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New trustee, James Murphy, on how to use social media to support Icon

Over recent years we have increased our use of social media channels to promote and share Icon’s messages. We also use social media to connect with Icon members and other organisations and to generate broad support and understanding of the conservation profession amongst new and existing audiences. Our following on Twitter is over three times the size of our membership.

The positive response to these efforts is also growing. Our second Icon Twitter Conference held in December 2019 attracted 30 contributors and achieved an estimated 3,332,201 impressions, with a potential 700,000 people being reached by the tweets tagged with #IconTC. More importantly, the 1,272 tweets by 337 contributors in several countries over the course of 8 hours, made it possible for #IconTC to be the number one trend in the UK for much of the afternoon.

With many members now working at home and institutions and workplaces closed or partially closed during lockdown, social media channels are a great way that we can all stay in touch and also generate interest in the work that we do. All our channels are accessible via desktop or mobile devices so you can always stay connected.

Many Icon members are already prolific social media users, and there’s a lot we can learn from you. Others might be just starting out. If so, simply connecting with Icon could be a great first step:

Icon’s key social media channels are:

Twitter – great for discovering quick information, links, tangential connections, comments and opinions (and for cat memes…)

LinkedIn – perfect for building your professional network and profile as it offers longer-form content, as well as a way to publish reports and blog-type posts

Discord – ideal for chatting with other Icon members about common concerns or interests and for offering support and encouragement

Once you’ve found your feet you might like to use your new skills to help us reach out to new people. The larger our audience, the greater our potential influence.

Ways to support Icon through your own social media profile:

  1. Follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter to ensure you receive the messages and content we’re sharing. This will also give us the opportunity to share your messages with others.
  2. Like, share, retweet, comment on and interact with Icon messages and posts. Your interaction boosts the visibility of our messages by amplifying them and passing them on to new audiences within your circle of contacts.
  3. Set up notifications for Icon Twitter posts so you don't miss our messages; you can then easily share or retweet our posts. [Tech tip: go to the Icon Twitter account and click on the bell icon]
  4. When you retweet or share Icon content, try to add your own comments. This provides a personal context and will let your network know why you’re sharing our message. Your connections will know you, but they might not know Icon yet. You could be making a valuable introduction!
  5. Include Icon in your biography in all your social media profiles. On Twitter you could say that you’re a member of Icon or an Icon Accredited Member and include a link to or @conservators_uk. You can also list your Accredited Conservator-Restorer (ACR) status after your name. Talk about Icon in your ‘About’ section in LinkedIn and if you’re a trustee or a committee member, get in touch with us and we’ll help you to add this to your LinkedIn profile.
  6. Include the hashtags #Icon and #HeritageConservation when you post on Twitter and LinkedIn. This will help us and others to spot and share your messages. You can choose to follow these hashtags too.

Finally, if you have any more tips about how to use social media effectively or tips for boosting understanding of our profession at this challenging time let us know. We are always keen to find new and exciting ways to raise the profile of conservators through our social media channels and our website.

James Murphy is a Chartered Marketer.


The views expressed in these comments are the views of the individual and do not reflect the views of The Institute of Conservation. Any comments containing inappropriate language or copyright material will be removed.

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