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The Met Topic Conversation Analysis

By Alan Barrett, Ellen DeGiusti, Lexi Griggs

In our analysis of topic conversation across social media platforms for the Met, we covered topics including art history, appreciation, and culture. In order to measure how the general population is discussing these topics, we focused heavily on sentiment and demographic data. Our biggest findings include a difference in power held by each topic on different platforms, as well as difference in user demographics discussing these topics.

In terms of platform analysis, we found that Twitter is by far the biggest platform used to discuss these topics, with Tumblr/Blog posts coming in second, and reddit and Instagram with much lower percentages of use for these topics. However, we found that many of the topics are niched on different platforms. For Twitter, the majority of the posts with positive sentiment center around appreciation for art history towards individual users and organizations. For Tumblr/Blog posts, the majority of the posts with positive sentiment center around defining the word “artist” throughout history and examples of the best. For Instagram, the majority of posts with positive sentiment center around LGBTQ+ empowerment and expression through art individually and in schools. Because of these findings, we believe that the Met would have more success in better reaching their target audiences by strategically placing their topic posts on specific platforms in a way that matches these patterns. On Reddit, however, there was a much wider variety of topics that comprised posts with positive sentiment, so the Met should not focus too heavily on strategic topic placement for this platform.

In analyzing user demographics across key topics themes, we looked at topic themes including Artists, Culture, Drawing, and Painting. We found the artist topic theme to have the highest volume of posts, with drawing coming in second, painting in third, and culture with the lowest volume of posts. However, there was not much variation in percentage among the lower three topic themes. Across all topic themes, we found the majority of online conversations to be by males, with the highest percentage of females engaging in conversations surrounding the artists topic theme. These topic themes are mainly being discussed in the US, the UK, India, Canada, and Japan, with the US and the UK being the largest two countries in which these topic themes are being discussed. Because of these findings, we know that the Met should tailor their posts about these topic themes to include posts in Hindi and Japanese, as well as to include more female gender targeted topic theme posts to increase their engagement with these demographic groups.