Social media video can be a powerful way to engage people. The statistics are staggering. This is one of those things that everybody is doing–and you should too.
It is direct and easily accessible. A huge percentage of the globe can access these videos from anywhere. (It might be helpful to remember that there are more cell phones that people on earth.) Anyone can do it, and some of us can do it well. This inherently democratic media can be useful to museums in many ways.
First and foremost, museum people get a chance to capture what they see in real-time to share with their audience. Get a behind the scenes look at your aquarium’s fish doing the cancan? A picture is certainly not going to work. (And, that is a video that could go viral fast.)
Second, when museum’s post videos, they are speaking to their audience in a language that their audience already speaks. 1.5 billion videos loop daily. People are making these videos themselves and consuming them. There is a powerful message when institutions agree to participate with their visitors where they are.
That said, institutions should be careful to make videos that seem authentic and appropriate. An exhibition about the civil war might not be the venue for humor. While an exhibition in a children’s space about bodily function might result in videos that are fun for the whole family.
How do you get started? Now social media, including Instagram and Vine, have made it a lot easier. You can import videos from your camera reel. If you are really into it, you can make them in GoPro, follow a series of work arounds, and then import them.
I can’t say that I go through all that. I usually shoot using Vine, and then save it to my camera reel by unclicking post to Vine, and then edit in VideoShop. Then I reload my videos to Vine. Vine and Instagram findability are fueled by #hashtags. So, go a little nuts with that. It will help you be found.
My vines can be found here.
I have written a series of short posts about Vine. Enjoy:
Vine Video for Museums: Post 1
How can Museum Educators use Vine?
The Right Audience for Vine
Fostering Participation in Vines
Vine to Share the Museum Experience
Narrative in Vine
Looking at Art through Vine
Vine on Your Own
Vine Interface—An Orientation
Vine and Audio
Stop Motion Tips
I produced these posts as notes in preparation for co-writing this paper for Museums and the Web 2014, with Alli Burness, @Alli_Burnie; Patty Edmonson, @Retrograde_D; and Chad Weinard, @caw_
Our presentation Vine feed is here.
Our workshop in April, 2014 sparked some good conversation, see the Storify.
Many of our participants made some wonderful Vines, check these out.