If you follow a museum on twitter, is it friendly or weird if it follows you back?

Another Quick and Dirty Completely Unscientific Survey [tm].  Today was #followamuseum day on Twitter, and it's all lovely and stuff, but I noticed some comments tagged #followavisitor #followamember or #MuseumsFollowYouBack suggesting that museums should follow you back. Now, I personally hate it* when an institution I've followed or mention follows me – particularly when I've only mentioned them in twitter conversation and not actually directed a comment at their username.  Ugh, creepy.

So we clearly have two different sets expectations about our relationships with institutional accounts. I wanted to know what the expectations 'out there' were, so I whipped up a quick survey and tweeted it, asking 'Friendly or stalkerish?'.  I've also asked the question on Facebook, where my network is much less museum-y and social network-y**. You can go add your opinion now: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CSVXVCM

A supplementary question I didn't add: "if a museum follows you back, do you really think they have time to read your tweets, or just respond to @ replies?"

* nearly all the time, anyway. I'd never think 'ooh, they're interested in me as an individual', even though, y'know, I'm really interesting and stuff.

** You can tell, because my brother thought it was hilarious to respond: "You should go further and, whenever anyone visits the museum, pay them a return visit to check out all the stuff at their place. Imagine that! They'll love it!", but someone, somewhere, is adding that to their museum marketing plan.

2 thoughts on “If you follow a museum on twitter, is it friendly or weird if it follows you back?”

  1. On the creepiness scale the ones that rank highest when they do this are those that don't identify WHO, by name, is twittering on behalf of the museum.

    I know many museums are uncomfortable about identifying staff (and the staff often are too), but it really the only respectful way of doing it.

    The best ones who do RT comments and respond to @ tweets are those that clearly identify who is doing the tweeting. @brooklymuseum is an exemplar, obviously.

    We've tried to take that approach with @the80sareback where we have multiple people tweeting on that account.

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