Thursday, July 28, 2011

3 Reasons Why the #Arts Sector Needs #SocialMedia

Ben Horrigan is a final-year music student at the University of Manchester, pursuing a career in arts marketing/management. He plays bass with up-and-coming band Always Awake. Check out his Arts blog

When Mazy asked me a few weeks ago if I’d like to guest on her blog, I thought I’d write about the relationship between the arts and social media, since that’s the angle I’m most interested in, my own background being in music. Some arts marketers are doing a great job, while others have a lot to learn. 

Here’s why social media is such a blessing to the arts:

1. Arts Marketers Have Tiny Budgets
It’s all too obvious, but arts organizations simply don’t have the money to market themselves effectively in traditional ways. Posters, flyers, and etc. cost a fortune to design, print and distribute, especially beyond a local level. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to put some money into such publicity methods; if nothing else, they put public minds at ease about the credibility and professionalism of an organization (in other words, they’re often necessary in order for a brand to be taken seriously).

But the arts also have to rely a lot on the two more wallet-friendly approaches to marketing: one is guerrilla marketing and the other is social media. The only problem here is that it costs money to put a staff member in charge of the organization’s Twitter feed, Facebook page and so on, and it’s not clear what return we get on this investment...but that’s a debate for another time.

2. Arts Marketers are Creative People

Sure, posters and flyers are inherently creative objects, but a good social media campaign really demonstrates a marketing team’s originality and ingenuity.
Arts administration is, after all, more of an art form than people give it credit for. New Broadway musical 'Next to Normal', about manic depression and suicide, was obviously a hard sale when it first came out. Its marketing team decided to tweet lines and thoughts from the characters' perspectives, according to the timings in the play’s narrative. This attracted over half a million followers, raised awareness of the play, and enhanced the experience of its audienc

Here's the article about Next to Normal

3. Arts Marketers Don’t Have Much Time
140 characters – all it takes to truly engage your audience with an interesting and exclusive insight into your arts organisation. #bitesize

If you're interested in guest posting for this blog, please shoot me a message or tweet! I would love to incorporate your ideas!

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