This time it's Personal
Last Wednesday I touched upon four readily available social platforms that Arts Organizations can use to maintain relationships with their audiences. Today we'll look at some more online tools that may have been overlooked.
LinkedIn is a professional social network that allows you to connect with peers in the field. Much like Facebook, organizations are able to create a LinkedIn Group with the ability to post discussion topics and aggregate blog posts into the News Feed. However, your audience within LinkedIn is generally different than your audience in Facebook. This also means that the content and tone of your discussion posts should be differentiated as well. Your Facebook fans will generally consist of audience members and people interested in your organization, where as LinkedIn will primarily consist of professionals in the field. Discussion topics will be more focused on the day to day nuts and bolts of the organization, and it provides a good platform to ask questions like,
"I had a question for folks working within arts organizations. What ticketing software are you using? Are you satisfied with your solution? Thanks!"
Depending upon the size of your organization, it may be a good idea to set up some Google Alerts that keyword search for articles about your organization, and artists or performances that you are presenting. It is a really convenient method of gathering information about what is being said about your organization online, and alerts are available as an email or via an RSS Feed.
These are a bit obvious, but some arts organizations still are not taking advantage of these two media sharing sites. Keeping up with a Youtube channel can be quite a bit of work for an arts organization, especially if you are trying to maintain a constant stream of new videos to keep your audience engaged. However, by releasing videos that revolve around a significant event such as a performance or opening it can be more of a one time thing. There is a great article about the marketing power of video Here. I feel like The Soap Factory in Minneapolis has done an excellent job producing videos that grab the audience's attention without giving away too much. Flickr is also a great way to present images of events and performances online, and allow your audience to tag and upload their images of your organization as well.
Ok, so Last.fm, ILike, and Pandora are relatively in the same boat when it comes to social networked internet radio sites, but Last.fm seems to be the most popular (this week). Users are able to create profiles that allow them to search for friends and groups that may have the same taste in music and create personalized "stations" and playlists that others can listen to and discover.
Orchestras are able to claim their profile on Last.fm, post basic information about the organization and upload music that listeners will be able to stream online. Your organization will also be able to set up a group much in the same way as Facebook and LinkedIn, that will allow your fans to participate in discussion and comment about your organization.
This is also a great forum to post information about upcoming concerts and events. Users are notified about events based on their proximity to the venue, and you can add direct links to ticketing sites. This site isn't just for Orchestras and indi rock bands, if your arts organization hosts performances during openings and other events it may be a good idea to start a profile, and post event information about the artists that will be playing your event.
More More More:
This is by no means a comprehensive list of everything that is out there. There are an innumerable amount of social networks cropping up specifically for artists. For instance, Peter Vikstrom commented on Wednesday's post about Cultgrid, which I haven't had the chance to explore fully, but looks like an good performing arts social network. There are Blogs such as the SITI group blog that are an excelent source for information pertaining to performing arts. And this awesome thing called CrowdFire, that just boggles the mind.
If you have come across a valuable source of information or an interesting social network pertaining to the arts, please feel free to leave a link in the comments below.