Why Cultural Institutions Must Expand Their Digital Presence
Any business, whether it is a food store or a museum, relies on the power of engagement and staying connected with the customers. As we, almost all of us, use social media platforms to stay connected with our brands and influencers and there is a survey that says that 85% of people conduct thorough online research before making an online purchase. What does this mean for museums and culture?
It means that the digital presence makes a stable pathway for museums to stay afloat and offer people cultural experiences as people research the museums and their offers online before going for an actual visit. Therefore, the digital presence is essentially important for museums as people can interact with them and learn new information that could lead them eventually to the museums. At the same time, they know how to present their information to attract people and make it a nice experience.
With the help of technology, the museums offer VR tours, where a user is put in the middle of an experience, allowing him to walk around (virtually) the museum and experiencing it in the most vivid way. Of course, you will need VR equipment for this, but this kind of experience will thrill the users and make them want more. For this reason, the digital presence helps the museums to succeed and earn more followers and visitors.
How Museums Expand Their Online Presence?
One of the first methods for establishing an online presence is using websites, blogs, and social media channels. Making the interactive website, supported with rich-content blogs is something that users adore as they have access to interesting information. What’s even better, some museums allow you to browse the digital collections of the museums and what they have to offer. With the help of social media, they promote their pages and websites so they users could visit these and experience virtual tours, see collections or even read interesting stories.
The form of blog leaves them enough space to write about the behind-the-scenes as the users want to find out more things that are usually not available. For example, upon walking into the museum, you will notice the big collection of drawings from a famous artist, but you won’t read the background story, which is as interesting as the collection. It would take additional space to write a story on the paper and leave it there, while one additional blog post on the website is not much of a work, nor space-consuming. Therefore, the space is free, plus it is easier to read it while laying down in your bed than standing there.
Museums offer exclusive art and therefore it takes a lot of physical space to present all of these. Therefore, you can gather the entire collection of 500+ pieces in one photo album that is available within one mouse click. At the same time, there is no possibility to damage the collection as it could be possible if it was on paper — when it’s digitized, you only open the folder and you are good to go. The 3D scans or even Mona Lisa VR tours that are available in some museums will give you the same amount of happiness and thrill that you would get from the brick and mortar museum.
Why is it Really Necessary to Have a Digital Presence?
In a time when almost every fact is checked online, it is simply imperative to have an online presence, especially if you run a business. The museums present the culture as well as the valuable collections that attract people and it is much easier to check some collections online before going to see these live. No one wants to walk in there and then fail to find what they were looking for — which not happens when you publish the collections online. This way, people can inspect whether they can find a certain collection before they pay a visit to the brick and mortar museum.
Considering this, we can say that having a digital presence is important for every art-related entrepreneurship as the number of resources is significantly reduced than for the physical exhibits. In addition, you can add the 3D objects and VR objects into the existing brick-and-mortar museum and enhance the experience even more. So, the process of digitalization and digital presence is more than imperative, especially in today’s time when we have an unfortunate situation with coronavirus.
Why Facebook is No Longer Enough?
Facebook used to be the main social platform as there were no other channels at that time, but today is not so popular due to many other platforms like Instagram or TikTok. Facebook is not entirely made for promotional purposes but rather for personal presentation and chatting. Therefore, a museum could use these things to stay in touch with the customers, answer their customers but it can’t use it for some advanced promotion or even virtual tours. Nothing beats the real experience, of course, but the fact that you can “feel the exhibit” without leaving your home is something that a good majority of people would try.
Facebook can provide good logistics and people gathering service, while people use other tools for the presentation of their work/museums. Therefore, Facebook can provide people only with the informational content, not the actual want that the users want. Of course, a museum can upload some of the pictures to the Facebook profile, or organize an event that will other Facebook members share and therefore attract more people. But nothing more than that.
The final conclusion is that you must maintain your social media presence, not only on Facebook but also on other social media platforms as well. The reason for this is a fierce competition that will outrank you easily if you don’t bring some innovation and give customers something unique and unforgettable. Therefore, museums do live in a virtual world — it is just a matter of their decision on how complex they get. In any case — social media will bring even more innovations to online art and museums so keep up with the competition as it is essentially important to stay online with your work!