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Letting the youngsters loose

On Friday 1 July 2022 we joined in on our first digital takeover day with Kids in Museums. It was a chance for young people to takeover our social media channels for the day, deciding on the content and which channels they were going to use. If you missed it, where were you? But don’t worry we’ll let you know everything that happened, how we planned it, the day itself and how it has made us think about our social media presence.

First, let’s meet the takeover team:

Hi I’m Megan, I’m 21 and I am actually a history student here in Sheffield. I volunteered at NESM to get some experience of working in museums and heritage, as that is what I want to do after University.

Hi I’m Kirstie, I’m 19, I work front of house, as a visitor experience assistant at NESM. Like Megan I’m a history student, I kind of fell down the Horrible Histories/Tomb Raider to actual history degree timeline. I always wanted to work in a museum.

So a Digital Takeover Day doesn’t just happen, a lot of planning has to go into it before the big day. Kirstie, Megan and I (Rosie, Learning and Discovery Co-ordinator in case you were wondering) met with Helen, our PR and Marketing Co-ordinator, to discuss what Kirstie and Megan wanted to do with the day and the type of content they wanted to create. We also looked at which social media platforms they wanted to concentrate on. They decided to use still images on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, but use the function of stories on Facebook and Instagram, as that was not something we have used very often and they wanted to do something a bit different.

Kirstie and Megan have also been creating Tik Toks on that channel and wanted to bring the feel of this to the rest of our social media. They then made the decision not to link with the Kids in Museums theme this year, which was ‘Wellbeing’, and instead concentrate on their own roles here (and others working at the museum) along with favourite exhibitions and objects, going “behind the scenes” to explore sections that the public don’t usually get to see. We made a timetable of what content would go out when, with Helen, and a vague plan of the videos, photos and interviews, and where they wished to place them throughout the day.

On the day itself it was all hands to the pump, to help Kirstie and Megan in any way we could. (Yours truly got wrangled into being interviewed by them, about my role here, my favourite exhibition and exhibit). They also explored our archives (with our help of course), took pictures in different exhibitions (the opening one in the trench was one of my favourites), dressed up in costumes and explained about their own roles at the museum. Megan was encouraging other young people to volunteer too.

We may not have always stuck to the timetable and come up against a few technical hurdles, (Instagram stories didn’t always feel like co-operating) but they did brilliantly and really gained confidence as the day went on. They filmed so much on the day; they couldn’t actually use all of the content they created. This means we can keep these ideas and use them in the future.

How did this Digital Takeover Day help us? Well, it got us to see social media in a different way and both Kirstie and Megan will definitely be involved in creating content in the future (head over to our TikTok account to see some of the brilliant things they have created over there, particularly note the camera work; it’s me for some of them, excuse the wobbles). We’ll definitely be taking part next year and are looking forward to the Kids in Museums Takeover Day in November, where some of our small visitors in Sensory Play will get to become curators during the session. They’ll finish by putting on their own small exhibition too.

Keep up to date with everything that's happening at the museum by following us on our social media channels:


Instagram: @nes_museum

TikTok: @nesmuseum

Rosie Norrell

Learning and Discovery Co-ordinator

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