How one Australian museum has taken flight in the social media skies: Hayley Dean

Marketing expert Hayley Dean has grown up around aeroplanes with her grandfather a former RAAF officer and father a curator at the Australian Aviation Museum in Bankstown. Now she manages the AAM’s communication and publicity on a pro bono basis. It is fascinating and inspiring to watch Hayley use Twitter and Facebook – to see how she is building a community network around the aviation collection.

Marketing and social media expert, Australian Aviation Museum, Hayley Dean

The Australian Aviation Museum (AAM) located at Bankstown Airport has been operating since the 1990’s and is home to some of Australia’s most historic Aviation memorabilia. But despite its impressive collection, the museum was aware that it was time to address a decline in visitor numbers and their lack of awareness by the Australian public, outside of the aviation & historic community.

The answer came in the form of a 21st century version of a lamington sale, a social marketing campaign on Twitter (AustaviationMus) and Facebook. Rather than simply tweeting aviation facts and aircraft photo’s, the AAM has created a connection between their museum and current new stories…. and it’s working.

Australian Aviation Museum volunteer team

The key is ‘connection’. When Calvin Klein (CK) showed his latest bomber jacket collection at New York’s fashion week, the AAM mentioned their CK collection, that being our Charles Kingsford Smiths flying jacket and the number of female followers increased.

When O week began, the AAM wished all aviation students good luck and we connected with each university offering the degree, and when Hollywood honoured their greats during Oscar week, the AAM honoured a great man who befriended the stars and flew them in boats and the socialites began to listen. In only a short few weeks, by talking to an audience that once showed little to no interest, the AAM has had a number of small successes in once unreachable avenues. Thanks to the support of their wonderful volunteers, the sky is no longer the limit for the AAM with plans for their social marketing to grow ever bigger.

Based in Sydney’s Inner West, Hayley Dean is the owner of me marketing agency, specialising in social media management and marketing communications. She has worked on numerous marketing initiatives for not for profit organisations including that of the AAM’s and so is well placed to offer advice to other museums. Email Hayley for advice on how small organisations can use social media effectively.

The Australian Aviation Museum is located in Starkie Drive, Bankstown Airport. For more information visit or phone (02) 9791 3088….or follow them on twitter ‘Austaviationmus’ and facebook.

4 Responses to “How one Australian museum has taken flight in the social media skies: Hayley Dean”

  1. Wendy White Says:

    Good stuff!

    There are many great museums embracing news ways to communicate with the community. Engagement is key to any museum and there are so many ways to get that emotional connection with visitors online.

    Scitech in Perth has been doing a lot of great work in this area, particularly when it comes to directly interacting with visitors, and just take a look at The Powerhouse Museum in Sydney’s latest exhibition – The 80s Are Back. Great use of various online content-sharing practises.

    [Disclosure: I work at Scitech. And it rules!]

  2. anon Says:

    Really interesting read. It’s encouraging to see social media being used in an intelligent and smart way.
    I appalled the work being done.

  3. anon Says:

    Apologies, it should read: I applaud the work being done.

  4. Hayley Dean Says:

    Hi Wendy,
    Thanks for your great comments. I agree with you completely. It is really wonderful to see so much passion and life blowing back into museums around the world.
    History is SO important, as is Science and Art and Culture and everything that has been added together to make you, well you! I can’t believe how many people can name the Maccas menu but not a piece of Australian history.
    Connection (or engagement) is absolutely the key!

    Thanks for taking the time to share your views, I really appreciate your feedback.
    All the best.

    Thanks also to Anon.

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