The Online Footprint of Museums: Measuring and Analyzing Museum’s Social Media Activities

Lightning Talk
Erik Hekman, The Netherlands , Thijs Waardenburg, The Netherlands

Social media provide enormous amounts of data surrounding the activities of museums and their fans. Mining and analysing this data provides numerous insights into these activities. We are able to unravel communication patterns, location information, friendships, and other useful information that could be used by museums to position themselves online. This information also makes it possible to make comparisons between different types of museums.

To measure and analyze social media data we have developed a social media monitor that contains data of all current and historic online activities on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Foursquare and Flickr of 500+ Dutch museums. It allows us to map out the ‘online footprint’ of a museum. It is currently used by dozens cultural heritage institutions.

In our lighting talk we will present about our methods and tools to measure and analyse social media activities. We will briefly present the quantitative results from a selection of Dutch museums, explore the possible qualitative and quantitative measures for such a monitor and discuss the usefulness of having large amounts of data. We will close with the lessons learned.