Here’s a quick playbook for implementing a Pokémon GO action plan to drive traffic to your museum.
The most important (and only) rule for success is: Focus only on your visitors’ needs. Don’t over-promote upsell opportunities. This isn’t a chance to sell membership or encourage donations. Instead, focus all of your energy on capturing the excitement and joy of the game and making people feel welcome in your building. They will naturally spend money – and they might even come back – if you can do this.*
*There is one exception. If you have a retail store, by all means, stock Pokémon merchandise ASAP! But, only if you can receive it – and sell it- within the next few weeks. The Pokémon GO Plus would be an especially smart choice.
At Your Museum
- Put up signs with the #PokemonGO hashtag and your museum Twitter/Instagram handles to encourage shares within your galleries.
- Create a “Training Guide” flyer with some ground rules and insider tips for those who might be new to your museum. Where are the restrooms? What’s available to drink in the cafe? How far do you have to stay away from objects to keep them (and you) safe?
- Is your museum a Pokéstop or Gym? If so, put up a sign near your featured object (if applicable). Not sure? Download the app and start playing! It will be clear if you have one.
- Share screenshots from the app on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Be sure to use the hashtag #PokemonGO so people browsing it will see your content.
- Create Snapchat stories that show Pokémon being caught throughout your museum and on the grounds.
- Monitor the #PokemonGO hashtag and your museum name on social channels and respond/share posts that mention your org. (Remember that people might not tag you formally, so you should set up searches in Hootsuite or whatever social media monitoring tool you use with variations of your name – not just your handle)
- Send out a museum-wide call for screenshots of rare Pokémon so you can share the most coveted creatures in your feeds. (That’s right…you should be encouraging your staff to play!)
- If your museum is a Pokéstop or Gym, don’t forget to promote that fact! If you are lucky enough to be featured as one, you might have a featured object or architectural feature, so share info about it on your social channels.
- Include photos of Pokémon (in your galleries) in your next e-newsletter along with a list of the most common places to find them in your museum. Not sure where those places are? Send some staff around to play or suggest locations that are safe, yet off the beaten path.
- Send a special Pokémon GO alert with a playful tone but formatted like a serious PSA. Something like: ATTENTION: Pokémon Spotted…Trainers Needed at [YOUR MUSEUM NAME] ASAP!
- Schedule a “Pokémon Rally” at your museum this weekend. Publicize it on social media and issue a press release to get some local earned media. Remember, time is of the essence. Don’t form a committee. Don’t organize a task force. Just do it. Put one person in charge, find 3-5 people to support that person and delegate.
- Setup a few Pokémon lures and maybe some fun giveways (like Pokémon temporary tattoos or stickers for trainers that successfully catch and share a Pokémon). Here’s an affordable option.
- Not sure how to set up lures? Blaire Moskowitz, PhD student at the University of Leicester, wrote this super-helpful article with instructions for museums on setting up lures (and some other helpful advice, too.)
If you do any of these things, please share with us @museumplaybook or in the comments below. Good luck and happy hunting!