Education in Socrates Sculpture Park
Social Media Facebook, Twitter, blog.. http://www.facebook.com/SocratesSculpturePark
The Socrates Sculpture Park has a Facebook and Twitter account. Their Facebook page has over 5,000 likes. Many people Like and Share news articles posted by the PArk on their Facebook. The park rarely replys back to commentors on their Facebook, the park tends to "Like" a comment or ignore it. They should respond more, especially when they are asked a direct question. They should offer more photographs of workshops and exhibitions and promote a discussion surrounding them.
The Park's twitter account promotes park outdoor activities and informs visitors about weather conditions, the Twitter description for Socrates Sculpture Park is: Follow us for the weather status on all of Socrates Sculpture Park's outdoor events! This description along with the Park's Twitter handle @SSPweatherwatch, inform users that this Twitter is a place to find out about weather when visiting the Park that day or week. Twitter is a great place to update users about the weather and this is a good use of this social media but, this Twitter does more than weather updates. It reminds followers about upcoming activities/events and it could respond to queries about the park from twitter followers. When visitors tweet about new art installations or workshops they attended at the park they tweet the name @sspweatherwatch, which is not a very descriptive of the Park itself. Why the Park did not choose @SocratesSculpturePark as their twitter handle is confusing. They could still inform users about weather from this twitter account without confusion and could promote their park in a much better way. The Park does not respond to tweets directed at them, and not many people are actively talking to the park on Twitter. The Twitter is not effective as a communication tool, as of right now.
The Park does not have a blog :(
While looking for blogs that have anything to do with Socrates sculpture Park i stumbled upon a Tumblr:
This tumblr is completely about Socrates's newest exhibtion "Civic Action" and how the different artists installed their pieces in the park, and the entire process is shown with descriptions and photos!
This Tumblr is created by the Park staff but is not publicized on their website and I found it accidently! I even discussed the lack of blog with the staff but they did not think to bring up the Tumblr. Tumblr is a great way to add photos and descriptions about the installation process for each new exhibiton. a great way to show users how the artists work, and more information about the theme of the exhibtion.
Posting to the Museum
The Park hardly responds to commenters on Facebook or Tweets directed at them. They are a small staff so the time and energy that goes into taking care of the social media aspect of their park often goes unattended. The staff should focus 10 min or so a day and answer users on their social media sites.
Compare to other museums
Laumeier Sculpture Park
Very complex Sculpture Park, large website, simply desgined, complete catalog that is searchable by artist, year, and artwork. Education section on the site allows users to search through workshops, summer camp, volunteering, tours. Also outdoor events, calenders, etc.. This site is comphrensive and udpdated regualary, it is not interactive with Twitter and Facebook when a user clicks on their events or specific artwork so in that aspect they lack social media expertise. This site is definitley the direction Socrates Scupture PArk should strive towards for its catalog, but they should embed "sharing and liking" options within their website for social media involvement.
Many other sculpture park/garden websites are simple and just include visiting information and tour/classes information. They should expand their social media to create a better community/buzz.
How to Improve Museum's Social Media
- Create a blog, where each artist that contributes to an exhibition writes something about their work, the park and/or the community. This will create more publicitiy for the park's exhibitons and is also important for posterity.
- Have a specific amount of time everyday where employees update the Twitter and Facebook with statuses, tweets, and photos. Everyday staff should respond to tweets and comments left by users/visitors.
- Change the Twitter handle to something that connects users with the Park more than @SSPweatherwatch
- The PArk intends to create a Tumblr that could be used a s a blog/picture sharing social media for users. they need to cferate a more interactive/conversational enviroment
Community of Practice
Some communities involved with the Park:
- artists: sculptures & art installations, enviromentalists, gardening
Artists support the Park create enviromental and interesting workshops for visitors.
How to get Volunteers interested in the Park!
Community: Volunteers, community members
Practice: educational, planning workshops, installing installations, promoting the park
Events at the Park to inspire communities
Have parties after training sessions/art projects to keep volunteers interested
Have email lists, forums where voluhnteers can discuss, share information, and create meetings.
How many visitors per year? the staff emailed me 89,000 visitors annually but i still have not gotten a refrence to confirm this.