I read a recent blog post (That moment when museums realize that arts need to be shared) that talked about two new exhibits in Vancouver that ask visitors to take pictures and share them on social media. It reminded me of conversations I've had recently about social media strategy when I've been asked, both as a freelance consultant and volunteer, to do a social media audit. Social Media is this huge buzzword right now and everyone wants to figure out how they get some of those eyeballs. In some ways it reminds me of the early days of the Internet when everyone was creating a website so they could have an url to promote. But before you get out there and set up your Pinterest or Instagram account there are a couple of things to consider:
1) Know your audience (aka Marketing 101). Not every social media site is appropriate for your business, so do the research to find out what social media platforms your audience uses. If they are older they may spend more time on Facebook, if younger then on Instagram. If you're a small tech company should you be focusing on LinkedIn instead of Pinterest? Probably. Only you know who your audience is and, moreover, who you want to target. It's better to start off and focus on one or two social media platforms then create a presence across all of them. If it doesn't make sense to be on Instagram, then don't.
2) Update your content regularly. Just because you have an Instagram account doesn't mean they will come. I'm thinking of a cultural organization where it absolutely makes sense they have Instagram presence, but they haven't updated their images in months. If you're promoting the Instagram or YouTube logo on you website make sure you have content to populate otherwise you risk looking irrelevant. And if you don't have the resources to update your social media platforms then pull them down until you do.
3) Engage with your users. They are interacting with you for a reason - they want to promote you and it's free promotion. I can't tell you how many times I've seen missed opportunities for viral marketing. The joy of social media is it's the start of a conversation and relationship with your audience. They are your fans and they want to share your brand/message/content. Let them help you.
Give your audience a reason to visit, contribute and share!
MoMA relies on Twitter to poll the crowd on modern masterpieces.
Why should the art critics have the final say? That’s a question that the modern and contemporary art establishment has been grappling with for a while. Museums like New York’s MoMA have the paradoxical role of both offering art up to the public view and keeping it ‘special’ by cordoning it off from the outside world. MoMA is recognizing the new functions of art and imagery on the internet now through a collaboration with creative agency POSSIBLE. Together, they’ve begun to disperse images of famous works in MoMA’s collection over Twitter and collect fans’ responses to them on the project’s central website, Art140.