Once upon a time: Our top social media stories of 2015

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Everybody loves a good story. Here in the Digital Media team at National Museums Scotland we love stories so much we’ve told 7,931 over the past year. Okay, so when we say stories we don’t always mean your traditional tale with a beginning, middle and end. We try to think about all the communications we make through our social media channels – that’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Flickr and this blog – as being part of our the story of our museums and collections. So that 7,931 is made up of 348 Facebook posts, 5,220 tweets, 116 blog posts, 162 Instagram photos, 1,176 pins, 880 photos on Flickr and 29 films on YouTube. Phew!

Social media in numbers 2015

So which of these stories have people most enjoyed?

Here on the blog, our most popular post is this one, by Glenmorangie Research Fellow and regular blogger Alice Blackwell. In this post Alice explores a hoard of Pictish treasure found at Norrie’s Law and exposes some fakes in the midst!

The surviving silver from the Norrie’s Law hoard
Treasure from the Norrie’s Law hoard: can you spot the fakes?

Our blog readers love Scottish silver, but what would triumph on Facebook as our most popular object? Would it be that miracle of science, Dolly the sheep? The dark and mysterious Arthur’s Seat coffins? The stunning 8th century Hunterston brooch?

Nope, all these unique exhibits were bested by the surprise discovery of a new species of hybrid trout in the Water of Leith… oh, wait… April Fool!

Furry fish
The ‘hybrid trout’ in all its fake furry glory…

Although kudos must go to this genuine fishy discovery, which also received considerable Facebook attention last year:

Mangarahara cichlid (Ptychochromis insolitus)
Mangarahara cichlid (Ptychochromis insolitus).

This rare fish, Ptychochromis insolitus, was thought to be extinct, but has recently been rediscovered. You can read more about in this blog post from our Principal Curator of Vertebrates, Dr Andrew Kitchener.

Over on Twitter, our annual Airshow always incites lots of chat, and this year, with record levels of attendance at the event itself, was no exception. This tweet, in which we revealed the identity of a mystery aircraft, was the most popular of all:

Airshow tweet

However, hot on its heels was our Iron Age war trumpet, the carnyx – an #UncommonInstrument indeed.

The carnyx

Of course, half the fun in manning our Twitter account at National Museums Scotland comes from seeing what our intrepid staff are up to and sharing their posts. Here are some of our favourite updates:

Commuting animals

Mini plague of locusts#Museumselfie

We’re relative newbies to Instagram, so it’s nice to feel some Insta-love coming our way in the form of this charming heart. This, our most popular image so far, was taken on 3 October, when we invited 50 Instagrammers to explore the National Museum of Scotland before the doors were open to the public. As you can see from the smiling faces below, a good time was had by all.

A heart of Instagrammers
We heart Instagrammers!

Pinterest is another new channel for us. Renowned as a platform beloved of arty-crafty types, it’s perhaps no surprise that this gorgeous bracelet by designer Peter Chang is one of our top pins.

Bracelet by Peter Chang
Bracelet, titled ‘Bracelet 1’, carved from polystyrene foam and covered with a mosaic made from acrylic, PVC and thin sections of found plastic objects. Scottish, Glasgow, by Peter Chang, September – October 1987.

It’s also no surprise that our most popular board features those lovable Finnish superstars the Moomins. The board was created as part of our attempts to track down the maker of this cute ‘Hug me’ brooch – do you recognise it? You can read more about the Great Moomin Mystery in this blog post.

Hug Me brooch, Crocheted textile, mixed media, artist unknown, c.2005.
Hug Me brooch, Crocheted textile, mixed media, artist unknown, c.2005.

A big thanks to everyone who’s liked, shared, pinned, commented or otherwise connected with us across our social media channels. Here’s to a happy Christmas and a very social New Year!

- Posted

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