Brooklyn Museum, New York. Credit: Jim Henderson, published on Wikimedia Commons under a public domain license

Brooklyn Museum shakes up social media strategy

Rebecca Atkinson, 08.04.2014
Museum to focus on Tumblr, Instagram and Wikimedia Commons
The Brooklyn Museum in New York has announced a change to the way it uses social media, with platforms such as Flickr and History Pin dropped in favour of Tumblr and Instagram.

Shelley Bernstein, vice director for digital engagement and technology at the Brooklyn Museum, gave details of the new strategy on the organisation’s BKM Tech blog.

One of the key changes is focusing the blog on technology developments at the museum. Other curatorial, conservational and archival content will now be posted on Tumblr, which Bernstein says is more suitable for this visual content and has a broader reach.

The museum has also left Flickr, the photographic hosting and sharing website, following a decline in engagement levels. It will host its Creative Commons material on Wikimedia Commons, with images linked to the appropriate articles. Its History Pin account has also closed, but image-sharing will continue at Instagram.

Bernstein said: “There comes a moment in every trajectory where one has to change course. As part of a social media strategic plan, we are changing gears a bit to deploy an engagement strategy which focuses on our in-building audience, closely examines which channels are working for us, and aligns our energies in places where we feel our voice is needed, but allows for us to pull away where things are happening on their own.”

The Brooklyn Museum has also seen interaction levels on Facebook fall. Bernstein said it will be focusing its energies on platforms where it has deeper engagement with followers, but added that it wasn’t ready to close its Facebook account yet.

However it has deleted its Foursquare community page and has left iTunesU in favour of sharing content via YouTube and SoundCloud.  

The next edition of Museum Practice will look at social media trends, including how museums are using sites such as Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr.