An unlikely Twitter celebrity
One of Tolson Museum’s more unusual collection items is a bisected taxidermy pig/skeleton made in the 1920s, which may have inspired Damien Hirst’s more recent half-animal artistic works.
For some time, Kirklees Museums had wanted to raise the profile of the museum on social media, and they hit upon the idea of creating a Twitter account with the half-pig as the nominal spokesperson for the museum.
They thought this would be a memorable and quirky approach to their social media communication, but were never prepared for just how popular our half-pig would prove.
They launched his twitter account at the same time as his installation in a new display case at the museum. The local mainstream media lapped this up, writing a number of great stories. His newfound celebrity also enabled them to use him as the mascot in any number of museum activities.
1200 Twitter followers
Half-pig was selected by the Guardian newspaper for their shortlist of the top ten museum mascots, and he now has over 1200 followers on Twitter, with an encouragingly high level of engagement. Followers range from parents of children who visit the museum to the chief executive of Arts Council England, MPs, schools, community organisations and more.
The Twitter account costs almost nothing to run, yet has worked wonders with Kirklees Museums’ ability to inform and engage a wide variety of communities and audiences. It has also created valuable branding opportunities for goods in their shops.
The half-pig’s Twitter handle is @TolsonHalf_Pig and is is also supported by more traditional social media accounts for each of Kirklees Museums and Galleries’ sites.