Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Social media people - a load of twits?

 Dartmouth Museum: top tweeters

"We're very worthy," says Tim Trent, volunteer at Dartmouth Museum and Devon tweeter extraordinaire. "We're a quite ordinary museum - only three rooms plus a lobby. We've been tweeting only since July last year, but for such a tiny museum we punch well above our weight in social media."

Well, when they can boast of sending out 3,569 tweets - it works out at a daily average of 15-20 tweets - it's perhaps why Dartmouth Museum has 706 followers on Twitter, and growing by the minute.  The Royal Albert Memorial Museum's current 3,015 tweet total looks measly by comparison.

"The extraordinary thing now is that we're attracting attention from a lot of heavyweights in the social media scene. It's mad really. But it's getting our museum talked about."  And Dartmouth Museum was even nominated for a couple of social media awards. They didn't win, but they never expected to, either. “It's all about brand awareness,” Tim said. “We're pleased to have had folk just hear about us. Next year they may make us part of their holiday plans.”

Fairlynch Museum is just one of the growing number of places in Budleigh where Facebook and Twitter are being used to attract visitors and customers 

Ironically, Tim's enthusiasm for Twitter is not shared by all of his museum committee. In fact some are quite sceptical about its usefulness. And that's common to museum committees generally, he thinks. "They wonder what the benefit is of using it or Facebook." But that's a good thing, in Tim's view. "It means that we don't just play with it, we think about how we ought to use it and what it might do for us. Then we play with it, too."

Tim is even happy that the Dartmouth Museum's marketing campaign which he is spearheading, largely through tweets, has not exactly had spectacular success. All that twittering has produced perhaps two extra volunteers and two extra members of the Museum.

And what sort of increase in visitor numbers? "Five," he thinks. 5%?  No, just five, perhaps. "But we don't care," insists Tim. As the Museum's website tells us at http://dartmouthmuseum.org/things/social-media.html "We use Twitter for fun! No, seriously, we use Twitter for fun!  Yes, we're a museum, but who says we can't have fun?"

And that, surely, is what museums should be about? Fun, combined with commitment and passion. Open for an astonishing 362 days a year, Dartmouth Museum can hardly be accused of lacking those essential qualities for a successful enterprise, whatever its size or shape.

This post relates to a shorter version at http://www.devonmuseums.net/Are-social-media-people-a-load-of-twits/Latest-News/Fairlynch-Museum/Museum-News/

1 comment:

  1. Rather pleased to see Dartmouth Museum featured in your blog. Very many thanks. We do our best. Sometimes that's even good enough