@MarDixon Passionate about culture internationally. Run remixing events, workshops, create solutions, and an international speaker. Over sharer and Mom who loses arguments to a teen. Projects created: @CultureThemes @lovetheatreday @AskaCurator @MuseumSelfieDay @TeensInMuseums @52museums
  • 2016 @52Museums Report from Participating Museums #musesocial

    January 3rd, 2017mardixonCulture, International

    Our first 52 Museums Instagram project has wrapped up for this year and overall it has been a huge success, far better than even expected. At the end of each we ask all participants to complete the paid surveys, give us their thoughts on how it went; what went well and what could be done better in the future. We had 44 respondents to this, which is amazing, thank you to everyone who took the time to send in their feedback it really does help us to make it even better for everyone each year.

    Finally, a big thank you to everyone who took part and made 52 Museums 2016 such a success, and now with over 13,700 followers on the account here’s to an even bigger and better 2017!

    [For the 2016 list and sign up information please see this link.]

    Please Note:  I took out the names for the quotes to ensure anonymity.

    52 Museums – Participant Feedback

    *Vienna should read Austria – sorry!

    Museum Initials Number of followers on your museum Instagram account at start of week Number of followers on your museum Instagram account at end of week Difference
    TG 58,000 60,150 2,150
    MR 843 901 58
    CM 122 160 38
    SHM 5159 5341 182
    SHM – C 3165 3284 119
    BM 1015 1058 43
    NM 8861 9077 216
    LMG 539 602 63
    JMW 447 461 14
    LM n/a 11,100 No start data
    NHM 39579 40696 1,117
    MAM 37,800 37,800 0
    WC 13,500 13,900 400
    AAG 13632 13841 209
    MQW 767 771 4
    NMWTA 6000 6340 340
    ROM 16233 16683 450
    MQB 1990 2089 99
    BMAG 571 642 71
    HK 5837 6100 263
    JPGM 5329 5650 321
    BC 134,217 135,000 783
    NSM 154 178 24
    ABSM 18,600 18,900 300
    SJSM 2,060 2,166 106
    HM 84,511 85,318 807
    AWM 1620 1699 79
    TI 75 99 24
    SHM 174 250 76
    MM 1949 2021 72
    TMA 11210 11357 147
    MH 860 938 78
    HMG 10558 10817 259
    BSC 638 665 27
    FAMUV 500 553 53
    MCAC 47244 47482 238
    NMA n/a 1,583 No start data
    AM 21247 21812 565
    FPT 389 422 33
    SFOM 3313 3361 48
    JP 29056 29830 774
    CSTMC 3725 3880 155
    SH 1108 1148 40
    FB 34,200 34,600 400
    SMA 400 406 6


    Jump started creativity for the new year, connections with smaller museums, fun convos 

    We are fairly new to Instagram and this project taught us a lot about planning posts and managing a busy account. We also made contacts with other museums and got to share our collections with a new audience. 

    I was able to work with new – Western – audiences; we got new followers.

    To work on content together with colleagues, a useful and rewarding challenge. We do this normally, but not to this extent.

    It may have been better to top load the initial Museums with accounts that already have a large instagram following who need the boost in figures less, so that the institutions with smaller followings later on get the benefit of 52Museums boosting their own account. 

    It was challenging and made me focus. I now have loads of images to use on our own account as well some really good ideas for our account in the future.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the comments I received from numerous followers (we don’t receive that many comments on the [Museums] account). 

    We enjoyed it a lot especially because we could try out a few things we couldn’t on our channel. 

    This reinvigorated my social media game – it reminded me why I love my job. 


    Sharing our collections with a new audience. Being part of a shared project and connecting with other museums 

    I enjoyed the chance to interact with museums & people all over the world and also to collate content with the help of colleagues. It has definitely encouraged people to collaborate more on our social media accounts, rather than just see it as the work of the Digital Media team. 

    Let us talk about the Museum in a way that assumed people know nothing about us (on our own feeds, the assumption is that followers know at least something about what we do already – we started on this one on the basis that they didn’t know anything at all). –

    Curiosity: @52museums followers seem to be open-minded and curious, knowing that they follow an account that changes every week. 

    We had a lot of positive feedback, people from all around the world showed genuine interest in what we do. We could win many new followers for 52museums, which was also really great. 

    It was fun to be a part of a larger campaign and a community that is so supportive of one another. 

    This project gave us the opportunity to really focus on our online communication practices, and because of this we are now changing the way we communicate through social media.  

    Comments from ‘Maybe’s’:

    Very time consuming and we may not have the resource to do it again depending on if and when it occurred. 

    It was a lot of work, so I’d like to have a go again, but it’d depend on workload. 

    It is quite hard for a small museum with a low budget to spend time organizing materials and manage events like this 

    Most and least popular posts from participants:

    What were your most popular posts of the week?


    Really visually interesting ones did well, and those that were a little more provocative. 

    The posts featuring images taken by our visitors. 

    The videos, before and after restoration images, and, of course, our cat Edmund.  

    Poorer quality images and more personal posts. 

    The quirky (video of washing a stuffed polar bear), the visually stunning (Chinese wallpaper), anything fashion-related. 

    The views of the archaeological area and the surrounding natural context 

    Architecture shots (especially stairs), Rain Room and backstage in the Theatre videos 

    Videos, behind the scenes 

    A shot of our stairs. Might have set the 52Museums record so far #Justsayin  

    What were your least popular posts of the week?


    Posts about digital jobs and posts with visitors

    Anything that seemed like a ‘marketing shot’ or was less visually interesting.

    Ones featuring people, particularly where it wasn’t clear where the photos were based

    For me, the ones first thing in the morning (UK) were the least popular.

    Graphics, logos, and shots of people without art

    Unfortunately, a great photo of two women of our staff:

    Photos highlighting our programs and the staff

    Post that were published early in the morning

    Posts about educational programming

    Posts on museum ‘products’ like tours, programs, etc

    The posts about the work we do with the public and about our research were the least popular posts…and that was not unexpected. Some of the posts with fewest likes actually received more comments/questions.

    Those with actual people in them. Sounds weird, but that is what we noticed.

    Final Words:

    As you can see @52Museums was an overwhelming success for participants.  Not only did we get to see awesome sharing internationally, museums were able to learn a thing or two along the way.

    @52Museums 2017 schedule is already live but it’s never too late to sign up!  If you’re not a museums, please follow @52Museums on both Instagram and Twitter and support them!

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