The adoption of social media by museums as a communication tool: helping museums get into the game

The evolution of the Web has led to changes in how people communicate at an individual and community level. Social media allow individuals to interact in innovative and collaborative ways, changing the way they relate with other in a vast number of contexts of use. Museums are not indifferent to the changes that social media have brought to society and to their own activities. Social media offer new forms of collaboration, which allow museums to learn more about their current and potential public, the reach and impact of their management strategies, their museological and communication related activities, through the participation and contribution of ideas and perspectives by communities of users. Currently, we use various tools and systems that can facilitate the communication process unlimited in time or space. The use of complex and sophisticated platforms as the Internet expands the level of the sphere of human perception and consequent empowerment of the individual in society. This change is based primarily in the design of new ways of seeing, approach and reflect on the surrounding environment and can be use by museums to share information, respond to important issues to their visitors and to create knowledge and new cultural content which enables the new interpretations of the collection. This digital shift is especially important in this time of crisis because social media provide tools that can be used without significant added costs. This usage potentiates the creation of an extension of the museum to the digital, creating a museum without borders and time, and as close to his audience, in a personalized dialogue. However, mastering the digital resources required, method, time, knowledge, and to some extent, the desire to innovate, making the museums leaving its comfort zone and develop into an open, flexible and dynamic institution. The opportunities offered by new information and communication technologies to museums should encourage reflection on their role and the need for a collaborative and innovative vision. The museum should analyze its role in the new society and make the necessary adjustments to meet the needs of its audience allowing the creation of a truly participatory museum leading to behavior change and social boundaries, a museum closer to the concept of Museum 2.0.



Joana Carvalho, Portugal

Researcher of UA/UP


Joana Carvalho, Professora Assistente do Instituto Superior de Tecnologias Avançadas nas unidades curriculares de Multimédia Scriptwriting, Desktop Publishing, Gestão de Conteúdos Online da Licenciatura de Engenharia Multimédia e na Unidade Curricular de Comércio Eletrónico da Licenciatura em Informática.

Doutoranda em Informação e Comunicação em Plataformas Digitais da Universidade de Aveiro e Faculdade de Letras da Universidade do Porto e licenciada em Engenharia Multimédia no ISTEC. Desenvolve atualmente trabalho de investigação em Social Media, Comunicação e Cibermuseologia, dedicando-se a construção da Tese de doutoramento com o título “A adopção de social media por museus como uma ferramenta de comunicação”.


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