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, we’ll examine some of the social media impacts art organizations have faced and what they’ve learned about themselves and discovered about their audiences. And you the business manager or owner could gain insights into methods and resources to help you boost your social media presence.

Social Media Use

What’s being used, initial perceptions, and the No.1 most interesting finding

Getting to the heart of the findings in this Pew report are 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 the perceived impact:

chart about social media platforms used by arts organizations



chart about perceived impacts of social media on arts organizations

While these charts provide a basic outline for discussion, what’s interesting, and what organizations have learned, is that by practicing web strategies they have come to:

– better understand their own brand;
– more clearly defined and targeted their goals;
– cut through the clutter of unfocused, highly generalized content;
– and come to a place where developing content decent to read is not only fun to create, but most of all liberating, humanizing, and compelling.

What does web strategy encompass?

SEO, specifically on-site SEO (making sure you write specifically for the topic of the page), integrating focused emails, content strategy, and much more, including social networking.

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 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 social media is being utilized to help organizations get the word out
  • how often arts organizations post and how they manage it
  • positive and negative social media experiences
  • social media’s value to these organizations
  • …and more.
(updated 01March2013)

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Molding my "Approach to Art and the Written Word" by observing color and following light, form, and time. Always learning new ways of working and interacting within local and online communities. Taking in the sights and sounds and making notes.