In the first of our Marketing Pros series, we’re talking to Sarah Lukacher, Content Manager at Brooklyn Museum, which uses Linktree. Sarah shared with us some amazing insights from her job at one of New York’s most respected art museums, and a cornerstone of Brooklyn culture.
Exterior of the Brooklyn Museum. Brooklyn Museum photograph by Kolin Mendez.
I was lucky enough to jump on the phone with Sarah and pick her brains on all things marketing, including museum selfies! With over 800,000 followers on Instagram, almost 700,000 on Twitter, over 250,000 on Facebook and close to 10,000 on YouTube, I wanted to know how Brooklyn Museum connects with its audiences and meet the team behind the magic.
Sarah, tell us about your journey to becoming content manager at the museum
I’ve had a pretty interesting path at the museum. I began working here about four years ago, but my position was in the public relations department. Within a year of my tenure here we started developing a brand new marketing department. I expressed interest in taking on more marketing responsibilities – I really enjoyed the work I was doing on the marketing side rather than public relations.
I was lucky enough to jump into a brand new role as the inaugural content manager at the Brooklyn Museum. That entails being the marketing lead for copy writing, email, video, printed materials. And I also co-manage our social media platforms.
I feel super fortunate to have the opportunity and they shaped the position to fit my talents. I’ve been doing this position for about a year and a half now and it’s been really rewarding.
And how does that plug into the wider marketing team?
The marketing team, traditional marketing team, is split up into three divisions. One is public relations, the other is traditional marketing within advertising and partnerships. And then my team, which is digital, which entails social media and my position as a content manager.
There are two of who us in digital who manage all of the social media platforms. My colleague Brooke manages the traditional social media and I manage more of the experimental things within video and email marketing.
Egyptian Art Gallery. Brooklyn Museum photograph by Kolin Mendez.
How important is social media to Brooklyn Museum?
We’re extremely active. Every time we have an exhibition announcement or a new idea flowing, we’re always thinking of how we can translate that onto social media. We work in tandem with our public relations and marketing teams so that our social media is also communicating exactly what they’re communicating, in a different tone to hit every audience.
Keeping our audiences aware of what’s going on here is really important.
Tell us about your online community.
Our social community is super engaged and very socially aware. They expect a lot out of us, which keeps us accountable and we really appreciate.
We find that our followers really are engaged with current events, whether that’s in likes or in the comments – they share and they get the conversation going. And we really welcome courageous conversations and difficult conversations to happen both on our social media platforms and in our galleries.
"We welcome courageous and difficult conversations on our social media platforms and in our galleries."
What type of content does best with your audience?
For one, current events. But also our most engaged posts consist of our anchor shows, like our David Bowie and our Frida Kahlo exhibition. It’s definitely those recognizable artists within our most engaged posts.
For the past two years we have been showcasing our online community more through the #mybkm hashtag. From that we compile our favorite visitor photos into a slideshow and we encourage others to share their visit using the hashtag. It’s a great indicator to show us what our followers and visitors might gravitate towards in real life.
#mybkm from @sad_montage
#mybkm from @maggie_qq_s
How far out are you scheduling content?
We like to be at least a couple of weeks ahead on our content planning. Sometimes it’s a little tighter than that. We like to stay flexible in case a world event happens and we need to squeeze something in, or we forgot a certain holiday’s coming up. We should be able to shift things around. We like to plan ahead but also stay nimble.
What marketing tools do you find helpful?
Well, for starters I can say Linktree has been a phenomenal tool. It’s so easy to use and not having to change the link in bio constantly has really freed up our time and our energy of what needs to be done on a daily basis. Also, one thing I want to point out is that, we’ve seen a great deal of website traffic leading from Linktree to our website, which was something we weren’t expecting but has been an incredible plus.
We love Later for Instagram, it’s a great way to see how the images look side by side on a feed. We also started using Slack about two years ago as a marketing team and it’s so helpful keeping us all up to date on projects, things in the works. And it’s also been really fun for company morale because we share a lot of memes with one another. It’s a fun tool just to keep us going through the day!
"Linktree has been a phenomenal tool. It's so easy to use and not having to change the link in bio constantly has really freed up our time and our energy."
The ASK Brooklyn Museum App.
Cakes Da Killa performing at Target First Saturday by Kolin Mendez.
How are you staying on top of changes and trends in the marketing world?
I have to say our team are all very active on social media in our own right. I get a lot of ideas from the people I follow and I try to translate what individuals are doing into how an institution can incorporate that. Linktree came out of that process, one of our team members were seeing that a lot of influencers are using it and we thought, “Oh, why don’t we use it? We do link in bio all the time. My team is constantly sharing things we’ve seen, read or heard within the week.
Our most interesting initiatives stem from what we see on our own feeds. We’re not looking for it – it organically inspires us.
What are you most excited about for the next year and beyond?
In terms of audiences, our 2020 exhibition calendar is going to be really exciting and really different than what we were doing in the past couple of years. So I’m really looking forward to tapping into new audiences that might have an affinity for these shows and the topics that they’re sharing. I can’t share exactly what it is yet! But we’re excited to expand our audience base and get different people into the museum and interested in our content.
I’m also really interested in exploring both low and high video production in the future. It’s becoming more of a priority in engaging content. So I’m excited to use video as a platform to flex both the rest of our collection and also the creativity of our team. I’m hoping to get the voices of our curators and the artists we work with in more of a focus on our social media pages.
Finally, Sarah do you have any tips for the Linktree community on growing and connecting with audiences?
I think the thing that we’ve learned that we do best is just to be authentic and to lean in to difficult conversations rather than just brushing them over. I think audiences really appreciate when you are courageous as you’re willing to dive into interesting topics that aren’t just lifestyle related.
But I think, knowing your tone of voice and engaging with your audience with that voice is really important. And as a consumer myself, I love when people respond to my comments and like my comments – being engaged and being involved with your audiences is really important.
Some of the neat ways Sarah and her team are using their Linktree to drive traffic:
- The team have changed the header title to say “coming up @brooklyn museum” which contextualizes the links.
- It’s got a clear, monochromatic color scheme.
- Dates at the start of links highlight events.
- Social icons (avail on PRO) make sure audiences grow across platforms.
- Thumbnail images draw attention to the hottest events.
Our enormous thanks to the brilliant Sarah for chatting to us and lifting the bonnet on institution comms. Stay tuned for more industry brains in our Marketing Pros series.
And if you are, or know, a rad marketer doing cool things with online audiences – let me know! Drop me a line to email@example.com
Now go follow Brooklyn Museum, pronto!