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Twitter Profile: @BrooklynMuseum

27 July 2009

Posted by Jessica Roberts

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Industry sector : Non-Profit/Museum

Twitter ID : @brooklynmuseum
Followers : 24,315
Following : 466
Ratio followers/following : .019

Number posts : 1,875
Account created :  July 2007
First post :  July 2007

Why:  One of the “oldest and largest museums in the country” but are committed to being multi-cultural, youthful and cutting edge. They have consistently lead the way in developing an exchange with the community, and building a diverse audience base.  Their First-Saturday parties are by far the most diverse ‘high-brow’ cultural events in New York, attracting a representative mix of ages, races and cultures.   On Twitter, they have the highest museum followings, are re-tweeted by other influential organizations and are cited by Beth Kantor as an example of excellence.  They also have a unique way to make money from a subscriber-only Twitter feed, 1stfans, which is an effort to become a “socially networked museum.” Read the introduction note here. Benefits include:

Socialize at exclusive events during the Museum’s monthly Target First Saturdays and continue connecting online with access to artist-created content on our 1stfans Twitter Art Feed. This paperless Membership is only $20 for the year and is fully tax-deductible!

When you become a 1stfan, you can:



Bio link :
Facebook :
MySpace :
LinkedIn : n/a
Org Blog :
Other (YouTube):
Other (
Other (Itunes): itms://
Other (Flickr):
Other (Blog Mentions):

About: “The Brooklyn Museum, housed in a 560,000-square-foot, Beaux-Arts building, is one of the oldest and largest art museums in the country. Its world-renowned permanent collections range from ancient Egyptian masterpieces to contemporary art, and represent a wide range of cultures. Only a 30-minute subway ride from midtown Manhattan, with its own newly renovated subway station, the Museum is part of a complex of nineteenth-century parks and gardens that also includes Prospect Park, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and the Prospect Park Zoo.”

(5) Analysis

A. General

(A.1) Background: B- Uses the Museum logo: a ‘splashy’ turquoise B.  Doesn’t fit the screen well and the information is cut off from my laptop.

(A.2) Avatar: A Also uses the Museum logo, matching the background.

(A.3) Transparency: A- Explains that the museum is one of the oldest and largest museums in the US.  Also introduces “Shelly B.” as the author of the tweets.  Would be nice to know her affiliation to the museum. (Intern? Director of Development?). 

(A.4) Bio:  A-  Good information, put museum in context age wise, but would be helpful if explained what type of art was featured at the museum and clarify “largest”: the space or the collection.  Links to a great website, which is full of interactive options.

B. Tweets as of July 26

(B.1) Replies:  42.64%
(B.2) ReTweets: 16.82%
(B.3) DM requests: ?.
(B.4) Hashtags: 13 hashtags
(B.5) Favorite tweets: @museumnerd we were feat in jan, picked up 6000 followers very, very quickly – stat lists + social media = useless = no real indication

(B.6) Brooklyn Museum is using Twitter to build one-on-one communication with their audience.  In one week, 59% of their tweets were replies or RTs.  However, on the flip side, for new audience members, there is little content to latch on to, and the account can read like a single person just chatting with their friends, rather than an organization talking broadly and openly or providing value.

C. Questions/Suggestions
(C.1)Questions unearthed: What content is distributed just to highlight/inform/entertain the general audience?  How does the regular Twitter account differ from the $20 membership level account?  How successful have the two accounts been and how do their goals differ?

(C.2) Suggestions for Improvement:  Continue with the community engagement via RT & replies, but balance the content by including a substantial portion of tweets that inform, educate or at least entertain the broad base of your followers. 

E.  Conclusion

The Brooklyn Museum is obviously took the long approach to Tweeting.  Although the account was created in July 2007, tweets were few and far between (average 11 per month) until a marked increase in October 2008 (52) and then a substantial increase (286) in January 2009.  From January – July, audiences received tweets seven days a week, an average of 221 tweets per month.   The tweets are primarily conversations with patrons and other art-world leaders. Most of the content is saved for the blog and website.  However, in December 2009, they launched a first-of-its kind Twitter membership that is the first to generate revenue from a Twitter feed. The feed provides more content and offers to free events.  While not perfect, the Twitter feed is doing enough right to retain the largest number people following a museum (11,000 more than #2, @GettyMuseum), gain avid re-tweeters and be recognized by industry thought-leaders.


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