Taking over Instagram as a Cultural Institution
@muzeulmuzeul, the start of everything
You can separate Instagram’s account into two categories: personal and professional. Under the Cultural Fiesta project, we collectively decided that we need to use a professional account. The main goal of this account was to give a new platform to the cultural life of Baia Mare and the Maramures region.
As international volunteers, the @muzeulmuzeul account allows us to discover the various cultural specificities of the city, and to gather the attention of foreigners. We also learn to use an account professionally and create tools to organize the work, which can be used by our partners. But this initiative was mostly a way to demonstrate to our partners in the city (the museums) how Instagram can be used to promote their daily activities. In their hope to attract young people, this particular social media seems perfect, as Facebook is now deserted by the age ranks.
The adventure @muzeulmuzeul starts with a lot of research on how to run an account, how to organize it and how to make it attractive, with a lot of content by professionals (articles, videos, etc.). And we learn the main points of starting and managing an account:
- Starting the promotion of the account with a full feed (12 posts)
- Having a theme for the feed, which needs to be aesthetically pleasing
- Posting regularly, with 2 or 3 posts per week and as many stories as needed
- Using different hashtags known and used, linked to the theme of the account and the pictures posted
- Interacting a lot with the followers to create a relationship and help the algorithm recognize your account
After this moment of research comes the time to choose the theme and the main goal of the account. And the best way for us to decide on them is to take inspiration from various accounts, here we choose a few international museums and some travelling vloggers. And after all of this (the creation of the account, the completion of the bio and the first feed), it was time to promote and interact to gain visibility.
Instagram, a platform to be conquered by museums
After three months, came the moment of evaluating our impact with the @muzeulmuzeul account. The goal to gather followers from various horizons was achieved as we collected more than 80 followers, internationals or Romanians. We were also able to diversify our feed by using different posting methods: photographs, reals (videos) and stories, to promote Baia Mare, the Maramures region but also Romania.
To give some numbers, in three months we posted 27 posts, with 22 pictures and 5 reels. Our biggest success is a travelling real in the Maramures region which gained more than 4.500 views and 115 likes. This is the main observation of the experience, the videos or reels are attracting a lot more visibility, as they are more promoted by Instagram’s algorithm.
In conclusion, why should museums use Instagram?
The biggest challenge for cultural institutions is to renew themselves and to keep interacting with the different public. But by using Facebook or their personal website as their main promotion, the institutions are missing a big part of the younger public, who are now using Instagram a lot. This particular social media is now used as their main informative tool, and the cultural supply is lacking: it’s an open door for the museums.
Also, Instagram is an easy tool, unlike Facebook, which only requires short descriptions and highly visual pictures. The posts need to catch the eye and the interest of the various public, to interest them and gather them in the different cultural institutions.
Our Instagram account @muzeulmuzeul is still running, and we can only offer you to check it to inspire your own and try to promote culture to young people.
Cultural Fiesta is a European Solidarity Corps project implemented by Team for Youth Association.