Scottish Museums Day – The Difficult Second Album

Bringing #ScottishMuseumsDay back for its 2nd year.


Preparing for 2017

How do you repeat past successes? Do you go bigger? Do you go smaller? Or do you try and replicate what you had done previously?

In 2016, I oversaw the first #ScottishMuseumsDay. October 3rd was picked as the date, which had absolutely nothing to do with its attachment to Mean Girls and the amount of gif-able content on offer.

#ScottishMuseumsDay - October 3rd
#ScottishMuseumsDay – October 3rd

In 2016, we saw over 1,800 tweets sent by over 870 individual users on Scottish Museums Day using the #ScottishMuseumsDay creating over 7.5million impressions. The day was a success and we had engagement all across the country, from museums themselves to visitors at museums on the day.

As the day had been a massive success we knew we wanted to replicate it the following year. But how would we approach it? Did SMF want buy in from external companies? Did we want to make it bigger than what it was? Did we want to push so hard to see where the next steps took us? Ultimately, we decided that we wanted to replicate the success of the previous year.

#ScottishMuseumsDay is a celebration of our Museums, our Galleries, our Libraries and our Archives. It is about celebrating what made them special to us. It is about celebrating the spaces we love and the collections we care for. It is about engaging the museum community with each other, and having a bit of fun on social media for a day.

So with the date set (3rd October, obviously) I started getting in touch with other institutions, letting them know we had a Thunderclap set up and we’d wanted to do #ScottishMuseumsDay again. Fortunately, I had managed to convince colleagues throughout the sector last year, that #ScottishMuseumsDay was a great idea and luckily it had been a success! Different organisations pledged to share content on the day, so my time was tied up getting people to sign up to our Thunderclap.


The day itself

Tweets went out from about 7.30am. I hadn’t even finished my cereal and people were tweeting about much they were looking forward to the day.

From here on, there were tweets about people’s favourite museums, places to visit and places people wish they could go to.

By 11.15am #ScottishMuseumsDay had started trending in Scotland, being the top trend in both Glasgow and Edinburgh. People were engaging with the hashtag and sharing content.

Museum Galleries Scotland started a quiz across the day, asking people to guess where the pictures were taken. No prizes of course, just internet bragging rights.

Glasgow Women’s Library rose to the challenge for #ScottishMuseumsDay and did an amazing job sharing an A-Z of GWL’s Museums and Archives Collections.

A few businesses got involved, but it was Paddy Power who had the most popular tweet of the day. Hats off to them for capitalising on a hashtag. In fact, #ScottishMuseumsDay was trending across the UK on October 3rd!


Facts & Figures

As I’ve mentioned previously, #ScottishMuseumsDay did exceptionally well last year considering it was merely passionate people tweeting and sharing content on social media. This year was again no exception. 94 people backed our #ScottishMuseumsDay Thunderclap, reaching over 386,900 people.

On Twitter, 906 users sent over 1850 tweets throughout the day. Our top contributors across the day were VisitScotland (highest impressions), Paddy Power (most retweets) and the National Museums of Scotland (most mentions).

Over the course of the day, #ScottishMuseumsDay tweets reached over 3,077,375  individual Twitter accounts, up almost 10% on the previous year. This created over 8.16 million impressions, again up almost 9% on the previous year.

This is absolutely fantastic for the Scottish Museums Federation, a volunteer led organisation run by individuals working in the sector, with no external funding. We will absolutely be bringing #ScottishMuseumsDay back for a third year and we hope you will join us too!

This blog originally appeared on the Scottish Museums Federation blog on 11th October 2017.

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