An Arts Manager's Ultimate Guide To Using Social Media Buttons

 Image from pixabay.com (labeled for non-commercial reuse)

Image from pixabay.com (labeled for non-commercial reuse)

According to the 2015 Arts Industry Digital Benchmark Study by Capacity Interactive, the majority of arts marketers have massively engaged with social media, with 100% of the surveyed organizations having a Facebook profile. Arts managers are now required to be clever web marketers in order to launch and maintain the buzz around ongoing cultural programs. But which role do the actual buttons for each social media platform play in all that?

Social media buttons are very powerful tools for arts managers. They are bridges, direct paths from your website to the social community and, consequently, to successful audience building and engagement. Buttons are the easiest way to connect your website to social actions. Most social platforms allow you to include their buttons in your website, so that visitors can easily share what they like about your event, mark it in their calendars, participate, and invite friends. 

Here is a look at the best buttons, broken down by platform, that will help increase your organic reach and engage your audience:

 FACEBOOK

Save to Facebook

Do you ever have a show or exhibition you want to attend, but do not have a way to keep track of it? When the event rolls around, you may forget to attend. As an arts marketer, the last thing you want is to “capture” someone with your expensive promotional campaign and then have them forget about the event once it rolls around.The save button allows users to save the link of your webpage in the private “Links” section of their profile. In doing so, users can save relevant information to share with friends and receive notifications from an organization they show interest for. 

Like

The "like button" is the easiest and most used of all buttons. It shows an organization who their fans are, and the more likes a post gets, the more likely it is to get shares and go viral.  In the world of social media, there is no best way to replicate the word-of-mouth and spread your programs. Statistics shows 84% of consumers trust recommendations from family, colleagues, and friends, with whom they are likely connected on socials. Moreover, as an arts manager you should consider that many of your activities are run on a project basis, meaning the time necessary for adjustments to the audience needs and desires is scarce. By providing your audience with the chance to easily “like” your initiatives gives you immediate feedback on how the public is responding to your offers.

Share

This button is similar to the “Like” button, and it allows people to share openly with friends or in a message. Currently, 58% of consumers share their positive experiences with companies or organizations on social media. This opportunity is a must have for art organizations, because they have an inherent competitive advantage compared to other community initiatives to leverage: arts focused projects and functions are usually esthetically beautiful, cool, and entertaining. A dance, concert, or exhibition are the perfect content to be shared in the form of videos or pictures. Get your fans to share your posts, and watch your organic reach skyrocket.

Follow

Following lets people subscribe to public updates of organizations on Facebook. Let your audience know what you are doing! The “follow” button is especially important to target college-aged people, who started joining social media in their teens and are accustomed to the internet presenting activities that fit their interests. By clicking on the Follow button, Facebook will then help cultivate the relationship by giving updates to followers. Maybe you are launching a wonderful music performance the very same Saturday night in which many of your followers have no plans. If they follow you and you post a reminder, they might just show up.

Donate

This newly introduced tool is perhaps the most relevant for all non-profit managers. Facebook is currently testing this new tool on US-based 501(c) (3) corporations. You will be able to add the button to your page and posts, giving people a quick way to donate to your organization without leaving the platform.  Supporters can contribute through a one-page form on Facebook immediately after pressing the button. If you would rather redirect donors to your website, you can still use the “donate” button and redirect the user to a web page of your choice. The button is a call-to-action that links raising awareness and funding requests in one-stop shop.

Quote Plugin

The quote plug-in is an interesting button for those users who have a bit more time on their hands. This button lets people select text from your page and incorporate it into their own posts. However, it is likely that only your most devoted followers will use this feature, if at all.

Facebook assists you in the process of enriching your website by implementing its tools. To learn more, visit https://developers.facebook.com/docs/plugins/

TWITTER

Tweet

Quick and easy, Twitter let users share your website link in their twitter profile and add a comment or hashtag. The button is particularly useful for arts organizations to reach users in the 18- to 34-year-old demographic. If they liked what they saw in your museum, gallery, concert hall, or theater, you are halfway there. Give them the easiest way to communicate their satisfaction, which will inhance your reputation and attract new fans and followers. The focus of many arts organizations is on building audiences, and this button is crucial for that purpose.

The Hashtag

The Hashtag is a popular function that allows people to share contents and encourage participation in a discussion by using keywords to define the content. It is very useful if your aim is raising interest in a particular production or theme. You might want to engage your audience by asking their opinions on the last controversial art exhibition you hosted, or you might want to know what they would like to see displayed in your museum next year. Simply provide the button and the keyword!

Tweet to @name

This function allows users to quickly mention your organization or another user’s username anywhere in the body of their Tweet. If someone tweets @ you, you will receive a notification you have been mentioned. This might be useful to arts organizations that want to keep track of mentions, have insight on their reach, and cultivate the relationship with their audience by replying to mentions. If you receive good reviews on your programs, you can directly thank the reviewer. These details add personality to your organization and can strengthen relationships. 

Contribute

Just like Facebook, Twitter enables certain charities to run donation campaigns through the platform. The organization must simply tweet a message including the phrase $Cashtags, which automatically produces the contribute button along with the tweet. Users can then click the button, which then displays an expanded description of the campaign. After choosing the donation amount, donors will be asked to give payment details. Afterwards, Twitter will automatically generate a tweet about the donation, that donors will have the option to publish. This means you will not only have the chance to generate donations, but you will also develop campaign advocates. The advantage of the contribute button over the Facebook donate button is that it can potentially reach a larger audience and collect more donations.

To learn how to install twitter buttons, go to https://about.twitter.com/cs/resources/buttons

 INSTAGRAM

Mentions and “See More” links in your Stories

In August 2016, Instagram launched Stories, a feature that condenses your photos and videos in a Snapchat-like slideshow format, adding text and drawing tools that allow you to tell your followers the story of your day. Starting this November, you can also mention people in your stories by typing “@” followed by a username. The username will appear in the story, and by clicking the name a user will be redirected to the mentioned profile. Users can also add a “See More” option at the bottom of the story, where users can be redirected to any link you choose. Currently, only some verified accounts are testing this option, but it will soon become available to the entire Instagram community. This feature will allow arts organizations to easily share collaborations with other community organizations or artists and drive engagement among Instagram users. 

YouTube Subscribe Button

If your organization has a rich YouTube channel, you should consider adding the “Subscribe” option on your website. According to Boast, video marketing has exploded in popularity and is more effective than written text. Adding a YouTube button to your website allows your organization to collect new subscribers to its YouTube channel without leaving the website. This approach is especially useful to target audience members between 18-34 years old, who are highly engaged with video consumption. If you are a member of a performing arts organization, do not miss out on the opportunity to film what you are producing and post it online to expand your outreach. Once you have done that, add a button as a direct link from the website to your video content and watch your subscriber figures increase!