Measuring Social Media Success: The value of the Balanced Scorecard as a tool for evaluation and strategic management in museums

August 19, 2016 - Published by

I passed my Ph.D. defense in February and graduated in July after five years of research work. It has been a exciting and challenging journey and I am very thankful to my supervisor Dr. Ross Parry for all his advice and support during this time.

My thesis is now downloadable from the University of Leicester website.

Ph. D. thesis – Measuring Social Media Success: The value of the Balanced Scorecard as a tool for evaluation and strategic management in museums



This Ph.D. research was triggered by the existing need for an evaluation model that will help museums to measure their social media success. This thesis defines a performance measurement framework that could be adopted to select the set of measures and tools required to carry out this evaluation task. In order to develop the framework, this thesis investigates the strategies and usage of social media based on original data collected from twenty cultural organisations as part of the UK’s ‘Let’s Get Real’ national action research project.

The framework developed in this study and named the ‘Museum Social Media Measurement Framework’, uses the ‘Balanced Scorecard’ as its foundation. A case study approach, using Tate’s social media initiatives, was adopted to assess the validity of the framework and to obtain, during its implementation, a detailed understanding of the evaluation methods and tools that may be applied in this context. The study concludes that not only has the Balanced Scorecard shown itself to be a valuable strategy management instrument for clarifying vision and objectives, but it also provides a good overview of how the museum creates value from both an internal and external perspective. However, it lacks data visualisation guidelines and is not free from implementation challenges. This study reflects on the implications for museums in establishing a performance measurement system in terms of processes, organisational structure and resources.

This thesis contributes to the business studies field with a case study of the application of the Balanced Scorecard. Moreover, this research illustrates the value of applying business theories to museum studies with the proposal of a new tool for the sector. The thesis as a whole makes the case for a better evaluation approach in museums when it comes to measuring the impact and value of social media.

Thesis structure

Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: The opportunities and challenges of social media for museums

Chapter 3: Culture and practice of museum evaluation

Chapter 4: Strategies and Evaluation of Social Media in the Culture and Museum Sector in the United Kingdom

Chapter 5: The Museum Social Media Measurement Framework

Chapter 6: Defining an Evaluation Framework for Tate’s Social Media Activities

Chapter 7: Putting the Evaluation Framework into Action: Practical Application and Analysis of the Results

Chapter 8: Conclusion

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  • Congratulations! I came across your blog by accident. I just finished my 3 months work placement at Tate’s Collection Research department and have 2 weeks left to write an essay for my MA History of Art….

  • ferdaous louhichi says:

    Félicitations Elena Villaespesa!
    Je fais aussi ma thèse en sciences de l’information et de la communication sur l’usage des médias sociaux en contexte culturel. Je prendrai le plaisir de lire les résultats de votre thèse.

    Merci du partage

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