The Jing Museum Index tracks the performance of western museums and cultural institutions on WeChat.
Here are some key takeaways from June’s data:
The V&A has enjoyed an impressive debut month on WeChat. Having developed a brand through co-hosting exhibitions in China and selling collaborative products on Chinese E-commerce platforms, the museum’s initial WeChat posts have spoken directly to its audiences; free and independent travellers and Chinese students based in the British capital.
Despite boasting an extensive Chinese art collection and holding strong China ties, LACMA continues to underperform on WeChat. While LACMA remains a huge draw for culturally-inclined Chinese tourists, this is not translating to hits on Chinese social media.
NGV will be looking for an uptick in its WeChat numbers following the launch of Terracotta Warrior/Cai Guoqiang exhibit in late May. The Melbourne museum is increasingly a leader when it comes to catering to Chinese visitors with the museum offering a bi-lingual website and regular Mandarin language museums tours among other measures.
Beijing’s Palace Museum sets the benchmark when it comes to WeChat performance. Posts informing the public about the Forbidden City regularly receive in excess of 100k views. However, with more than 14 million annual visitors, China’s premier tourist attraction is hardly a social media innovator. To its credit, the Forbidden City has been bold and forward thinking when it comes to leveraging its IP to create desirable cultural products.
This overachiever should be an example for western museums and cultural institutions hoping to increase their WeChat presence. Regular posts and smart content has created genuine engagement with an increasingly broad audience. It is little wonder that Suzhou Museum enjoyed a 17% attendance growth in 2018.
A select number of Chinese museums and cultural institutions have been included in The Jing Museum Index for reference and comparison.