The hidden force of social media. Or how to use it as a tool for organisational change

The use of social media is usually associated with sharing contents and experiences with people from outside the museum. I would like to raise awareness of the high potential social media has as a tool for institu

tional development, able to foster real and profound change inside the museum.

Remind that social media has always to be part of a larger institutional strategy, which ultimately aims at accomplishing the museum’s mission. I’ would highlighten three key concepts.

Social media is a powerful tool for:

1. Knowledge management to reach internal cohesion.

Members of staff, regardless their tasks or position, need to have sound knowledge about their museum in order to align their specific activities with the broader interest of the institution. In reality, though, most museums are structured in departments with staff little prone to share information. Being transversal by nature, social media is an excellent tool to involve people in the creation of content and distribute the knowledge inside the museum. A museum fostering the use of social media among its staff gains a better connected, hence stronger, team.


2. Continuing education.

Staff development is rarely a well organised and implemented issue in museums.  With an environment evolving fast it is crucial that people receive regular training. Social media is an exceptional tool for continuing education, providing users with information about recent trends on specific issues, debates with colleagues around the world and with interesting material, just to name a few.


3. True internationalisation of the museum.

If a museum wishes to have a strong international outreach, one person doing the job will not be enough. True internationalisation is achieved once every member of staff is able to see his/her work not only in a local perspective, but also through the eyes of users from abroad. Social media is probably the best tool for international communication and interaction.


Do you have any first hand experiences in using social media for the institutional development of your museum?