The Black Country Living Museum in the UK has become one of the top 100 TikTok UK accounts in 2020, and is the most popular museum in the world on TikTok.
With over 350,000 followers on TikTok, the museum posts short video clips featuring re-enactors in historical dress on the popular social media platform.
The Black Country Living Museum is located in Dudley in the UK. It recreates the story of Britain’s manufacturing history, using actors and exhibits such as mine shafts and lime kilns to immerse visitors in history.
Top 100 TikTok accounts in the UK
Abby Bird, communications manager at the museum, told The Guardian that she can’t find another museum in the world with more followers. She never expected to gain such a large following on the platform.
“I remember thinking I would be really happy if we got 10,000 followers by Christmas,” she said. The museum passed that milestone after its second post which showed actors from the museum walking through the streets of the museum to a K-Pop song.
We're officially one of the top 100 Tik Tokkers! ??? Join us on TikTok tonight at 6pm for a special surprise, we have someone who wants to meet you… https://t.co/N9e30AI19G
— Black Country Living Museum (@BCLivingMuseum) December 2, 2020
TikTok connects the museum with younger audiences
The museum’s TikTok account was only started in August 2020 after lockdown left Bird with some free time. For Bird, being on TikTok is important because it gives them access to a younger generation.
“Part of us being accessible as a museum is being in the spaces that young people are digital” she explains.
Even when the museum is closed, Bird thinks that it is important to continue to educate and connect with visitors. “We’re focusing on visits to the website, conversations happening, the number of comments – all of those are really important indicators that people are taking in the story. And I have absolute confidence that that is going to lead to more visits” Bird explained.
The museum’s TikTok videos remain authentic to the museum. Featuring actors in historical dress and set ‘on location’ in the living museum, its videos educate as well as entertain.
For example, some of its recent videos show viewers what houses looked like in different eras. There are also multiple videos of the ‘1920s grandad’ who offers life advice in a thick Black Country accent in front of an old range fire.
With one recent 20s Grandad video getting over two million views, 609,000 likes and 11,000 comments, the museum’s videos are clearly resonating with the TikTok audience.
Other museums have used the popular social networking site to attract a younger audience. The Uffizi Gallery in Florence recently revealed that it has doubled the number of young visitors thanks to its TikTok account.
Monterey Bay Aquarium is among the educational attractions to use live streaming on Twitch to engage a new audience.