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Talking with Tweets: An Exploration of Museums’ Use of Twitter for Two-Way Engagement

Thesis by Sydney Jaramillo (2017)

Past research has shown that although Twitter is an ideal platform for audience engagement, museums are not using it as such, and are instead using it almost solely as a promotional tool. This study aimed to understand the extent to which museums are using Twitter as a means to engage in two-way communication with their audiences. Through document analysis of 633 tweets from six museums and interviews with three museum professionals this study created a holistic understanding of museums’ use of Twitter for two-way audience engagement. This research discovered that, although museums continue to use Twitter for promotions, they are also using it for audience engagement. This engagement comes down to having conversations with an audience. They are using Twitter as a place to share their audience’s experiences, build connections with that audience, and share stories that their audience is interested in. If museums put in the effort to engage with their audience on Twitter, they may be able to better understand what their audience values and is interested in, as well as, how they think about the museum.

Keywords: Class of 2017, museum, museum studies, museology, Twitter, tweets, engagement, interactive, noninteractive


Jaramillo, S., & Luke, Jessica J. (2017). Talking with tweets : An exploration of museums’ use of twitter for two-way engagement. [University of Washington Libraries].