A number of years ago the Museum was tasked with minimizing its expenses across the board. We looked for every possible way that we could continue to fulfill our mission while eliminating waste. One area we took a hard look at was how the Museum advertised. The advertising of the Museum in 2007-2008 was pretty traditional and there was no noticeable affect on visitation regardless of how we advertised. The Museum made the conscious decision to wean ourselves off the traditional method of advertising and begin to focus on social media and the internet as a means of reaching an audience in an affordable and direct way.


Like all museums we have a website (www.museumoftime.org) that we use as a "virtual brochure" of sorts. It lets visitors know our hours, our services, etc. in a fairly static way. We update the information on the site to make sure that it can continue to serve as a one-stop shopping location for visitors interested in paying us a physical visit. The Museum also began to post objects here on the NAWCC Message board sporadically and when something interesting came in. With the hiring of our new Curator, Kim Jovinelli, we hope to make the Museum’s presence on the NAWCC Message Board a bit more robust and have it include information on Museum programs, exhibits and new acquisitions. In addition to this effort, the Museum uses its social media platforms to create a more interactive and immersive experience for our Members, visitors, and those who cannot visit us. The first effort by the Museum to create a social media presence was the creation of our Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/NationalWatchClockMuseum) and YouTube Channel (www.youtube.com/user/nawccnwcm) in 2008.


We decided to try and make sure that all of the social media sites were "branded" with a similar look so that visitors to the sites would be able to see that they all were related. The next site we tackled, and are investing some more effort in lately is the Museum's Twitter account (https://twitter.com/museumoftime). We're following a lot of industry feeds, collectors and even those celebrities we know have an affinity for clocks and watches.


The Museum established an Instagram account recently when we determined that the clocks and watches in the Museum provide a great visual experience and it would be a great way for us to engage people with an eye for the decorative aspects of timepieces as well as an appreciation for the mechanical look of timepieces. (http://instagram.com/museumoftime). Pinterest is also a site we’ve just recently made a presence, but we’re already attracting attention there (http://pinterest.com/nawcc).


Studies by the American Alliance of Museums and IMPACTS Research & Development have shown that a robust social media presence is a driver of Museum onsite visitation. While it takes great effort to keep these sites and pages updated and active we continue to see our on-site visitation grow even though we spend 63% less on advertising than we did just five years ago; demonstrating the validity of the studies. So what's next? We've started a blog as yet another way to reach a broad audience with our mission and we will soon be found on GoogleArtsProject as well. All of these initiatives are very labor intensive and we try to stay on top of all of them with the help of staff and volunteers, but do occasionally fall behind. Social media outlets are much more useful in actually meeting our mission than any print, paid advertising could do, so as the new year progresses we’ll keep an eye out for your “follows”, “tweets”, “likes” and what-nots!