@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
  • 2018 @52Museums Report from Participating Museums #musesocial

    January 7th, 2019mardixonCulture, International

    Our third 52 Museums Instagram project has wrapped up for 2018 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 27 respondents to this – not as much as previous years.  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 2018 such a success, and now with over 18.800 followers on the account here’s to an even bigger and better 2019!

    For the 2019 list and sign up information please see this link.

    In the beginning of the year we lost quite a few followers (over 3000) but climbed back up throughout the year to end with an additional 1,200.  We are seeing a lot of likes but not as many comments.  Looking over the account, it seems there wasn’t a lot of questions or post that encourage engagement/interaction with the public.  Post that were longer and had more substances (eg story behind the item in the collection) were popular.  But for 2018 – Stories were the favorite.

    Please note:  The selection of quotes are anonymized as much as possible.

    27 Museums that Gave Feedback

    • Better World Museum
    • Horniman Museum and Gardens
    • Children’s Museum of Evansville
    • Museu de la Música de Barcelona
    • New Orleans Jazz Museum
    • McMaster Museum of Art
    • Yad Vashem – Holocaust Remembrance Center
    • Royal College of Nursing Library and Archive
    • Sharon Temple National Historic Site and Museum
    • Städel Museum
    • Brontë Parsonage Museum
    • Philbrook Museum of Art
    • Cincinnati Museum Center
    • Storm P. Museet
    • The National Museums of World Culture, Sweden
    • Nazi Forced Labour Documentation Centre
    • Royal BC Museum
    • Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House (MoAD)
    • Roerichs’ museum
    • National Science and Technology Museum of Catalonia (mNACTEC)
    • Historische Museen Hamburg
    • V&A Dundee
    • Partition Museum
    • Strawberry Hill House & Garden
    • MAK – Museum of Applied Arts Vienna
    • Stirling Castle
    • Bergen-Belsen Memorial

    Increase in Number of Followers 

    There was an average of 65 increase overall but as the chart indicates, some accounts so a step increase.


    Did you feel your week was worthwhile?




    • Allowed us to talk to a more global audience than our usual followers.
    • It was helpful to gain knowledge about others. It also seemed to boost our Twitter the most!
    • To have the opportunity to show us to a different audience to ours
    • We shared one day a week between diff members of the team – was great experience for them to be promoting diff aspects of nursing history and heritage – Good experience for them on social. And great to link in w other heritage professionals around the world.
    • It encouraged me to look at our followers and remember that not everyone knows the history of our site, that people come across our social media through a variety of avenues. It will change how I interact with our followers and friends.
    • Provided a brand new and diverse audience to share why our museum is important not just to the local community, but how we fit into the global museum conversation!
    • It was great to share our new museum with an audience much less familiar with us
    • We were able to connect with museum professionals in India and reach out to museum professionals abroad.
    • This is like creating a museum community. Increase in audience and focus on own social marketing messages.
    • Putting us online with an international audience
    • It was a good experience for us, reflecting upon which aspects of our institution and work we would like to present. It was also interesting to see which posts were “appealing” to the audience.


    • The reach and interaction on 52museums is very slow, the audience is not active at all. We would have hoped for a lot of action and interaction and getting to know new audiences.
    • I wasn’t able to find ways of how to engage the audience, it seems that people are rather passive. Just one post about forecast worked well.




    • I think it’s a good way to learn about different museums, but maybe it would be more interesting to professionals rather than general public.
    • Teamwork within our own institution, the idea of being part of a bigger community or movement and learning from others. It was nice to be able to explore different or new ways of sharing.
    • It is a simple, yet effective project to reach out to wider audiences.
    • Interacting with new audiences and trying new things on social.
    • Discovering hidden talents and fascinating perspectives among our staff members, loved connecting with other museums, loved showing off our gorgeous museum – it can be easy to get complacent or compare your own museum unfavourably against the ‘big guys’, but we have our own quirky charm!
    • It’s different, when you show the whole museum in one week – you start to see it new.


    • It was a lot of work, and I wasn’t always able to post when I wanted to out of hours
    • There were very few who commented on the posts, I had expected more interaction so was disappointed. Also I rushed preparing the material and therefore did not take the opportunity to post anything creative.
    • We don’t really mean “no”, but it was very, very resource-heavy, so “enjoy” isn’t a word we’d use.


    Most popular Post?

    • The sticker data post
    • Merman and the Conservatory
    • Children’s March
    • instrument pictures
    • funny meme post, colourful artwork
    • Holocaust survivors and architecture topics
    • The one with cats in it! And one about Ovaltine in 1918.
    • The photographs that were more artistic in nature seemed to resonate more with people.
    • Without a doubt photos of the museum’s surrounding area, our courtyard and the museum building. We posted a photo of some cherry blossoms from the neighbourhood and that was by far the most popular post.
    • The post with the most comments was one with Swedish meatballs which I did to get a conversation going but which doesn’t have anything to do with our museums.
    • Building shots, cool perspective shots of elements inside the building, artworks with strong messages, a powerful quote about political participation that we explained was part of our aim to be a ‘museum of ideas’
    • Images of the roof of our building and curious objects of our collection
    • Some of our amazing objects (like the Tiara and the Star Wars costume) did well, as did some of our building shots.

    What would you do differently?

    • Maybe more stories and another kind images, with people, another instruments
    • Plan the Sunday a bit better – just meant a member of staff had to post throughout the day from home.
    • I would have a bit more of a plan. When we got the confirmation that we were going to do the takeover, I did a rough plan but I would like to plan a little better next time lol.
    • Contact Mar in advance and beg for her to convert the account into Business, in order to get automatical publishing going 🙂 And we would consider getting up at 4 in the morning (we didn’t do it this time) [For the record, it is a Business account :-)]
    • Try to plan in more posts each day – the week we were allocated was hugely busy for the Museum team, so we didn’t have capacity to do more than 2 a day
    • Less self-promotion, more fun stuff (eg the butt censorship pic)
    • I thought I did well in prepping for the long week of many posts, but I would prep even more and have map out the themes and photos to post each day.
    • Prepare more polls/quizes. See what questions we need help with, that others could respond to (do you like this poster for an upcoming exhibition, or this one?). Host a live chat, etc.
    • Maybe telling more background stories.
    • Try and post earlier in the day to ensure the majority of European based followers see the content
    • I’d do more (and weirder, messier) stuff on instagram stories, I’d hand over to other staff members more often (rather than pointing the camera at them),
    • I’d try to interact with the audience more on insta stories
    • I’d do live streams and, perhaps, more Stories.
    • Share more spectacular photos. And maybe it’s not necessary to create a hole story about our museum (it is a little bit boring for the followers?)
    • Make our post more engaging by asking questions in our posts.

    What should the 52Museums project team do differently?

    (Please note:  project team is me on my own 😂)

    • It was seamless!
    • Sign-up etc. was smooth sailing. So just keep up the good work. 🙂
    • It’s pretty good, but I think the number of posts each day is quite a challenge. We didn’t do the full recommended amount of posts and it was still a big undertaking. The challenge really comes from doing this intense project at the same time as running your own channels and work, so we weren’t really able to do much else around it, so maybe if there was a way to publicise it a little more beyond our own channels? Have CultureThemes (for example) highlighting the changeover or choose their fave pic by each museum at the end of their week or similar. I know CT has LOADS to do and it’s crazy all the time with trying to do it all, but I wonder if there’s a way to amplify what the current incumbent is doing. Maybe not! Just a thought.
    • Signing up was a bit of a problem, especially in India with all the security code stuff.
    • I think its great! nothing. very streamlined process 🙂
    • Everything was fine, we were well-informed and knew what was expected of us.
    • All was fantastic, thank you for your help and for giving us the opportunity to show our museum in this great project.
    • I liked your Email for the month very much, I could refer to it, when I had questions. Maybe one should make sure, participants are stil in the workplaces.
    • Could make the take over cross channel for FB, Twitter and IG. Suggest maximum of 3 posts per platform.
    • Encourage other 52Museums participants to engage with content posted to encourage questions from other followers – found that posts didn’t receive a lot of engagement (possibly due to content posted but not a lot of engagement from other 52Museums participants)
    • Let me know what was realistic in terms of how many engagements there usually are on posts, and which posting times absolutely do not work, so I could tailor my content accordingly.


    Again, thank you so much to everyone who took part both the museums and the public!  Hopefully 2019 will be even better! 


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