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A Busy Week for @metmuseum

Sree Sreenivasan, Chief Digital Officer

Posted: Friday, May 9, 2014

Screenshot of our winning entry on webbyawards.com

Our listing in the Webby Awards Winners Gallery

«It's been a memorable couple of Mondays for the Met's social media efforts.»

As Online Community Manager Taylor Newby wrote in a Digital Underground post last month, the Met's Instagram feed was nominated for a Webby Award in the Social: Arts & Culture category. We were up against some major competition, including the Academy of Electronic Music (a Google collaboration), the Paris Review, and Penguin Books.

We were delighted to learn two Mondays ago, on April 28, that we won! Here's my quote in the Met's press release: "Our Webby win is just the latest sign that our various web and social efforts are helping to bring even more attention to our collection and our exhibitions. Our social team has done a fabulous job of showcasing the treasures of the Met on various platforms, and it is part of the broader digital strategy to connect with our visitors, both online and in person."

Our two-person social media team of Taylor (@TaylorCNewby on Twitter) and Lucy Redoglia (@MetEveryday) works with various people on our other social platforms (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and Weibo), but the Instagram account is more of a one-man show; Taylor shoots and posts almost all the Instagram photos himself. Taylor recently noted, "Out of all of the Museum's social platforms, our most engaged audience is on Instagram, and it brings me great joy to share the Met with our Instagram followers throughout the world every day."

Taylor will have to develop an even shorter way to convey his feelings at the May 19 awards show, as the Webbys are famous for their five-word acceptance speeches. My favorites in this format are former Vice President Al Gore's allusion to the 2000 presidential election with "Please don't recount this vote" and Anna Wintour's equally memorable "Sometimes geeks can be chic."

Speaking of Anna Wintour, artistic director of Condé Nast, editor-in-chief of Vogue, and long-time member of the Met's Board of Trustees, she was a big part of this week's social media–soaked Monday. The morning of May 5, First Lady Michelle Obama cut the ribbon to mark the opening of The Costume Institute's new Anna Wintour Costume Center. 

Michelle Obama cutting the ribbon

First Lady Michelle Obama cutting the ribbon to open The Costume Institute's new Anna Wintour Costume Center on May 5, 2014. Pictured, from left: Thomas P. Campbell, Director of the Metropolitan Museum; First Lady Michelle Obama; Anna Wintour, Artistic Director of Condé Nast and Editor-in-Chief of Vogue; and Emily K. Rafferty, President of the Metropolitan Museum

In the evening, the Met played host to the annual gala benefiting The Costume Institute. This year, celebrities of all kinds celebrated the opening of both the Anna Wintour Costume Center and its inaugural exhibition, Charles James: Beyond Fashion, which features the work of the legendary Anglo-American couturier Charles James. We live-tweeted and live-Instagrammed from the red carpet and have collected all our posts on one page. We encourage you to use the hashtag #CharlesJames to share your thoughts throughout the run of the exhibition.

As part of Monday's festivities, we had fashion photographer Jamie Beck (@annstreetstudio) take over our Instagram account for the red carpet arrivals; you can see her work on the exhibition's social media page. Jamie's efforts, along with our team's coverage of the rest of the day, got us a lot of attention. Nine of our Instagrams made it to the Instagram page of popular posts, our accounts gained 35,000+ new Instagram followers and 6,000+ new Twitter followers, and many of our red-carpet tweets were our most popular of all time. This tweet about the arrival of Benedict Cumberbatch is our most retweeted tweet to date, and this Anna Kendrick and Hailee Steinfeld tweet is our most favorited.

As always, we welcome your feedback on our social efforts throughout the year.

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About the Author

Sree Sreenivasan is the Museum's chief digital officer.

About this Blog

The Digital Media Department leads the creation, production, presentation, and dissemination of multimedia content to support the viewing and understanding of the Met's collection and exhibitions, both within the galleries and online. This blog discusses a few of the activities of the department, and invites your questions and comments about the Museum's digital initiatives.


Above: Jim Campbell (American, born 1956). Motion and Rest #2 (detail), 2002. Light-emitting-diodes (LED) and custom electronics. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Purchase, Henry Nias Foundation Inc. Gift, 2004 (2004.105). © Jim Campbell