Virtual VS real audience of the World's largest museums: how museums attract users of social networks.

18 October 2018

The social media pages of some museums in the world are more visited than the museums themselves. If the real audience of the Louvre exceeds 8 million visitors, the real audience of Van Gogh Museum is comparable to the virtual one-2.2 million visitors. All museums publish approximately the same number of messages, with only a few posts have a wide resonance. The most notable post in 2017 was the post of the Pompidou Center, which published a short film about art for children from the series " Mon œil!" ("Don't believe your eyes!"). Van Gogh Museum-noticeably ahead of all the world's museums in the activity of the audience. Analysts of "Smyslography"agency (included in the communication group "AGT") has examined the accounts of the largest museums in the world in Facebook and Instagram, comparing the number of messages, their subject matter and the reactions of the audience. The study was conducted on the pages of the top 30 museums included in the ranking of the most visited museums in the world in 2017, compiled by the newspaper "the Art Newspaper Russia". All data is available in the Medialine infographic.

The most popular museums in social networks

The top three by the number of subscribers in the social network Facebook included the Louvre (2.35 million subscribers), Van Gogh Museum (2.07 million) and the Museum of Modern Art in new York (1.96 million). And if the real audience of the Louvre exceeds 8 million visitors, the real audience of Van Gogh Museum is comparable to the virtual one-2.2 million visitors. At the same time, the audience of the Museum of Modern Art in new York in Instagram exceeds the number of real visitors: 3.6 million against 2.7 million.

Geography of museums and language of communication in social networks

Some of the most visited museums in the world do not have official pages in social networks (national Museum of China and Vatican Museums). In General, museums in Asia (China, Korea, Japan) use Facebook and Instagram minimally, filling pages with fairly standard content on an irregular basis.

At the same time, as a rule, the native language is used on the pages of museums in these countries. In General, monolingualism is one of the characteristic features of the pages of social networks of all major museums.

And if for English-speaking countries this is not a problem, for Russian museums, for example, the use of only Russian language significantly limits the potential audience of their social networks. Most subscribers in Facebook at the Tretyakov gallery (120 thousand), in Instagram at the Hermitage (210 thousand).

What causes the greatest response from subscribers?

The average number of posts on almost all compared pages is the same (about 600 messages per year, i.e. 10-12 messages per week), but the audience response to these messages is very different. The index of visibility of a post (the index showing reaction of users (the sum of likes and reposts) on average on one post) shows essential dispersion of popularity of records on pages of museums: from 8 to 15 790 points. The most notable post (received the most likes and repost) in 2017 was the post of the Pompidou Center, which published a short film about art for children from the series "Mon œil!"("Don't believe your eyes!"). He scored more than 82 thousand likes and more than 71 thousand posts.

Van Gogh Museum- noticeably ahead of all the world's museums in the activity of the audience. Museum posts in social networks cause the maximum number of responses from readers. The top 5 most popular Museum posts in 2017 included four from the page of Van Gogh Museum. Active responses were caused by announcements of the world's first full-length feature film about the artist "Van Gogh. With love, Vincent", a lively discussion arose when discussing the self-portrait of the artist "Vincent does not smile at any of his self-portraits." This phenomenal popularity of the Museum page among Facebook subscribers is connected not only with the active use of attractive communication technologies, but also with the bright personality of the artist, who has a large number of admirers.

About what write?

The vast majority of reports are devoted to Museum exhibits, announcements of exhibitions and special events. However, some museums have gone a little further: they open the doors of their storerooms, share the secrets of the internal cuisine and conduct a cultural educational program for their subscribers. Most of all, the audience of social networks is attracted by modern communication practices, technologies and tools – from fashionable and beloved by the public collaborations with well-known brands and filming movies to virtual tours, mobile applications, the use of augmented reality technologies, live broadcasts, own video channels. Virtual tours in the British Museum, interactive guides in the Prado Museum, VR-versions of paintings in the Musée d’Orsay – all this is aimed at attracting the attention of future visitors who are becoming more demanding to the exhibition space.

The British Museum together with Oculus launched virtual tours of the Egyptian halls with the help of VR-glasses. For example, on the page of the Metropolitan Museum there was news, which was picked up later by many traditional media. It is an unprecedented access to more than 350 thousand digitized copies of paintings and drawings stored in the Museum.

Metropolitan Museum of Art began to conduct special tours-The Museum Workout, in which visitors to the Museum conduct a kind of" training", including dance elements, and at the same time get acquainted with the exhibits. There are Tate Modern posts about joint projects with major international brands (BMW and Uniqlo). In Tate Modern BMW exhibition "Ten days six nights", which demonstrated audiovisual performances and installations. Sponsor-carmaker BMW.

Somerset house held an interactive festival and exhibition of independent video game developers Now Play this 2017. The event features games with unusual themes, design and game mechanics. Visitors could get acquainted and start games on special stands.

The Musée d’Orsay and ARTE TV channel created on the eve of the exhibition Paul Gauguin VR-version of the artist's paintings in a special application for smartphones.

The Hermitage shares interviews and stories of its employees with users of social networks, conducts the category "Artist of the month", publishing materials on their work.

And for the Centenary of The Russian Revolution, the Museum has prepared a large-scale project under the title "Storming Winter". To make the public feel the spirit of the revolution deeper, the Hermitage was repainted for a while with a special illumination.

The Moscow Kremlin museums combined the historical excursion with the modern reality, telling about the first "travel bloggers" of the era of great geographical discoveries and about the origins of travel journalism.

In what types of activities engage visitors?

On the page of museums contests and quizzes are held together with Museum partners. In addition, to promote among young people and art lovers, the Museum attracts bloggers and publishes their video blogs. For example, the Louvre holds an annual action "Jeunes on la Parole", in which more than 400 students became guides.

The National Gallery of London held a competition of writing skills for students ' Write on Art’ together with Paul Mellon Centre.

Tate Modern organized a special event, during which guests could take any items and create their sculptures and installations.

Sommerset House in its news feed actively emphasizes the work with absolutely all the senses of its visitors-the Museum organized for them an open-air film festival, an exhibition of video game developers, an interactive exhibition of perfumes and an ice rink on the eve of the New year.

The Museum of the Imperial Palace in Taipei held a night quest "NPM Night Tour" for visitors, in the story of which the guests of the Museum become detectives and solve puzzles related to the exhibits, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London Invited a star scenographer to create a Christmas tree, which is traditionally put at the entrance. Es Devlin, a fan of kinetic art, has created an unusual art object, like a Christmas tree except that form. The song "Singing tree" (the Singing Tree) is made up of a variety of digital-plates, which are projected words taken from the visitors ' reviews of the Museum, left in 2017. And from the speakers sound live voices telling their own, very personal stories related to the Museum.

The Musée d’Orsay held an exhibition-competition of photographs taken by visitors to the Museum.

The Smithsonian National Museum has chosen a model of friendly conversation with its visitors and filled the news stream with notes on the development of African American culture in the broadest sense of the word – discussed and fashion topics, and musical issues, dance. All these topics are supported by surveys and engaging texts.