Leading Museums, Museum Leaders

Increasing Museum social media reach

One day recently, @tashiareginalundvig walked by the museum and shared what she saw. “Thanks for making us look so good :-)”

Museum Hack, How to Increase Your Museum’s Social Media Reach by 2500%: Lessons from the National Gallery of Denmark, 31 December 2015

Social media are powerful tools for museums to interact and engage with their visitors. They also serve as tools to help museums invite and engage with difficult-to-reach audiences before they ever step foot in the museum.

Museums and the Web is an annual conference featuring research on — and applications for — digital practices in museums. This gathering is unique in that a lot of conference papers are presented for free online. One of our favourites from this year’s conference is “The Me/Us/Them model: Prioritizing museum social-media efforts for maximum reach” by Jonas Heide Smith of the National Gallery of Denmark.

His paper looked at how the National Gallery of Denmark (in Danish: “Statens Museum for Kunst” or “SMK”) maximized reach on their Instagram account through various experiments in 2014. These experiments increased the SMK’s Instagram reach by 2,500%!

From the SMK’s research, museums can use a 3-step approach to help them better engage with visitors via Instagram, or potentially any social media platform. Here’s the three-step process we took from SMK’s findings, and our reflections on it.

#1. Establish Your Baseline Numbers

SMK observed that “there was little synergy between the efforts of the museum and the sharing activities of guests” on their Instagram account. Wanting to fix this, SMK sought ways that could invite guests to become active agents for the museum on social media. But before they could implement public initiatives, they needed a way to measure the impact of their experiments.

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Council of Australasian Museum Directors, c/o Ms Daryl Karp, Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House PO Box 3934 Manuka, Australian Capital Territory 2603 Australia, © CAMD 2022
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