Choosing the Right Social Media for Your Institution

"How can we be expected to be active on social media with such limited resources?"

It’s the response that many museums and similar cultural heritage institutions give when asked why they can’t be found on social media. And it’s a fair complaint. Social media takes a lot of time and effort on the part of the provider, it’s a long and ongoing project, and many Internet gurus recommend using a wide range of social media platforms. But what if we told you that you can make the most of social media by narrowing your focus to using just one or two forms of it? While multiple platforms do offer some advantages, social media thrives on the quality of its content, not the quantity.

This article aims to help you decide what types of social media are best for your organisation by describing five common forms (blogs, social networking platforms, microblogs, photo sharing platforms, and video sharing platforms) and by outlining what media consumers expect from your organisation, the benefits of using each platform, and the activities and resources an organisation will need to be successful on each of these.

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This resource was published by the Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN). For comments or questions regarding this content, please contact CHIN directly. To find other online resources for museum professionals, visit the CHIN homepage or the Museology and conservation topic page on

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