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How the British Museum Increased Social Media Engagement by 126%

With nearly five million followers on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, the Museum turned to Hootsuite for help delivering on its multi-channel publishing strategy and empowering its social team to engage more frequently and effectively with its audience.

Learn how a social media strategy focussed on audience engagement and customer service helped the British Museum attract millions of new followers—while deepening engagement and uncovering actionable insights.

  • 126%
    more tweet responses, increasing customer engagement
  • 1300
    tweets tagged and analysed to uncover actionable insights
  • 2M+
    new followers on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram

What they did

The British Museum created its first social accounts on Twitter and Facebook in 2009, later adding accounts on Instagram and YouTube. By 2016, demand for content from the Museum’s global audience was outstripping the team’s resources for creating content and engaging on social.

In response, the Museum drafted a two-year strategic plan for social media to reinforce its brand as a museum “of the world, for the world” while increasing engagement with its growing international audience.

The strategy set out the following three key goals:

  1. Increase online reach and engagement

  2. Deliver digital-first customer service to strengthen relationships with customers

  3. Identify opportunities for income and revenue generation

The Museum selected Hootsuite Enterprise to execute on its new social media strategy and achieve its goals.

How they did it

Products used in this study

Hootsuite Enterprise
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Winning new followers with channel-specific content

The Museum’s early social media efforts focussed on cross-posting identical content to multiple channels. As part of the new strategy, the team identified opportunities to develop channel-specific content that makes the best use of each social media channel.
The Museum now uses Facebook Live to create engaging experiences that bring its collections to people in more than 75 countries around the world. It has also partnered with Oculus VR on a pilot project to create the first interactive 360-degree virtual reality experience directly within Facebook’s News Feed.

Tracking results to fine-tune strategy

With a small team managing a complex multi-channel publishing strategy and engaging with a global audience, the Museum needs the ability to track results and adapt its social media strategy as needed to ensure it remains effective.

Hootsuite helped the team set up processes to maximise efficiency, freeing the team to spend more time creating quality content and engaging personally with followers. By setting up reporting features that track results against key performance indicators, the team has been able to analyse results, improve response times, and focus on the activities that get the best results.

The results

Over the past year, the British Museum has seen the fastest overall social audience growth within its peer group, surpassing Tate, the National Gallery, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Louvre.

Since the Museum started using Hootsuite, its follower numbers have grown by 141 percent on Twitter, 123 percent on Instagram, and 20 percent on Facebook.

In addition, the Museum has pulled ahead of its peers for Facebook and Twitter interaction rates, with more engagement logged than ever before. On Twitter alone, the Museum earned more than 56 thousand mentions in a one-year period.

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Implementing Hootsuite has given us the ability to monitor which items of content seeded on social are receiving high engagement from our followers, allowing us to tailor future content pieces to be as relevant and compelling as possible. This insight continues to help our social marketing team maximise their time and effort.
Hannah Boulton
Head of Marketing and Press
The British Museum

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