If you didn’t know, #technorhino is our resident Great Big Rhino, who you can read all about here. This article is going to focus on and compare the social media interest generated in both #technorhino and @GreatBigRhinos during and following our visit to the RAM Museum.

Social media and #technorhino

Deeply embedded into this project from the very beginning was the use of social media as a public interaction tool. The #technorhino project made huge use of Twitter, specifically keyword hashtags. As you can see the whole project was named after our chosen keyword hashtag, #technorhino.

This keyword was used to activate preprogrammed themes. This was achieved by tweeting #technorhino followed by #themename. These tweets would then be scraped from twitter and the #themename scraped from the individual tweet. If the theme name matched a preprogrammed theme it would be shown on the rhino.

A collage of the photos taken of the interactive @informatics_lab #TechnoRhino @RAMMuseum #Exeter #Devon today!

— Yasmin Tapper (@yasindevon) August 26, 2016

This is how we used social media to our advantage. In order to change the rhino you needed to tweet it, which would in turn generate more interest in the project as a whole.

Using this generated interest

To use this interest we decided to include @GreatBigRhinos in the required keyword. This meant every time someone wanted to change the rhino, traffic would be directed at the Great Big Rhino project as a whole. The idea behind this was to massively increase the social media noise behind the Great Big Rhino project and hopefully as a result get more people to participate in it. Since this is a charitable project, any increase in interest should lead to more funds being raised.

The impact #technorhino made towards @GreatBigRhinos

That’s all good in theory, but how did it work in practice? Using a few online tools, we could analyse the twitter traffic for both #technorhino and @GreatBigRhinos. Since @GreatBigRhinos is included in all #technorhino tweets, we could find out how many tweets the technorhino hash tag generated for the Great Big Rhino project.

Rhino in the RAMM

Firstly, after we had finished in the RAMM we used a website called trendsmap to provide a list of all the trending topics in Exeter. As you can see, we were trending! This came as a bit of a shock to us but we loved it none the less.

Trending list for Exeter

Something interesting to point out about this table is that not only is #technorhino trending but also @GreatBigRhinos and the RAM Museum. So our theory actually works in practice! The rhino can be used to generate a lot of social media noise.

With this new found optimism I set about putting some hard numbers to this trending table. Again, using some online tools from and it was fairly straight forward to get this information.

These websites provide a lot information for your given search parameter: you can see all of this for both #technorhino and @GreatBigRhinos by clicking on the respective images below.

Twitter numbers for #technorhino

Twitter numbers for @GreatBigRhinos

The most useful number for me was simply just the number of posts for each keyword. This is useful as it allows you to see how many tweets for @GreatBigRhinos contained #technorhino. As you can see from above we had:
• 171 posts for #technorhino
• 545 posts for @GreatBigRhinos

A quick bit of maths reveals that about 31% of all tweets for @GreatBigRhinos contained #technorhino. This is something we are really proud of and it shows that #technorhino has had the effect it was built to make.


Hopefully that has shown what can be achieved with social media if it is used in an engaging and productive way. It also acts to highlight that this project has succeeded in its goal of promoting the Great Big Rhinos Project and expanding its audience to new and exciting places.

So now all that is left to do is tweet #technorhino yourself!