As many arts managers can attest to, social media is great tool and a huge hassle. You might often wonder: what practices and habits are others doing in the field? In the coming weeks, we will share some of the results and key takeaways that are relevant to our readership from a Carnegie Mellon Masters in Arts Management student-led national benchmarking survey* (see bottom of the post for more detail about the survey).
One of the core areas that the questionnaire focused on was social media usage. The initial social media questions asked which social media channels the organizations used. The questions became more specific, narrowing down how the organizations used the channels’ marketing functions, how they interacted with patrons on their channels, and how they used the analytic metrics (if at all).
Social Media Channels
Although Snapchat has rapidly grown in popularity among social media users, especially younger age groups, among arts organizations, Facebook is clearly still on top. Almost all respondents reported that they use the platform, and it is used most for communication with patrons.
Social Media Advertising
Many respondents expressed that they doubted if Facebook paid marketing was worth the money, however, one organization mentioned, “Paid marketing for the event [itself] does not get a good return, but providing information about the musicians does. So we do interviews with musicians and put the interviews on Facebook, and promote [that] content rather than the event.” This example also shows that tracking what is successful is important in experimenting to find the solution.
Social Media Analytics
Many organizations used analytic tools for their various social media platforms and websites. Facebook Insights was used by 75% of the interviewed organizations. By comparison, according to the 2015 Arts Industry Digital Marketing Benchmark Study by Capacity Interactive, only 41% of arts organizations checked their social media insights at least once a week. Most of the surveyed organizations that used Facebook Insights used it primarily to monitor visitor traffic and post engagements.
Respondents who use Google Analytics appeared to be taking advantage of many of the service's features, but not at their full capacity.
Stay tuned next time for key social media takeaways for arts organizations based on the above responses.
*Each Masters in Arts Management candidate at Carnegie Mellon University must complete a systems synthesis project in order to obtain their degree. This semester long capstone project allows each student to work alongside other students in a team environment to solve real world problems for arts organizations. Last semester, one of the critical components to finding best practices in the field for a client included creating, administering, and analyzing a national benchmarking survey to 32 organizations in 15 cities across the country comparable to Pittsburgh that met the following criteria:
• Had a budget less than $1.3 million
• Were a presenting performing arts organization
• Were chamber music-focused
Note: Figures listed above represent percentages of those who answered the question.