I proposed this session for the annual Texas Association of Museums conference held this past March in San Antonio. I was personally interested in the topic, and had previously been on the Technology and New Media task force at the TSHM. Can you raise your hand if your institution is actively engaged in social media. How many of you have volunteers who are engaging in social media and discussing your institution there either as part of an organized plan or on their own. What Mary Beth and I wanted to impart in our presentation last March, and what I hope you will come away with today is: Anyone can engage positively in social media on behalf of the institution if they are empowered to and provided clear guidelines to follow A Policy is not necessary for all institutions, clear simple guidelines and support from management are all that you need to get started Mary Beth -- Knitter, Interneter, Pomeranian owner, and Dr Pepper Museum lady. I lurve you Twitter! Catherine -- cook, photographer, travel junkie, and museum educator dedicated to the arts and humanities and all things cultural. The views expressed here are my own.
I ’m sure everyone here is familiar with the term social media – just as a refresher here are a couple definitions that are helpful.
An important question to ask before you begin using any social media (or new technology) at your institution is What are the GOALS of using SM vs. using trandition avenues for disseminating content. Create an online community that is interested in and loyal to your institution and Brand. Their interest generates free marketing and dissemination of the organization ’s activities and events. Provides opportunities for visitors to explore, meet and share more deeply with the collection, museum staff (e.g., curators. Conservators, exhibit installers)
I think a great way to get your volunteers to start thinking about SM is to providing them great examples of people who are using SM for cultural organizations. Before you launch a new SM initiative with your volunteers, set a side time to specifically talk about 1) The institutions goals for using SM, 2) Their opinon or knowledge of SM – this will help you know some specific issues to cover in your guidelines 3) Review the institution's guidelines – or update them on where you are in creating guidelines – but let them know their will be structure and a point person, 4) Provide them with a list of good examples from a variety of social media outlets for them to explore. Then set up a second meeting to discuss with them what they liked and didn’t like on the sites they visited. Use this second meeting as a way to get a sense of who has interest in using SM on behalf of the organization and what outlets they naturally lean toward. Then brainstorm some projects ideas with them. At the end of the PPT I have a list of some good examples These women are using twitter effectively to share interesting information about their institutions, technology and what’s happening in museums with the public. Georgina Goodlander @bathlander - Georgina is the Web & Social Media Content Manager at Smithsonian American Art Museum-- I manage stuff at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. I love my job and a good cup of tea. Sara Banks @sbanks20 - Audience Engagement Specialist at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. The views expressed are my own. Nancy Procter @NancyProcter - Mobile geek working with museums; loves art, history, languages, travel, feminist theory, good food and nice people. Views expressed here are my own. FaceBook Pages I follow Smithsonian Louis Armstrong House Museum Oriental Institute Intuit Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art Flkr might be a great place to engage some of your amateur photographers Pintrest I’m Following The Getty Indianapolis Museum of Art Several Boards from SI Archives of American Art “That’s Sketchy”; Delicious documents; Dear Diary (They really are whimsical and have fun with how they share the content on SM) Here’s are two good blog post found on tmblr about Museums and Pintrest http://jennifuchs.tumblr.com http://jennifuchs.tumblr.com/post/17173528064/museums-and-pinterest-an-introduction http://jennifuchs.tumblr.com/post/17227794320/examples-of-how-museums-are-using-pinterest
Here is a small list of SM sites that your institution and volunteers may be excited about using.
One of the biggest misconceptions about social media in the workplace is that it is a waste of time. Would you rather have staff and volunteers engaging in constructive conversations with peers, visitors, potential visitors, resources, etc. within the umbrella of the employee code of conduct or going home and griping on twitter or Facebook about how oppressive their workplace is?
A volunteer talking about the institution doesn't have to be a scary, thing. Outline the behaviors and actions on social media that would get a volunteer or other staff member in trouble and possibly fired. Provide them guidelines which include appropriate and inappropriate topics of discussion. Create a set of positive language guidelines. Guidelines rather than a policy allows flexibility since SM is complex, broad and dynamic. Guidelines should be reviewed on a regular schedule with other policies – annual review should be sufficient unless the organizations makes major changes in its adoption of new medias.
As we conducted our research for the TAM presentation, we learned about Beck Tench. Beck is the Director for Innovation and Technical Enlightenment at The Museum of Life and Science in Raleigh, NC (we loved her title) and she is responsible for Social Media in her organization. Beck’s organization does not have a formal SM policy, rather they use these three rules when staff or volunteers present a new project using social media. 1 – equals EMPOWERMENT 2 – calls for REFLECTION 3 – equals MANAGEMENT SUPPORT
The next two slides are meant to provide guidance for those who will be responsible for creating your SM guidelines or policy.
The lines are blurred – talk through the issues as you create your guidelines policies, and then make the best decision for your institution at that time, and be prepared to review these decisions over time.
Having a point person for the institution ’s for social media presence is important to create consistency and procedure as these initiatives take hold.
On their blog, the American Red Cross thanked their supporters for being understanding and using the accident to encourage donations.
VCCI social media guidelines and policies
Social Media GuidelinesVolunteer Coordinators of Cultural Institutions VCCIAugust 21, 2012This presentation was originally given at the2012 Texas Association of Museum’s annualconference. Mary Beth Tait @marbt from theDr. Pepper Museum was the second presenter.Catherine Kenyon@cookwithaview
What is Social Media?• Social media are web or mobile services that revolve around the participation, interaction and content distribution among the users themselves.• Social media are built upon the spread of content like text, articles, images, podcasts and videos.• What distinguishes social media is that the content can be spread to other services.
Why Use Social Media?• Seize the opportunity for your volunteers to be the voice of your brand and institution.• Social media is a unique opportunity to speak globally to your expertise.
Get Everyone on Board• Create an open and welcoming approach to new technology rather than a restrictive approach.• Be an advocate for social media in your institution.• Get beyond the stereotype that social media is a time waster.• Empower volunteers to use social media under the umbrella of the employee code of conduct and written social media guidelines or a policy.
Why Have Social Media Guidelines or a Policy?• The line between the personal and the professional sphere is officially blurred.• The line between “official” news media and social media is also officially blurred.• Institutional information is available from many sources, some not controlled by you (Yelp, Foursquare).• Users spread information about brands, programs and events.• Volunteers naturally talk about your organization – and some of them are online.• Good news travels fast.• Bad news travels even faster.
A Social Media Policy Isn’t for Everyone• A separate social media policy at a small institution may be overkill.• It depends on staff involvement, both professionally and personally, online presence of the institution, desired objectives, etc.• Some organizations with a robust social media presence don’t have formal policies.
For example… Three Little RulesBeck Tench the Director for Innovation and Technical Enlightenment atThe Museum of Life and Science in Raleigh, NC, uses these three ruleswhen staff or volunteers present a new project using social media.• 1) Yes first. EVERYONE at the museum has the opportunity to engage in the museums online presence if they have the desire to do so.• 2) If it gives you pause, pause. Beck is always available to discuss how to handle situations online (to post or not to post? how to deal with a certain kind of commenter, etc.)• 3) Beck will have your back if something goes wrong. If you mess up, youll have an advocate in your corner defending your actions. Beck says “Failure is often just as valuable as success.”
Things to Consider & Include Think twice, publish once Be transparent Don’t speak outside your expertise Get permission to speak on behalf of the organization Don’t post anything you don’t want your family to read If you associate yourself in any way with the organization on social media, what you say can be used against you.
Additional Things to Consider• Who pays for the hardware associated with managing social media? Phone plans Apps Data usage
What to Include• Common expectations• Institutional and Employee policies• Definitions• Monitoring institutional online presence• Policies and procedures for handling a crisis• Staff responsibilities
Institutional Policy• Policies regarding participation in social media Who represents the institution What information can be distributed on social media How to handle feedback on staff produced content• Procedures when institution is mentioned in social media Negative comments and unhappy visitors or stakeholders Positive comments
Employee/Volunteer Policies• Policies regarding personal blogs Policy about disclosing personal blogs to management. Disclaimer to differentiate the bloggers opinions from the organization’s. Policy about personal blogging during work hours. Secrecy and discretion in regards to institutional matters.• Policies regarding social media Policy about using social media services during work hours. Secrecy and discretion in regards to institutional matters. Policy in regards to Institutional groups on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pintrest etc.
Handling Crisis• Policies for handling crisis in social media Answer critiques directly through institutional channels DO NOT censor the opinions of followers or online visitors DO take down posts with excessive violence or vulgar language and define this in your policy Know when to take legal actions Know when to contact social media services directly (block a user, etc.)
Monitoring Institutional Online Presence• Develop a routine to stay informed of your institution in online media. Blog monitoring Social media monitoring Google/Keyword alerts• Policies for employees Inform staff where and how to report news and information found online regarding the institution. Encourage all staff to help with monitoring online media.
Plan for Rapid Change• Stay current on trends in and out of the museum field.• Use well researched resources like the NMC’s Horizon Reports – museum and K-12 editions.• Join the Museum Computer Network (MCN) or the Nonprofit Technology Network and attend their annual meetings.• Keep your eye on how other museums use Social Media.
Cautionary TalesThe Red Cross “Rogue Tweet”This tweet from Red Cross social media specialist Gloria Huangwas meant for her personal account:
Cautionary TalesThe Red Cross “Rogue Tweet”The fix and response was light-hearted and apologetic. Itresulted in donation and support from Dogfish Head beer, too!
Resources• New Media Consortium (NMC) Horizon Report – Museum edition http://www.nmc.org/publications/horizon-report-2011-museum-edition• New Media Consortium (NMC) Horizon Report – K-12 edition http://www.nmc.org/horizon-project/horizon-reports/horizon-report-k-12-edition• Online Database of Social Media Policies – includes policies of some of the largest corporations and some non-profit agencies http://socialmediagovernance.com/policies.php#axzz1mOAwImkA• Smithsonian Web and New Media Strategy - wiki http://smithsonian-webstrategy.wikispaces.com/Strategy+--+Table+of+Contents• Walker Art Center Blog Guidelines http://newmedia.walkerart.org/nmiwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/WalkerBlogGuidelines• Why Your Social Media Policy May Be Illegal by Eric Schwartzman http://socialmediatoday.com/464675/why-your-social-media-policy-may-be-illegal• Social Media Policy Template Updated to Comply with 2012 National Labor Relations Board Guidance by Eric Schwartzman http://ericschwartzman.com/pr/schwartzman/social-media-policy-template.aspx• Dooce.com http://dooce.com/about
Resources• The Red Cross “Rogue Tweet” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/16/red-cross-rogue-tweet_n_824114.html• Social Media Governance Online Database of Social Media Policies http://socialmediagovernance.com/policies.php#axzz1mHQwR1vn•• Mashable Business “10 Must-Haves for your Social Media Policy” http://mashable.com/2009/06/02/social-media-policy-musts/• The Gen Y Guide to Web 2.0 at Work by Sacha Chuahttp://sachachua.com/blog/2008/05/the-gen-y- guide-to-web-20-at-work/• Tweet Freely: Your Social Media Policy and You BY AARON LESTER http://www.nonprofitquarterly.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=10291:tweet- freely-your-social-media-policy-and-you&catid=153:features&Itemid=336• http://www.stopblocking.org/• http://museums-social-media.wikispaces.com/
ResourcesGeorgina Goodlander @bathlander - Georgina is the Web & Social Media Content Manager at SmithsonianAmerican Art Museum-- I manage stuff at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. I love my job and a good cupof tea.Sara Banks @sbanks20 - Audience Engagement Specialist at the Smithsonians National Museum of NaturalHistory. The views expressed are my own.Nancy Procter @NancyProcter - Mobile geek working with museums; loves art, history, languages, travel,feminist theory, good food and nice people. Views expressed here are my own.Mary Beth @marbt - Knitter, Interneter, Pomeranian owner, and Dr Pepper Museum lady. I lurve you Twitter!Catherine Kenyon @cookwithaview - cook, photographer, travel junkie, and museum educator dedicated to thearts and humanities and all things cultural. The views expressed here are my own.http://www.artsmia.org/index.php?section_id=336 Minnesota Art Institutes Keep in Touch with MIA pagehttp://jennifuchs.tumblr.com/post/17173528064/museums-and-pinterest-an-introductionhttp://jennifuchs.tumblr.com/post/17227794320/examples-of-how-museums-are-using-pinterest