@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
  • 2017 @52Museums Report from Participating Museums #musesocial

    December 31st, 2017mardixonCulture, International

    80 Museums – 21 different countries – 52 weeks

    Our second 52 Museums Instagram project has wrapped up for this 2017 and overall it has been another huge success! At the end of each week all participants are asked to complete a survey, give us their thoughts on how it went, what went well and what could be done better in the future. We had 36 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 all of you who took part and made 52 Museums 2017 such a success, and now with over 17,400 followers on the account here’s to an even bigger and better 2018!


    For the 2017 list and sign up information please see this link.

    Increase in 52 Museums Instagram followers: 3,700 (correct as of Dec 2017)

    Average increase in followers on Museums personal accounts after their week: 68 (based on those that responded to feedback)

    37 Museums that gave feedback:

    • Nationalmuseum Stockholm Sweden
    • Crow Collection of Asian Art
    • Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame
    • Pretend City Children’s Museum
    • Vejen Kunstmuseum / The Vejen Art Museum
    • Des Moines Art Center
    • transmediale
    • Westminster Abbey
    • MAK Vienna
    • Kalamazoo Valley Museum
    • The Museum at FIT
    • Holocaust Museum Houston
    • National Museum of American Jewish History
    • Lee Kong ChianNatural History Museum
    • Submarine Force Museum
    • The National Maritime Museum
    • Musei di Fermo
    • The Postal Museum
    • Newark Museum
    • McMaster Museum of Art
    • Skagens Kunstmuseer – Art Museums of Skagen
    • John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum
    • Foundling Museum
    • Museum Tinguely
    • DordtYart
    • Denver Art Museum
    • MOCAK Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow
    • Chilliwack Museum and Archives
    • The J. Paul Getty Museum
    • North Carolina Museum of Art
    • The Museum of the Jewish people at Beit Hatfutsot
    • Museu de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona
    • Chicago Academy of Science / Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
    • National Museum of the Marine Corps, Nat Museum of US Navy & Nat Museum of Medicine & Health
    • Jewish Museum Frankfurt
    • Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art


    Did you feel the week was worthwhile?

    Examples of ‘Yes’ responses:

    • The all around positive feedback as well as getting new followers to our own account and being part of an international museum collective.
    • It was great to showcase things about our museum to followers all over the world and be a part of a really fun project!
    • We had a chance to develop media that, not only now is available for people to find via search engines like google, but also it got us to start seriously thinking about how we market ourselves to an international audience.
    • It was an incredible experience to share our organization with such an engaged international audience.
    • It was a new and exciting experience for our team, therefore it definitely was worthwhile.
    • It was great exposure, a lot of fun and gained a good few followers
    • It got me to really start using Instagram and brought our museum to a broader audience
    • It was a lot of work but we really enjoyed seeing all that we do played out in one week.
    • Not only did we gain followers, but saw spikes in our impressions, reach and profile views.
    • Our Instagram account is relatively new, so it was great to share our content with a larger audience.
    • There were plenty of engagement and it did channel traffic to our Instagram page
    • Finding out what people find interesting about museums
    • great way to shout out about our new museum, reaching new audiences, increase in our following numbers
    • I enjoyed working with my partner museum and sharing our collection with a new audience
    • Got to connect with a wider audience than we otherwise would have. Very much enjoyed having such a large audience for Live video! It was great to chat with people live from all around the world, some of whom directly went to our home IG and followed us there.
    • tried a different tone of voice to our channel, saw what posts worked well for a new audience, opportunity to introduce ourselves to an audience of museum visitors, gained followers
    • We included the team by giving each a day to post – which helped the team, the posts and was fun for everybody. This system is going on now on our own Instagram account
    • @52Museums provided a unique opportunity to tell the full story of our museum in 6 days.
    • Great way to connect with an international audience.
    • I think it brought attention to our small museum in a new way, and gave us an opportunity to collaborate with other institutions that we may not otherwise be able to do. We gained a handful of followers, but hopefully we’ve raised awareness more than that.
    • Reaching a worldwide and big audience was a great opportunity. Creating Instagram stories, which went quite well, was great fun, as well as creating a series of “this-is-our-museum-highlight-posts”.

    ‘No’ responses:

    • We didn’t receive as many new followers as we were hoping for. Could be due to the audience – not as interested in sport history as to traditional history content
    • There seemed to be very limited interaction with the audience… This might however also in part be due to the new Instagram algorithms that seems to select not to show feeds that their users don’t engage with very often – hence with the varied types of museums and people’s varying interests this might be a problem as they might go weeks between being interested in the accounts taking over @52museums
    • Engagement was lower than expected with the 52Museums audience
    • We didn’t get much attention on the 52Museums-Twitter

    Did you enjoy the project?

    Examples of Yes responses:

    • The creative work to find a theme and make a selection in our collections matching the theme.
    • Learning about the other museums and seeing how similar and different each organization is.
    • Working with our collection, seeing it in a different light – how do we communicate what we have in the best way possible etc.
    • In creating the content for our week with the 52 Museums account, we did a lot of reflecting on what aspects of our organization we find most important when it comes to engaging with new audiences.
    • Trying to find different angles and a narrative of itself in order to introduce our museum/festival to an audience which probably has never heard of it before.
    • It was lovely seeing a wider audience reacting to our posts
    • 52museums is a great platform to introduce ourselves to an audience that might not know us yet, but is highly interested in museums
    • The response that was received about our museum.
    • I like seeing what other museums are up to.
    • It provided an international audience that was very responsive to our messaging.
    • I enjoyed having the opportunity to post so many photos (I split the week with another museum, and it still felt like a lot of posts!). It allowed me to showcase many different aspects of the museum.
    • Being able to showcase the museum to a wider audience
    • Finding out what intrigued followers
    • We’ve tried different things and the reactions were very positive.
    • comments and likes from all over the world on our account
    • seeing the audience engaged and excited for us to open
    • It’s a great resource for museums
    • IG is a wonderful way to share and communicate with people, and the Project lets you do this with both colleagues AND virtual visitors from around the world. As an institution with an educational mandate, it’s wonderful to really feel the extended reach and fulfilment of our mission and goals with something as wide ranging (and fun!) as 52 Museums.
    • the various museums – and us to be part of this worldwide network!
    • The comments people left thanking us for sharing our museum with them.
    • The opportunity to collaborate with another museum
    • creative way to show a new audience our collection
    • It was great experience being able to do things that we may not do usually on our own account
    • Because it is an opportunity to discover other museums like yours
    • It was a good exercise for me. Since we shared our week, and we only got 3 days (Friday through Sunday), I really had plan everything out, think about how I could condense everything we are and do into 3 days’ worth of posts, and also figure out how to schedule them so they could reach the most people. It was a really good exercise, because I always assume our audience has a fair idea of who and what we are, but that definitely wasn’t the case with the 52 museums account, so I had to start from scratch.
    • Yes, but it was a lot of work to run 2 more social media platforms.
    • Working on Instagram is always fun!
    • Fun to create an Instagram set to introduce us.

     ‘No’ responses

    • Mixed feelings due to the large workload considering the response and expectations involved
    • Our forerunner museum didn’t feel responsible to send us the password to take over

    Would you participate again?

    ‘Maybe’ or ‘No’ responses:

    • The time it takes away from other important tasks + energy
    • We think that our content or the aesthetic of the art we are exhibiting does not translate that well to a broad instagram audience. We have the feeling that mostly classical art or aesthetically pleasing art is of interest of the user(s).
    • I would want to give others a chance. I also don’t know if my supervisors will let me do it again.
    • A LOT of work at a very busy time for us.
    • Having enough material
    • it’s too many posts to manage. It puts a significant amount of pressure on top of our already busy schedules.


    If you did not share your week with another organisation, would you have?


    What would you do differently next time?

    • Start planning and preparing the posts a bit earlier earlier….
    • Have a more detailed schedule.
    • Realization that audiences are vastly different – would lean more towards artefact based/traditional history content
    • showcase more current events since we have already showed our exhibits/what our museum is about
    • Be even better prepared, and do less videos just because they are time consuming to edit.
    • Coordinate with different members of our staff to share their day-to-day museum work and experience with the 52 Museums audience
    • Use more and different hashstags, use more videos, with screen-based artworks use stills of the video since the installations themselves mostly don’t translate that well to instagram.
    • Possibly including some videos
    • More items from our collections with video when possible.
    • While I was happy with our results splitting the week, especially with NMAJH, I would try to takeover the account solo next time. There was some confusion from the previous museum, and we did not receive the password from them.
    • Not sure. We had a great response.
    • Showcase more aesthetically pleasing photos
    • Try also to use Instagram Stories.
    • I will probably post more video and more live stories
    • working more on Insta Stories
    • Alternate days with partner museum instead of both doing everyday
    • not bother posting past 11:00 pm EST. Use more video in IG feed.
    • Prepare better, rather than expect to do everything on the week that it is happening (where you of course also have tons of other stuff to do)
    • Would have taken more behind-the-scenes shots of things happening currently – picked a week where we had lots going on
    • 1 week; not half a week. and plan everything ahead that is plannable
    • 8-10 posts a days seems like a ton. I wonder if the followers got fatigued.
    • More “Did you know?” posts and interesting facts
    • Fewer posts
    • publish better images
    • I’m not sure if I would share a week next time. I think there are pros and cons to doing it either way, but I think I would want to experiment with having a full week and see how that would impact us differently.
    • Would have paid more attention to the demographics of the account — it has 65% women.
    • Next time I would try to post even later regarding US time zone

    What should the 52 Museums team do differently next time?

    • Help provide the password and the email to the next in line a bit earlier to reduce stress. Thanks’ for the great opportunity to be part of 52Museums as a collective of international museums!
    • maybe just a step by step guide of what to do, and/or a list of the other people involved (it was a bit hard to see whose email belonged to what museum)
    • I’m not familiar with what metrics are available for Instagram. If there was a way to know what times are best for this account would help.
    • For me it was not clear that we had to share the Instagram-account (my own mistake), but this was a bit surprising for us. But the take-over was still great and we enjoyed it a lot, thanks for the organisation :-)!
    • I will probably only suggest opening a FB page for the instagram insight 😉 [NB Insights are on the account]
    • Sign up sheet is a bit hard to follow.
    • I think sign up was great, and passing along the password info to the next museums went smoothly.
    • Have a week every year where the 52 team take over the account themselves [NB Technically this happen end of 2017 but 52Museums is run by one person 🙂 ]
    • could have been interesting to read a line of feedback from each account that had done it before you – for any learnings they had or best practice they’d discovered. When we started out I wasn’t sure what posts would do well and it was a bit nerve racking! [NB The 2016 report is available and this report will be online also]
    • send the email on forehand with this questionnaire, now I did not collect all the data on time.
    • The Twitter link wasn’t working.
    • I don’t think there’s anything that could be done differently, honestly. Even though I ran into an issue with not being able to contact the next museum on the list, Mar was able to get me the updated information for that person immediately. I really appreciate how responsive she was, despite being so busy and in a completely different time zone.
    • If you haven’t already…share the demographics (35% men, 65% women) of the account prior to posting.

    And that is a wrap for 2017!  If you would like to get involved or see what @52museums is all about – there’s a web page for that! 

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