Sunday, October 7, 2012

Don't be vague and say, just post more

Hey there,

So it seems more and more arts organizations are encouraging their artists to help promote their work on Social Media. However, I fear that more and more arts organizations are not going farther than asking, or being more specific than "just share more".

To which I say: "?"

Even if you have a social media policy, you can't just leave the rest for people to figure out themselves. I actually heard of a case where someone argued that the great thing about social media is that it's so organic, that you don't need structure.

But, it's like any good improvisation, social media for an organization works best not when it's completely open-ended, but when it has some sort of form or structure. And especially when you want your artists to be involved in marketing for a performance and branding for an org, not only should they be aware of the social media policy, but they should be incorporated into a social media strategy which is communicated to them.

For example:
  • If on Facebook: like every post, share at least one a week, and tag the org in an update before, during, or after at least one rehearsal a week
  • If on Twitter: RT at least one tweet a day, and mention the org in a tweet before, during, or after rehearsal
Again, being specific about anything from quantity of sharing, to the content to share, something more than "just post more" is necessary not just if you want it done well, but just if you want it done at all.

It's difficult (not impossible), for people that might not have experience with communications or marketing, to share engaging content consistently, as well as making sure to diversify the content so they're not all ticket sales call to action or the rehearsal equivalent of "I'm having lunch now".

And if you're not checking in with them regularly or reminding them, then you risk them becoming discouraged to the point where they just stop.

So don't be vague and say "just post more". Don't just have an idea, have a strategy and be specific with what you are asking of your artists. Let them know what your social media policy is, and definitely inform them of any branding that might be relevant, because they have not just joined your marketing team, they have become social media ambassadors for your org.

Not saying this is a requirement, obviously capacity is a factor at any level. And some individual artists might be great representatives for your organization and its work naturally, but many are still just getting their feet wet when it comes to social media for professional uses.

If you can, take this as an opportunity to help them swim,

- JR

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