As we have mentioned in earlier social media-related posts, various platforms can be used as wonderful modes of communication for community engagement. Depending on the kind of audience you have, certain platforms will work better for you than others. If your audience is mainly between the ages of 30-50, Facebook will work better than, say, Instagram or Twitter, where your audience will likely be younger and more active on social media. Your first step is in identifying your main or target audience. Using more than one platform can help you connect with both!
The key after identifying who you are trying to reach is knowing how to use chosen platforms to your advantage. Each platform (Facebook, Instagram, etc.) have different patterns of usability, or how people use the app. Knowing when to post and how can let the platforms connect you to your audience.
So, where to post?
In my experience and research, many museums use mainly Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. In the posts to follow, I will be diving into these three platforms, used by institutions of all sizes. Before getting into what to post, you’ll need to figure out where to post. For this reason, I’m walking you though each platform individually while saving content creation and management for them last.
Again, if your audience (or the audience you’re trying to reach) is closer to 30-50 years old, Facebook is probably your best platform to use. According to the Hootsuite, Facebook has over 1.82 million active daily users! And they spend roughly a half hour (if not more) on the site every day. Because of COVID-19, it seems like everything has shifted to virtual spaces, meaning that platforms that existed before the pandemic have seen activity skyrocket while we search for entertainment and ways to connect. Facebook will cover your demographics, regardless of age, ethnicity, or socioeconomic background. It is immensely popular and used widely across the United States and around the world.
Even though users 55+ are a small user demographic, theirs is the fastest growing. Posting content that engages them will give them something to talk about with their children and even grandchildren, opening up an avenue of patrons and visitors you may not have had before. And this will remain true. As users coming from the 30-50 age range will bring their experience and comfort level with the platform with them as they get older. If you start a social media marketing campaign with the platform now, you’ll have an established online presence to match their experience in a few years. Think long-term, friends.
Additionally, if your institution is in a rural area, Facebook is the platform for you! As someone who is born and raised in rural PA, Facebook often serves as a free website for local businesses who can’t afford to or don’t see the need to buy a website domain. Facebook has all the information you need to know about a business or institution, so keep your page up to date with the latest and greatest.
Have an experience with Facebook that you want to share? Or any advice on how to manage your institution’s page? Let us know below!
Sarah Hixson (she/her/hers) is an aspiring curator and educator focusing on DEAI and indigenization work and incorporating activism into museum practices. If you have questions for Sarah, please comment below or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
 Stacy McLachlan, “27 Facebook Demographics to Inform Your Strategy in 2021.” Hootsuite, January 20, 2021. https://blog.hootsuite.com/facebook-demographics/