From "Bridging the Online and Physical Museum Experience with Social Media" at AAM 2013
Section intro notes by Chad Weinard @caw_, North Carolina Museum of Art


Every day is a social media event at your museum. Most visitors don't go to museums every day, or even every week. Visiting is a special occasion, and it's one that people want to share. This is great news. Listen, so that you'll know what visitors are saying, what they're sharing, what's catching their eye. You'll find out what platforms they're using (Twitter? Instagram? Foursquare?), and that should guide your choice of channels. Chances are you'll also be impressed by the creativity and quantity of what's being shared about you. You may find that listening becomes a joy.


If an onsite visitor mentions you (or tries to) or adds your location to their post, take it as a challenge to see how fast you can respond. This is an opportunity to surprise and delight. Jump. Even if you can't respond immediately, show appreciation for sharing their onsite experience.


Find a way to collect what your visitors are sharing. Why? Chances are you'll want to remember it for later. You'll also want to share with colleagues and leadership. Gathering will also make it easier to track, see trends and...


Share the collection on your own social channels. This shows a genuine appreciation for the creativity of your onsite visitors. It gives permission, sets expectation, provides context and implies community. Importantly, it also encourages others to contribute to the collection.
The next step is the first, because you've created a virtuous circle, a positive feedback loop of shared experience.


Listen: The NCMA saw a surge in Instagram activity posted to Twitter. We started listening via Webstagram:
Respond: We joined Instagram to like, add comments and answer questions…and post photos
Gather: Using the web service IFTTT, we automatically posted all instagram posts with relevant tags/geolocation to tumblr.
Amplify: We share the tumblr periodically via NCMA social channels.

Themes: As you're listening, recurring themes emerge. Listen (Webstagram), Respond via instagram, gather via Pinterest, amplify via Twitter.

Mirror Self-Portrait: At the NCMA, we saw many visitors sharing pictures of themselves as seen in the reflective surfaces of our building. Artful, playful, lonely, sometimes intimate, cinematic, we wanted to collect these and encourage others to "see themselves in the NCMA."

Rodin-a-gram: There seems to be an irresistible impulse to pose like the expressive sculpture in our Rodin collection.