by • 31 May, 2009 • TechnologyComments (3)10391

How to use Twitter as a museum?

Internationally, there are a lot of museums active on Twitter. Unfortunately, most of them use Twitter only as a modern announcement board. There is very little interaction with their followers.

The Brooklyn Museum is one notable exception. In the museum they encourage visitors to send their feedback to their Twitter. Also, they reply, retweet and encourage visitors to engage in conversation. Not surprisingly, they have over 23,000 followers, which is the highest I’ve seen of all museums.

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York is another good exception. They basically have the same approach as the Brooklyn Museum and even have a nifty background image on their Twitter. However, it’s obvious they’re still figuring out their strategy.

What can we learn from the way these two museums use Twitter?

  • Both museums post updates regularly, keeping their audience fixed
  • Both museums reply to their followers, making conversation two-directional
  • Both museums retweet interesting tweets from their community

For the Museum of National History I’ve only just begun using Twitter and I’m still working on our strategy. The three lessons above seem easy enough, but Twitter is such a powerful tool that there must be more to it. How can a museum get all out of Twitter?

So far I have thought out the following strategies for our use of Twitter, which will be deployed over the next month.

  • Trigger the audience to react to tweets by asking them questions. We could for instance put a historical question out there and reward the first correct response.
  • Engage the audience by letting them decide on the content of a blog post. The idea is to ask every week what should be in our history books from that week.

Nevertheless, there should be much more possible with Twitter for a museum. That’s why I put the question out here. What do’s and don’ts do you think apply to Twitter when you’re a museum? And what strategies can we use to truly engage our audience?

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