Hashtags inspire global conversation by linking together relevant information on social media from niche communities. For museums, hashtags give you the ability to reach more people from around the world with your story and connect with them in a meaningful way.
In case you’re not familiar with the term, hashtags have become a prominent part of today's culture and are commonly used to connect similar content. They’re formed by a word or multiword phrase preceded by the # symbol—for example, #ThrowbackThursday or #Sweepstakes. On social media, people can click on a hashtag to discover other content that was tagged with that hashtag.
At Codex, we rely on hashtags to engage with industry partners, clients, peers and colleagues from around the world. We believe that hashtags are a great marketing tool for museums and other cultural organizations looking to grow their reach. In this article we’ll be exploring several hashtags that are being used by museums to discuss industry topics or simply to promote their museums on a broader scale. These hashtags are primarily used on Twitter, but are also sometimes used on Instagram and Facebook.
Here are six social media hashtags your museum should be using:
Technology has played a huge role in revolutionizing the way museums promote their collections and the way people interact with their exhibits—and the tech shows no signs of slowing down. One of our favorite depictions of what’s to come from museum tech is this:
#MuseTech has been in use since 2010 and is still one of the more popular hashtags among museum professionals. On this hashtag, you will find tons of content showcasing the latest and most innovative developments in the world of tech and how they’ve impacted museums as a whole.
Here’s an example:
This is one of the most engaging hashtags on the list!
#AskACurator is used as part of an annual, one-day Twitter Chat, an event where people come together on Twitter to chat about a specific topic using a hashtag to keep all the conversations in one place. The #AskACurator event happens every September and offers an opportunity for people around the world to connect with museum curators and ask them all kinds of questions about their careers the museums they work at.
Started and coordinated by Mar Dixon, #AskACurator is a must-attend event for museum professionals and fanatics. Each question shared typically generates a plethora of answers and lively discussion from the community. Here’s a question from the 2017 event that really took off, generating 102 retweets, 359 likes and 98 replies:
Similar to #MuseTech, the hashtag #MuseSocial is filled with insightful discussions about social media and its role in the museum landscape—which means that people are also using it to show great examples of museums embracing social media. You can follow this hashtag to see how other museums are leveraging social media and find inspiration to promote your own collections.
This hashtag was started by the Museum of Natural History in Los Angeles, California, to encourage visitors to post on social media about which parts of the museum most appealed to them. Now, you'll find people all over the world using this hashtag to share stories from their museum experiences and photos of objects they find interesting. For example, some people love taking part in scavenger hunts while others like sketching what they see in a notepad—experiences like these are all over this hashtag.
#MTOGO is another hashtag where people talk about the latest technologies changing the museum experience—specifically, mobile technology like apps, beacons and responsive web design. If you're looking to learn more about the mobile apps and services shaking up the museum industry, this hashtag is sure to help.
Here are a few examples of the types of tweets you’ll see on this hashtag:
Social media isn’t ONLY about sharing ideas.
Sometimes it’s simply about sharing moments. The hashtag #MuseumSelfie is popular with museumgoers all over the world who take selfies with exhibits, in the lobby, outdoors and in some of the most creative places you can imagine.
If you have an exhibit that many of your attendees love to take selfies with, create a sign to promote selfies on-site. Tell visitors to use #MuseumSelfie when they share their photos in order to contribute to the overall discussion happening online. Here are a few great museum selfies that took off in the wild:
Wrapping Things Up
This glossary of museum-related hashtags is a great resource to bookmark if you are looking for inspiration to start participating in conversations about museums on social media.
It’s easy to jump into these discussions using your museum’s social accounts. Doing so will help you stay on top of trends in the museum world, and give you ideas on what your museum could be doing better. Plus, following these niche hashtags on your personal account will give you the opportunity to network with other museum professionals.
If you are on the fence about how useful Twitter or Instagram is for your institution, try using these hashtags and see how your engagement grows! While you’re at it, don’t forget to give us a follow on Twitter as well: @CustomCodex.
If you are interested in digital marketing for museums and would like to know more about hosting your own online gallery space through Codex, get in touch here.
Check out our '5 Tools To Enable Cultural Access Through Technology' blog for more fun tips!