Top 5 reasons house museums should use Instagram

Start & Finish

At the national conference in Washington DC, the Historic House network affinity group announced the start of a new hashtag on Instagram for us House Museums. It is #housemuseum.

I know it is not real original, but it is easy to remember. I was pushing House Porn, but I lost that discussion, probably for good reason.

So if you are not a current user of Insta, please start using.

  1. House Museums are visual places.

Whether we like to admit or not, many of our visitors come to visit because have a visual aesthetic missing in their daily lives. Whether that be an historic one or a just plain gorgeous one.

In other words… we look good.

Since Instagram focuses on photos it is a natural for our visual places.

2. Macro is King.

You know what photos people on Instagram like…macro shots (close up detail photos).

Which is perfect for us house museums because are filled with little design details all over our homes. Frankly, to many of us in the field what we really enjoy about our places are the small details we keep noticing. Well guess what…so does the public and on Instagram you can show them off very easily. The best part…it is hard to take a bad macro photo.

So you have a creepy clown doll? Show off its creepy smile up close. So you have a victorian home with incredibly intricate door hardware? Well. Show it off.

3. You need millennials? Well guess who is on Instagram.

If you are looking to be noticed by a younger audience. Look no further than Instagram. It is one of the most popular platforms used by millennials. It is how they show off their experiences. As time continues some of the best photographs of your estate will come from posts made by your guests. It is fun to see what they find interesting and inspiring.

Also.. because photos are the focus, it is the image that catches. Which is also why they do not have a character count. So for us who are trying to tell a story or educate, we have no limitations. It is far more useful for us educators.

In other words…you hook them with the photo and then teach them with the text. Not much different than an exhibit.

4. Have an instameet.

What is an instameet? It is an event to allow instagrammers to visit your institution to take photographs and then put them on Instagram.

Let me put it another way…

You are inviting amateur to professional photographers to take poor to breathtaking photographs of your house museum and then they will promote them to all of their friends on their social accounts. Sometimes these users have thousands of followers.

It is crazy useful marketing to an audience we all struggle to market to.

What is the cost? Mostly your time in promoting the event.

It also engages generally young millennials who would never come to your house. Plus, it also attracts professional photographers, who are always great to build relationships with.

Here is a link to the photos that were posted from our #instaglensheen

screen shot of #instaglensheen feed

5. Get noticed on the national scene — use #housemuseum

Are you looking to have your house museum known on the national level?

Well here is an easy way to get noticed. Just use the hashtag #housemuseum and your post will be seen by hundreds of other museums who are posting and of course all the house museum lovers as well. It may be a boring tag… but you won’t forget it. Honestly, it is a fun feed to watch in general. It is a fun way to share ideas with each other as well.

If we all start using it, maybe it will take off and help us all out.

Thanks for reading! I hope it wasn’t too boring.


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