This blog originally appeared on the Scottish Museums Federation blog post in October 2018.
For the past two years I’ve taken the lead on developing and managing #ScottishMuseumsDay. In it’s third, we as the Fed decided to take our learning from year 2, and implement them into year 3. With #ScottishMuseumsDay 2, we left limited prep time in raising awareness about the day, Whilst it was successful, pressure was on to make it work. With the 3rd #ScottishMuseumsDay, we announced it officially one month before. then constantly reminded people about it in the run up.
And with that we’d committed ourselves! The next month was spent tweeting out reminders and after about two weeks we out together a FAQ
At this point, we were about two weeks away from Scottish Museums Day. We created a few timed tweets splitting up the FAQ over several days, leading up to October 3rd. I also reached out to other museums about Scottish Museums Day asking if we could count on their support on the day, which we could.
Scottish Museums Day
And with that the third #ScottishMuseumsDay was underway!
From the start we had loads of museums keen to get involved and share their content. in fact some of our most popular posts came from Edinburgh Museums, Scottish Football Museum, National Museums Scotland and National Galleries Scotland. This was great and really gave us the boost we needed to reach as many people as possible. One of my favourites came from the National Library of Scotland!
One of the bigger challenges this year came from maintaining momentum. In previous years, #ScottishMuseumsDay has been me at a computer managing the SMF account sharing RT and commenting, although this year, I was on holiday. Between myself and 3 other committee members, we all took it in turns for a period of two hours to retweet and engage with people.
This year was the first year we did Scottish Museums Day without Thunderclap. Unfortunately, Thunderclap folded ahead of Scottish Museums Day and as such we weren’t able to utilise it. Thunderclap was a platform that let individuals and companies rally people together to spread a message. We used it to give the Scottish Museums Day hashtag a signal boost later on in the day.
Fortunately for us, the hashtag was trending in Edinburgh, Glasgow and then the UK throughout the day, so whilst Thunderclap would have helped things, it wasn’t needed.
We also hosted an event at National Museums Scotland which included a tour and a talk of the latest exhibition Rip It Up.
The results are in!
When the dust had settled, and it was October 4th, I carried out a bit of number crunching. Over the course of the day:
1700 tweets were sent,
reaching over 2.2 million accounts
creating over 6.1 million impressions
with contributions from over 780 accounts
Whilst this is down on previous years, we collectively agree that it is a superb effort, considering the Fed has limited resources and is run by volunteers. We’ve loved seeing users come up with their own ideas for content, sharing museums, galleries and collections in different ways, interpreting the hashtag how they saw fit.