We’ve just finished taking part in Museum Week, along with over 3,500 other participants. This is a campaign on Twitter encouraging cultural institutions to share images, information, video, web links and more around daily themes set out on the Museum Week Website. Visitors to museums also take to Twitter to share their thoughts around the themes or use the opportunity to have a conversation with people working in museums through Twitter.
Clearly Museum Week is a great chance to connect with a wider audience, and to place History SA and our museums among the world’s cultural institutions. It is an opportunity for us to highlight the role we play in preserving and promoting South Australian History, and the different ways we do that.
It’s the second year we’ve taken part as @HistorySA, though our museums @MigrationMuseum, @NatMotorMuseum, & @SAMaritimeMuseu have taken part for at least three years now, and our Community Engagement team through @communityHistSA for just as long. We have a slightly different focus on each account, but for all it is a chance to connect with a global audience and increase our profiles. It’s also good fun!
Over the course of Museum Week the History SA account gained 44 new followers, equal to the number of followers gained in the previous weeks of March (27 days). We’ve seen a definite spike in our retweets and ‘mentions’ and while we still have to do a bit more analysis on other results, comments on some of our online platforms suggest there were at least a few click throughs from our tweets.
While we are an organisation firmly rooted in local history, with a strong commitment to connecting with our local community, the ability social media gives us as an organisation to place ourselves within a broader network of cultural organisations is a wonderful opportunity. When cultural institutions trend on Twitter with #MuseumWeek it reminds us all what we have to offer, gives us a chance to start new conversations, and creates priceless networks for us as professionals in the cultural sector.
It can also raise our profile amongst our more traditional support base as well. During Museum Week we were contacted by Eloise Fuss from ABC 891 Adelaide who noticed all the activity. As a result we were able to organise a live broadcast from the Migration Museum promoting their latest exhibition and other activities.
Museum Week gives us a focus to work around as an organisation for a concerted social media push, sharing and cross-promoting our various accounts, as well as drawing attention to the amazing volunteers and other organisations in South Australia that do great work in the field of history.
It also provides encouragement for some of our less confident social media users with clear parameters to work within that helps us to look at our existing content and how we might share it in different ways.
This year the South Australian Maritime Museum took part on Instagram as well as Twitter, which led to sharing of ideas for features between staff and yet another opportunity to reach a new audience.
We had a wonderful time coming up with our posts for Museum Week, and it created some great discussions online and off. We’re looking forward to getting together and assessing further what worked well and what we might do better next.
How about you? Did you follow Museum Week and if so what did you get out of it?