The Australian Museum boasts a collection that is stunning by virtue of its breadth alone. The museum runs regular events that highlight some of the prizes within its sandstone walls; from ‘Surviving Australia’, which looks at how some of the country’s unique wildlife through the evolutionary process, to the ‘Museum Mummy’, a 6th Century Egyptian mummy excavated from a tomb in Thebes in 1900, Australian Museum’s regular events provide visitors with a range of live exhibits that cater to specific audiences from kids to tourists.
This wide range of events makes Australian Museum an intrinsically social place and the Museum generates a lot of buzz online. Visitors post updates to Facebook about their trip as well as Tweet and blog about what they’ve seen and enjoyed during their visit.
Museum Gets Feedback On Its Exhibitions and Events From Visitors
The Museum’s web team explored how they would improve upon their social media strategy knowing that visitors are sharing increasingly more of their experiences online. “We realised pretty quickly that there was a really big opportunity for us to take the next step and start engaging and interacting with online visitors more consistently,” explains Michael Hugill, the Museum’s Online Producer.
While the Museum wanted to become more active in social media, they made sure they were strategic in their execution. “We knew that the first step on that journey was being able to track online conversations about us, wherever they were taking place,” says Michael. By doing so, the team would be able to understand what visitors were saying about their exhibitions and how best to engage with their audience.
That need quickly developed into a requirement to find a partner that could help the Museum make sense of what was being said online. “That’s how we started working with Meltwater,” says Michael. “We needed a tool that would give us a no-nonsense approach to monitoring our online presence. Meltwater was perfect for us, because it was cost effective, really deep and easy to use all at the same time.”
Social Media Engagement Brings the Australian History to Nightlife
After the Museum started to gain deeper online insights, they looked towards improving upon the Museum’s social presence in hopes of bringing more visitors to their expositions and events.
“One of our big objectives as part of this social media project was to promote the Museum’s official channels; our Twitter feed, Facebook page and our various blogs. While we had rudimentary information on those – followers, likes and readers – for instance, we didn’t necessarily have a strategic understanding of how we could drive those channels.”
For a venue that is partially reliant on visitor funding, increasing visitor attendance is one of the Museum’s primary objectives. “While we aim to provide a great online experience for everyone near and far, we also want to get as many people through the door as possible,” explains Michael.
Measuring Success of Museum Events Through Social Media Analytics
One of the most successful ways the Museum has been attracting new visitors is through its late night events. The Museum’s late night programme helps encourage people through the door by offering a range of fun activities typically associated with music and art.
One such event, Jurassic Lounge, brings DJs, live music, talks, film screenings and traditional and performance art to Australian Museum for all to enjoy. The programme, now in its second season due to its huge popularity, proved to be an immediate hit for Australian Museum. Promoting the event online was key, as the Museum started to streamline the process of turning social conversations into new visitors and new visitors into life-long advocates.
“That’s probably where we’ve used Meltwater most on a specific basis,” says Chris Lang, the Museum’s Audience Researcher/Advocate. “We’re able to look at how much social conversation events like Jurassic Lounge are generating and provide reports back to our marketing department. Meltwater helps us to easily monitor blogs and networks for any reference to events, so we’re able to get a handle on who’s saying what.”
About Australian Museum
A leading cultural attraction located in the heart of Sydney’s Central Business District, the Australian Museum provides visitors with access to more than 16.5 million historical items from Indigenous Australia and the Pacific.
A hub of information, education and research, the Museum houses an invaluable, irreplaceable collection of precious objects. The museum plays host to a variety of minerals, fossils and meteorites as well as a veritable menagerie of native Australian wildlife from birds of paradise to marine reptiles.
Cataloguing a range of geological, cultural and natural treasures from Australia’s and the Pacific’s indigenous history, Australian Museum is funded both by the New South Wales government and by visitor donations.