Abstract: The Use of Social Media to Promote the HMS Colossus Excavation 2012

The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Maritime Archaeology Society was formed in 2004 in order to promote maritime archaeology in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. The society currently has over 100 members, about 75% of which are divers. It is a non-profit body which utilises amateur divers, working alongside professional archaeologists.
From 20 May to 8 June 2012 the CISMAS Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Cismas.org.uk) was used to promote the English Heritage funded excavation on the site of HMS Colossus. This involved not only placing content on the Facebook page for all users to view, but also actively promoting it using both Facebook and Twitter.

Although we had no set expectations about what sort of coverage we could generate through the Facebook page, it rapidly became clear during the excavation that there is a large and actively interested readership online for these types of projects. The challenge is to get the message out to potential readers. Using Facebook to host the excavation pages and Twitter to gather new readership was a strategy which seemed to work. The conference paper will outline our approach to the use of online media and share the results achieved.

Innes McCartney
Postgraduate Researcher
School of Applied Sciences, Bournemouth University
CISMAS member since 2005

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