Penn Museum Hip to Social Media

Being the community manager of a museum doesn’t mean that you can’t use modern technology to promote your place of employment. Just ask Josh Lawrence of the Penn Museum.

Being the community manager of a museum doesn’t mean that you can’t use modern technology to promote your place of employment. Just ask Josh Lawrence of the Penn Museum.

Lawrence spoke with Street Fight, which covers hyperlocal news, information, and advertising, about his museum’s use of social networking sites including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube, Tumblr, Flickr, Reddit, Digg, foursquare, and LivingSocial.

Lawrence told Street Fight most of the traffic to the museum’s website is driven by Facebook, although it also boasts heavy Twitter interaction, along with a strong presence on Reddit, which he attributed to the existence of channels for archeology, anthropology, and Philadelphia.

On the museum’s use of flash specials on foursquare, Lawrence told Street Fight:

We had been using foursquare for a little bit, and we really didn’t know how to best utilize it. We have some different things coming up, but most important, we have a music series that goes on through the summer on Wednesdays called Penn Museum Summer Nights. We basically have different bands from the local area performing world music in our center court. We decided to run the promotion so it would draw people in with an added incentive. So, if people are in the area and they want to know something that’s going on, it pops up on their screen, and we let them know that the Penn Museum is running a special. Since we’re located in University City, right of the heart of Philly, it was just a good idea to raise our profile on the foursquare app in general.

And on running a daily deal special on LivingSocial, he told Street Fight:

I met the guy from LivingSocial and I just talked to them and they said it (would be) pretty successful. They gave me the stats, which I don’t want to divulge. Basically, (we) had been talking to Groupon, and I think (the museum) was planning on running a Groupon deal. But I had been following LivingSocial for a while, so I met up with the guy who runs LivingSocial and had a talk with him, and it worked out better for us. That’s mostly because LivingSocial is more targeted toward lifestyle choices, instead of Groupon being specifically like, “You can go to Kmart and buy socks for $5.” Groupon has very specific-need deals, where LivingSocial has a lot of lifestyle [deals]. They even have Escapes now, where they have trips.