like Facebook are blocked at the office. That doesn't diminish our enthusiasm for the project, though.

See you on Facebook.

No comments: