A look at how arts organizations are embracing social media and making it work for them, and making it fun, too.
In reading the report, Arts Organizations and Digital Technologies (by Kristin Thomson, Kristen Purcell, Lee Rainie, Pew Internet and American Life Project), a recurring issue arises for commercial businesses and public/private organizations alike — social media has changed how they do business, how they reach audiences and engage outreach activities.
Social media has interrupted the traditional view of these organizations’ offerings and how they market theses offerings. Yet critical to outreach efforts and marketing forces is to embrace new online technologies.
Within this report, let’s explore some of the social media impacts art organizations have faced and issues tackled to find successful solutions. Working in this way we’ll discover how you the business manager or owner find processes and resources to help you boost your social media presence and manage it.
I. Social Media Use
What’s being used, initial perceptions, and the No.1 most interesting finding
I’m going to get to the heart of the matter right away and look at the Pew report on the top social media platforms being used and what arts organizations have to say about it.
Below is a chart taken from the report for most used platforms and then perceived impact:
While this is a basic outline and starting point of discussion, what’s interesting, and what I have found in my own work and have seen what other businesses have found in their work, is that by practicing web strategy and all that it encompasses, I have come to:
- better understand my own brand;
– more clearly define and target my goals;
– cut through the clutter of unfocused, highly generalized, crappy content;
– and come to a place where I’m developing something decent to read, fun to create, and most of all liberating, humanizing.
What does web strategy encompass? SEO, specifically on-page SEO (making sure you write specifically for the topic of the page), integrating focused emails, and much more; but mostly I mean social media networking.
So, I don’t even want to summarize since here in this report it is so well stated and is about one of the major influences social media has on arts organizations:
Social media has helped us define our brand more clearly to broad audience that wants to engage, rather than just visit a webpage.
Social media gives us an opportunity to have a more casual interaction with our fans. Hopefully making us more approachable, interesting and engaging on a level that ultimately helps us connect with and expand our audience (and the diversity of our audience).
Social media deepens our relationships – about 70-80% of the people who regularly like, comment on, or repost our content are donors. Social media provides an additional vehicle for them to engage with – and support – our work.
Connecting our theater patrons with our education work and connecting our educators with our performance work. It has made our organization more integrated.
Read for yourself the complete section on the Pew Internets Report: Arts Organizations and Digital Technologies, Section 4: Social Media Use
..where you’ll find out about:
- most used social media sites
- how many are generally used
- how often arts organizations post and how they manage
- positive and negative social media experiences
- social media’s value to these organizations
- …and more.
We’ll continue to build on this section and other topics in blog posts to come.