Emma Halford-Forbes, Coordinator of Industrial Museums Scotland (Go Industrial), somehow manages to keep up with 12 different museums and creates content for an account which doesn’t have a venue or its own collections.
In November 2019, she took a brief break from the #GoIndustrial life (as well as her role as a Museum Consultant and Recognition Committee Member at Museums Galleries Scotland) to share her words of wisdom.
1. Focus on “evergreen content”
Emma stressed the importance of articles on the Go Industrial website which could be used year after year. It helps if you don’t mention specific events or terms like “earlier this year”. Without a bank of collections images or regular photo shoots to rely on, this can be a godsend.
2. Plan, plan, plan
Start planning content 3 or 4 months ahead of time. Make a note of what you did then review, rework and update it for next year. Emma is a big fan of spreadsheets – she maps where articles will go on each section of the website, and prepares posts and tallies how many sites or objects she’s covered to avoid repetition (for example, with her beloved ‘pig iron’).
This bar represents the millions of tons of pig iron produced in the west of Scotland. The name ‘pig iron’ originated when iron was cast in sand into a mass of iron resembling a reclining pig https://t.co/5rczHU3UZ3 @SummerleeMuseum @NL_Heritage #GoIndustrial #ironworkthursday pic.twitter.com/BnD106Fioc
— Go Industrial (@GoIndustScot) November 29, 2018
3. Run a social media “event”
Campaigns like #GoIndustrial Day have the power to galvanise people. Emma is a big fan of live posts (for example, running an event and having museums tweet an industrial sound at noon on #GoIndustrial Day, rather than scheduling something). Themes (such as #YCW2020) can also help people get a bit more creative with their content, particularly if you’re running a campaign several years in a row.
— Go Industrial (@GoIndustScot) August 25, 2019
4. Stick to a theme
When representing multiple locations with their own social media presence, your account should focus on the broad theme. You are the gateway to those places. The audience will then go on to find the specific content they’re interested in through one of the locations.
5. Build a network
Build up a network of contacts in each organisation who you can call on for specific content, rather than relying on a generic info@ address. If you’re having trouble bringing people on board, you can also try creating simple infographics to get the message across – and don’t underestimate the power of a face-to-face meeting.
#museum30 Day 19 is Space. I’m quite fond of the industrial spaces I get to work in, and the High Mill at @VerdantWorks is one of my favourites. Here are some of my lovely friends @quiredundee singing on #GoIndustrial Day this year 😍 @marr0g @erindubitably pic.twitter.com/6cWJ9P0f61
— Emma Halford-Forbes (@e_halmac) November 19, 2019