What is social media?

Social media is an umbrella term for a number of dynamic online platforms that allow us to engage more directly, and informally, with our audiences.

These platforms encourage the sharing of content and conversation, and create networks of like-minded people.

At Leeds Museums & Galleries, we use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube

Every venue has a Facebook page, some have Twitter too, and others have Instagram on top of that. Which they have depends on capacity on site and the audiences for each venue.

We have umbrella @LeedsMuseums accounts across all platforms, run by the Audience Development team, that celebrate and share content about the whole service. It’s from these accounts that announcements are made about funding, our annual reports, and news that affects the whole service.

Each platform has its own audience, and a different way of encouraging its users to engage with one another.

Platforms and audiences

  • Facebook

    Facebook is where we post informative content and callouts for information, or responses to objects/projects. Audiences on Facebook are local, and looking for events and stories they can relate to and comment on. 

    We would get the best response on Facebook if we asked for memories of gigs in Leeds growing up, then linked to an event about historical music venues in Leeds. 

    We have a high proportion of followers on Facebook that are looking for events and days out for children too, so this is where we want to focus our attention in the build-up to school holidays. 


  • Instagram

    Instagram is where we post high quality images and videos, showing details of objects for example, or fun quips about our venues. The Instagram story function is where we can post casual, behind-the-scenes content about day-to-day working in the sector. It can also be used to conduct polls and ask visitors to answer questions. Written responses are visible only to us. 

    Audiences on Instagram are still local, but tend to be a younger age range. On Instagram, video content gets much higher engagement than image posts. Videos posted to Instagram are called ‘reels’, and if you’d like to, you can edit them within the Instagram app before you post – eg. to add music, or text. 

    We would get the best response on Instagram if we were to post an Instagram story throughout the day, in the build-up to an exhibition preview – us arriving to the building, finishing touches, setting up, the speeches, and then the end of our night. 

    We would get the best response on Instagram if we posted a video/reel about a bug in our collection, with close ups of the details and colours and short facts about it. 


  • Twitter

     Twitter is where we can post more regularly, using the thread feature to tell stories about our collections and the work we do as a service. Our followers on Twitter are largely sector based, and we can use this platform to have conversations with other museum services – which means tapping into their followers. 

    Twitter is mainly where internet tropes are posted, like memes, which can be a great way to get engagements if we can chip in with something relevant, quickly. 

    We would get the best response on Twitter if we were to post a thread telling the story behind an object, with keeping the first tweet short, and with a pop culture reference. 

    A meme is just an image, video or piece of text that’s copied and spread rapidly by internet users because it’s funny or relatable. 

    A thread is a series of tweets posted under each other as part of one story.