Tehmina Goskar, 16.09.2016
Weekly museum debate hosted on Twitter
@museumhour is UK-based museum movement run by by Sophie Ballinger (@sospot) and Tehmina Goskar (@tehm).

It takes place every Monday at 8pm UK time and attracts 5,500 followers from all over the world. @museumhour tackles a different theme or debate each week and is either hosted by Ballinger or Goskar, or increasingly, topics are brought forward by guest hosts.

The strength of @museumhour and using Twitter to engage different audiences is based in its ‘communication, not broadcast’ philosophy. The aim is for the weekly debates to be conversations rather than a platform for advertising, although events and initiatives are used to provide anchors for interest in particular topics.

The hashtag #museumhour is important as it provides a consistent way to follow debate during the hour, and before and after. This has also helped us track when topics we discuss start trending. Some debates are later curated using Storify.

@museumhour is an open platform for anyone with an interest in museums, not just those who work in them. It highlights that the general public is interested in the work of museums and the challenges they face.

It also provides a platform to discuss taboo and or less talked about topics such as mental health, redundancy and oil sponsorship.

Hootsuite is used to schedule tweets in advance, including its autoschedule function for optimum timing. Roundteam is used to automatically retweet tweets of @museumhour's followers. This is less time consuming than manual checking.

Twitter now offers excellent free statistics on engagement. Museums can use these demonstrate levels of engagement with a particular theme or campaign.

Tehmina Goskar is museum professional and historian

Sophie Ballinger is the communications manager at Eureka!