Meta/ Facebook/ Instagram is constantly changing, and when you’re part of a museum marketing team, it can be hard to stay on top of updates and build on your existing knowledge. As a museum marketing agency, we’re in those weeds and are providing you with 4 extremely helpful tips (more like 50 overall!) to employ for your next paid social campaign.
Here are Immerse Agency’s Top 4 social media marketing tips for museums.
Due to the nature of social media, many companies can get too focused on brand awareness and be distracted from their ultimate goal: SALES. Facebook and Instagram in 2023 are filled with ads that consumers see over and over again. It’s not quite enough to add “Buy Tickets!” to the end of your copy explaining your exhibition, event or other museum activity. You need to create a sense of urgency to make your audience click on the ad at that moment, visit your website and make a ticket purchase.
Urgency can be created many ways. As a museum marketing agency, here are some of our go-to tactics:
- Focus ads on limited-time exhibitions. Highlight that the exhibition will be in town fow “a limited time” and draft additional urgency around key dates like opening, closing, school breaks and holiday weekends.
- Include in the copy that your exhibition or event is “highly anticipated” and “tickets are selling quickly.” Make your product (tickets) a commodity that may run out to encourage consumers to buy them NOW.
- Focus ads on events. Similar to advertising limited-time exhibitions, this is another, less costly and lower stakes way to get people interested in the museum and get to the museum sooner rather than later. An event also could be a great introduction of your museum to a crowd that hasn’t previously engaged with you.
If you’re running a week-long paid social campaign with a budget of $500 or less, you probably are fine using one piece of creative. Anything with a higher budget or running for a longer amount of time, though, we’d recommend including another piece of creative. 3-5 photos, videos or graphically designed art are ideal.
One piece of creative can cause fatigue and lower engagement. More creative assets in your ads will reduce this risk and allow more insights into what type of imagery/text grabs your audience.
If your campaign runs long enough, continue incorporating more creative and pausing the less effective creative. Be careful not to get too hasty, though. You should give an ad at least a week before pulling it due to poor results. Facebook and Instagram also push ads that accumulate comments, so switching ads too quickly, or running too many pieces of creative at one time, will fail to take advantage of this efficiency.
When we say this, we don’t really mean who you’re targeting: you likely know your target customer. Museum marketing, depending on your institution’s focus, typically angles towards two core audiences: 1. women with young children and 2. women aged 50+.
What we mean is play with how you target your audience through Meta Ads Manager. Below are some strategies for top-of-the-funnel targeting:
- Lookalike Audiences based on your built engagement-based audiences (Facebook, Instagram and website engagement) and customer lists are a simple option that lets Ads Manager do the bulk of the work. Beware though that not all Lookalike audiences are created equal! Sometimes they outperform other audiences but sometimes they fall flat. Ideally you should use a Lookalike audience based on conversions or customer lists, as these audiences are people who bought tickets, not just interacted with an ad or visited your website.
- Detailed Targeting allows you to target people based on demographics,interests and behaviors. A few of our favorites to target for museums are Museums (interest), specific museums in the area (interest), Parents with certain aged kids (demographic), Interested in Upcoming Events (behavior) and Engaged Shoppers (behavior).
- Advantage+ Audience is a new feature from Meta that puts audience targeting completely in Meta’s hands, utilizing their AI. We wouldn’t recommend using Advantage+ audiences in most campaign types, but we have found success in sales campaigns (previously known as conversion campaigns). The reasoning behind this is that for a traffic or engagement campaign–typically the campaigns we use at the top of our marketing funnel–Meta could serve ads to people who are click-happy or watch many videos, which isn’t indicative of how likely they are to purchase. But in a sales campaign, the goal is the same as our overall goal: conversions.
For a long term campaign, we’d recommend testing three strategies in three otherwise identical ad sets. After 2-4 weeks, cut one or two of the ad sets that are performing the worst. If all of them are struggling, experiment with another one or two strategies.
The bulk of your budget should go towards retargeting the people who are interacting with your ads and website as well as member lists. This should be a sales/conversion campaign.
Managing paid social campaigns can be a lot of work, especially on top of the rest of museum marketing. Most museums have a small marketing team and even the best and brightest employees aren’t highly skilled in every facet of marketing. Launching a paid social campaign alone requires a photographer, a videographer, a graphic designer, an organic social media manager, a copywriter, a website designer and a Facebook geek (ahem).
The beauty of a museum marketing agency, like Immerse Agency, is that you’re paying less than the salary of one person while receiving the expert support of many people across the team. Agencies are also flexible–you can try them out for a small project and drop them, or utilize them across multiple departments. They can fill in the blanks on whatever skillset you’re missing or campaigns your team doesn’t have the bandwidth to do themselves.
Armed with these social media marketing tips for museums, your next paid social campaign will be a great success. If you find yourself rereading this blog in a haze of Meta-induced confusion or giving serious consideration to the last tip, contact us today for a free consultation!