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This paper examines social media activity by UK museums during the COVID-19 pandemic. There is a general perception that as museums closed their doors for extended periods, their digital presence increased to maintain connections with their audiences. However, much of the research conducted in this area is based on small-scale studies and examples of best practice from large, well-resourced museums. By contrast, this study utilizes a comprehensive database of over 3300 active UK museums to understand the use of Facebook and Twitter across the sector. Specifically, the paper examines the frequency with which museums posted to these digital platforms as they attempted to engage with their audiences. Our findings indicate that there was no substantial increase in social media use and activity across the UK museum sector during the COVID-19 pandemic. This research has implications for museologists studying the impact of the pandemic on museums' digital activity, for museum social media professionals, and policymakers responsible for museum digital transformation strategies.


This article was originally published in Curator: The Museum Journal in 2023.

This scholarship is part of the Chapman University COVID-19 Archives.

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


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