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A New Culture Time

Let’s start with modern phones. These allow users to take panoramic photos which are wider than usual. You can actually fit the four walls of an entire room in one picture. These photos can feature a lot of details dispersed around the room and are perfect to showcase surroundings and invite people to look for details akin to one of those “spot the hidden item” games. Videos too can be shared online and their reach is much wider than a photo. Choosing the right platform for your digital content needs some thought and much depends on the audiences you are after.

Social platforms cater for different audiences. These audiences have their own expectations which in turn affect the success (or lack of it) of your campaign. So let us guide you through the different platforms, starting with the one you might be most conversant with.

Facebook is the largest social media platform in the world with more than 1 billion user accounts. It allows you to create your own page from where you can promote your offerings. The most successful posts seem to be videos and live performance which can include how-to guides, summaries and talks. The second most successful are curated posts. This might include content which you create or which you re-share from other websites whose audience share a similar taste. A successful Facebook post must stand out visually with simple clear text. It must also include a call-to-action such as asking people to click on a link (maybe to visit your website) or to subscribe to a mailing list. Finally, people like freebies so think of giving them something back. It could be a download link to a free document, maybe a discount to purchase one of your products or just a teaser of your next big project. Posts should be shorter than 160 characters and would also include some hashtags. A hashtag is just a word preceded with the symbol # which makes it easier to find posts online. If in doubt, sites like help you identify the most popular hashtags for your post.

Our choice of Facebook best practice — Van Gogh Museum

Youtube is the largest video repository on the Internet and also the second-largest search engine. This means that when people need to look for something, they tend to refer to YouTube. Apart from storing videos, platforms like YouTube allow for some exciting twists. A video can also link to other videos so a walkthrough in a location might give you the option to proceed to different rooms. Interactive videos can act as a “treasure hunt” across various locations. For the more adventurous, video can work as a choose-your-own-adventure story where actors perform a scene, and at the end, the user has to make a decision. In reality, the entry barrier is shallow since all one needs is a mobile phone, many of which can take video at a very high resolution.

Our choice of Youtube best practice — Los Angeles Country Museum of Art

Instagram is another popular social network which focuses a lot on the aesthetics. This is the ideal platform where to post high-resolution images of your artefacts or products, behind-the-scene information and also user-generated content ( subject to clearance from pertinent owners). Popular content on Instagram includes motivational quotes. Ideally, seek the best quotes which support your mission and use appropriate images to feature with your posts. Good quality images are available on platforms such as Unsplash, Pexels and Pixabay, many of which are free to use. Online applications like Canva also allow you to edit them professionally for free. Another interesting feature in Instagram is Stories. These are posts with a 24 hours lifetime. They can be used effectively for storytelling, to promote blog posts, announce limited time offers, offer giveaways, share data, send updates … practically the list of possibilities is endless!

Our choice of Instagram best practice — the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Twitter posts are worth pursuing too although this is more niche. It is nevertheless a very good tool from where to get your latest news. In fact, almost 80% of Twitter users claim to get their latest updates from the platform. Much like Facebook, Twitter allows users to share their posts but has a strict limit of 280 characters per tweet. Because of this, it is more suited to share bits and pieces of blog posts per day than any other platform. It also supports links to other sites and media including images, photos, videos or gifs. Videos too have a limit of 140 seconds. Incidentally, Gifs stands for Graphic Interchange Format but they are just images which can be animated using programs such as Canva, Ezgif or Giphy to name a few.

Our choice of Twitter best practice — the British Museum

LinkedIn is more of a professional networking platform and more suitable to showcase organisational culture, experiences and achievements. Posts with images generally receive 98% more engagement than textual posts. The LinkedIn audience seems to appreciate webinars, consultation papers and studies too.

Our choice of LinkedIn best practice — Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences

Pinterest is another visual social platform that is very similar to Instagram. It is ideal for vertical images and infographics (which are a visual representation of information presented quickly and clearly). They can be easily created with free programs such as Picktochart or Venngage. Pinterest is also more adapted for the Do-It-Yourself kind of posts, food and design.

Our choice of Pinterest best practice — Museum of Modern Art

TikTok is a relative newcomer but nonetheless a very popular social network (bigger than Instagram) and more importantly with a much younger audience. In fact, more than 40% of users are younger than 25 years of age. This is the platform for short looped videos (between 15 and 60 seconds) and allows users to edit videos, add music, insert filters and all sorts of visual content. Posts have a typical lighthearted feel making it ideal for witty jokes, fun facts and other light conversations. TikTok is also ideal to engage young adults through competitions by asking them to create fun content.

Our choice of TikTok best practice — Museum of Natural History

Zoom, Skype, Messenger and Microsoft Teams are not social networking platforms. These are mostly used as video conferencing platforms and ideal for expert talks or discussions so, in theory, they can still be tools to consider. Most of these save a video of the event almost automatically which can also be played by users over and over again. These systems are also ideal for a more intimate setting with fewer participants thus allowing for better interaction with the main speaker. However, they can also scale up and some of these programs provide free video conferencing with up to a maximum of 100 participants.

As one can well gather, the possibilities are there for the taking. There is more than one platform to choose from. Some might work better than others for your needs and purpose. Others less although much depends on your message and circumstances. Needless to say, the more you experiment the better an understanding you will acquire as to what works best for you.

Photo by William Iven on Unsplash