Chinese social media goes crazy for International Museum Day

Social media platforms have been launching campaigns to celebrate art and culture as part of International Museum Day which takes place today, on 18 May.

Xiaohongshu’s UGC campaign

To mark the event, recommendation-based platform Xiaohongshu launched a campaign called “Museum Adventures” (#博物馆奇遇记). Between 29 April and 20 May, users have been encouraged to share their experience of visiting museums under the hashtag. As well as posting their recommendations of museums in China and overseas, users have shared cultural relics through photography, painting, reality shows and more. 

Xiaohongshu aims to help users learn more about the history of museums and their artefacts and the platform is rewarding those who produce the most engaging content. The five users who gain the most likes will receive free traffic in the form of 100,000 views, and the next five most popular will get 50,000 views for free. Currently, 3764 Xiaohongshu users have participated in the campaign and it has gained 17.56 million views

Weibo partners with museums through short video and livestreaming

While Xiaohongshu has focussed on user-generated content, Weibo has worked with domestic and overseas museums to develop an International Museum Day campaign. Many accounts have shared their museum’s artefacts and history through short-form videos and livestreaming.  The hashtag “International Museum Day” (#国际博物馆日#) hit 1.43 billion views on Weibo and many netizens commented that they enjoyed learning about museums from across the world. 

Museums’ digitalisation expands in the face of COVID-19

In recent years, the demand for learning about other countries’ traditional culture and artwork has increased among Chinese consumers. More and more museums have expanded their presence on China’s social media channels to engage with Chinese consumers at home and to provide information for those travelling abroad. Their digitalisation has been enhanced by the COVID-19 pandemic as museums look for new ways to interact with overseas audiences.

Over 100 museums and art galleries have joined the e-commerce platform Tmall, including Beijing’s Forbidden City, the National Museum of China, British Museum, Potala Palace, and Louvre. The National Gallery launched on WeChat Channels in March 2021 to share their exhibitions with their Chinese audience via livestream. The Van Gogh Museum has also announced that it will expand its partnership with WeChat to develop its livestreaming abilities and its Mini-Program.

While international travel is restricted, domestic museums and cultural attractions have been a popular choice for Chinese visitors and almost all tickets to famous Chinese museums were sold out prior to Labour Day holiday this year.

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