Sunday, January 27, 2013

Ten Twitter Tips

Hey there,

Just wanted to share ten twitter tips. If you're familiar with Twitter, you'll probably recognize some common advice, as most of this is nothing new.

However, I wanted to share some that I thought were particularly crucial for artists and arts organizations who handled the basics, like setting up the account, and are taking baby steps forward. 

I actually listed them, but then looked for links to further elaborate on each.

Hope some of these help:
  1. If you are going to start a Tweet with a mention, make sure to put a period first if you want everyone to see it. Otherwise only people who are following you and the other person will see the "conversation". More on this at artsbizblog.
  2. Instagram photos are not previewed media in Twitter anymore. If you can, take the time to share it in Twitter, for those of your followers that aren't on and don't want to go to Instagram. More on this at CNN.
  3. Throw in a non-review quote every now and then. Inspirational or funny, broad or specific to your discipline (like from a notable artist in your field), you get the idea. Here are some quotes from the Marketing Mamma.
  4. The only person sync-ing to Facebook saves time for is you. Take the time to translate to Twitter, especially if you are mentioning artists or arts orgs on Twitter as well. Several more reasons at Leah Creates.
  5. Put in hashtag(s) and link first (if any), so you know how many characters you have left to work with. More about hashtags at
  6. Make sure you are monitoring Twitter during the weekend and/or any time you have events, not just during your office hours. Check out this post at Know Your Own Bone.
  7. If you're not using Twitter as a platform for your community to talk with you, then they will talk about you, for better or for worse. Read more about ignoring tweets at Young Entrepreneur.
  8. If you are tweeting for an organization, then make sure the organization is aware of pertinent communications, via the appropriate people (i.e. tweets from funders to the development team, local/regional arts agencies to the artistic and executive directors, partners to program managers, etc.). The social media manager needs to be integrated with and connected to everyone else at the organization. Check out this relevant post at social media today.
  9. Sharing is caring. Don't be afraid of retweeting other arts happenings in your area, especially if your space is dark between exhibits or shows.  People like when you use your platforms to be a resource for your community, and not just your own personal cheerleader. More on that at this Radian6 blog.
  10. Be yourself: an artist. Be creative and express yourself. :-)
Yeah, I figured that last one was self-explanatory.

Let me know what you think, if you have any questions, or other tips you'd add,

- JR

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Facebook 101: "Like" it as your page

Hey there,

So in the world of Facebook, where a "Like" is social media currency, if you manage a FB page, either for yourself or your arts company/organization, take some time every day to use Facebook as your page, particularly when it comes to Liking other page's posts, as well as fans' comments.

If you go to the edit page tab, when you click on it, the final option should say "Use Facebook as [name of your page]". Select this and you're good to go.

Now if you look in the upper right hand corner, your Page's profile picture and name should be where yours normally is. Click on the Facebook logo and you'll see the News Feed based on all the pages that you've added to your own page's favorites.

Just in case you don't know how to do this, if you're on Facebook under your personal profile, just click  on the gear icon on the right and you should see an option to "Like As Your Page". If you manage more than one page, you'll get to pick one.

But I digress, when you are using Facebook as your page, well it's pretty self-explanatory.

As you can see, you can like other pages' content. I'd recommend doing this for any organizations that you receive support from (particularly local and state arts agencies or foundations), that you might work with, arts advocacy groups, service organizations for your discipline, or even companies doing similar work in your area.

And not that you have to do it all the time, but every now and then. Maybe start of your day by using Facebook as your page for 5 minutes, or do it before you head home. I would even encourage doing so when you aren't at work.

I also recommend at the very least that you "Like" any fans' interaction with your own page, when they leave a comment on your post, RSVP to an event, etc.

My one suggestion is that you do not "Like" your own content.

Not only is it a given that you like your own content, but it seems a bit...well...I would say it's the social media equivalent of patting one's self on the back or speaking in the royal we.

Anyway, those are some tips for "Like"ing things are your page, on Facebook. Let me know what you think, have you done this? Will you be doing this now? Any other suggestions for what you do as your page, beyond sharing your own content?

- JR

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Twitter 101: Lists

Hey there,

This post is to help break down Twitter Lists. There's a great "How to Use Twitter Lists" page that provides the basics, so I thought I'd just provide one reason I encourage using lists, especially from the get go, as well.

They allow you to keep track of someone whom you might not necessarily want to follow for whatever reason. Maybe they tweet too much for you to want to see in your main news feed, maybe they don't follow many people back. But a list allows you to add both people you follow and those you don't.

Not only that, a list becomes a resource that other people can subscribe too as well, if you make it public (which you should).

All that being said, here are several examples of Twitter lists for artists and arts organizations.

You can use a list for the artists you work with:

You can use a list to recognize donors and other supporters:

You can use a list to highlight other local organizations doing similar work:

Or any other ideas that come to mind. Be creative, think about what's relevant to you and to your audience.

Just one note, you can only have up to 20 lists, so don't go list-crazy.

Have any you want to share? Make 'em and then tweet them to me, @HashtagtheArts.

Let me know what you think,


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Foursquare 101: Stick it...stick it good

Hey there,

So this weekend I'm putting up a foursquare window cling at Dance Place. It's to remind people to check in.

It looks like this:
You can find out how to get your window cling here, and if you haven't claimed your venue yet, Foursquare will even send you one for free.

Ideally, you want it somewhere that's visible to everyone who enters your venue. For example, I went to eat at Black & Orange and actually didn't go through my usual routine of checking on various social media platforms, as I was with a friend. I just wasn't thinking about it, until I saw the sticker in the window.

And so I checked in. Because it was placed well, on the window, right next to the door everybody passes through in order to enter the establishment.

Unfortunately, I just recently saw an example of bad placement. I won't name the establishment, but it's one I've frequented multiple times over the past month or so. And I never saw their Foursquare window clinger until THIS WEEK.

It was placed on a secondary glass door, that customers don't even have to walk by, much less pass through. And it is designed such that it needs to go on the inside of whatever it is stuck on, as the "front" is the sticky side.

Fortunately, there's a hashtag that Foursquare encourages you to use to share your cling on display, so check it out:

But otherwise, just use common sense, and walk into your venue as anyone would. Where can you place it so it is noticeable but not out of place, especially if it's the only sticker.

Maybe if not the front doors, on a box office window or in a display case. Definitely send me pics of your window cling.

Because as with any other "ask" in the arts, sometimes all your audience needs is a prompt and a call to action, to follow through. And Foursquare's window clinger makes it pretty easy, all you need to do is stick it...stick it good.

Bonus points if you got the Salt-N-Pepa reference!!

- JR

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Twitter 101: Follow Friday

Hey there,

This post is part of a series on basic things one can do on Twitter. So for those still trying to figure out Twitter, I thought I'd start by breaking down #FollowFriday (aka #FF). Yes it's a hashtag, but I'd have to say this is one of those cases where you are not joining a conversation.

The idea is that with this alliterative hashtag, you recommend Tweeps for others who search for #FF or #FollowFriday can follow. The problem is that Twitter becomes so inundated with #FF tweets, that there is no way sift through the noise. So, in my experience, this is more for your followers, and even more so for the people you mention. One of the first things I do when included in a #FF is to check out and maybe even follow the others included in it.

That being said, I thought I'd provide some examples of how I've used Follow Fridays.

You can use it to highlight Tweeps relevant to your field of work, whether you follow them or not. I also use this sometimes to try and get the attention of people I follow who aren't following me back yet, as they'll get a notice you mentioned them in a tweet. Anyway, in my case (for this blog), here are some social media & arts accounts that I believe share great content.
It can be a way to connect with people and organizations which you do work with. At my day job, our artists do a lot of work with libraries, and that came up in conversation, so I decided to do a shout out to some of the area's public libraries:

Or it can be a simple way to thank new followers. I like this because sometimes before you realize it, a number of new people have followed your account and you haven't hit 'em back yet. Follow Friday's a great opportunity to do that.

Just don't get crazy with it. I usually try not to have more than three tweets worth of people, including some context as to why I'm mentioning them. An exception is if I've participated in a Twitter chat or some kind of large event (like a festival or conference), I'll do a Follow Friday marathon, mentioning those who contributed to the chat or whom were live tweeting from the event.

So those are just some examples. Hope this helps, and definitely leave comments for any other thoughts or ideas or even examples of Follow Fridays you particularly liked,


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Getting to know your peeps on social media

Hey there,

So this is a new year's resolution I would put out there for all arts organizations, this year. Get to know your people better on social media, not just your audience, donors, etc., but even closer to your work: your artists, staff, and board.

Sure, you probably know what social media platforms some of them use anecdotally,  but I mean intentionally and comprehensively. And it doesn't have to be extensive. I used Google Drive's Form option to set one up for my own personal use.

In my work as Social Media Coordinator at Dance Place, we primarily use Facebook and Twitter. We've dabbled a bit with Google+, but the relevant community isn't at critical mass yet for spending too much time there.

So with Facebook if they respond to the first question saying they're on it, I ask what their URL is, what the privacy setting is of their profile, if they use Facebook to check-in, and how active they are on it, using a 7 point scale, from 1 being "not that much" to 7 being "very much".

With Twitter, if they're on it, I ask for their handle, if their tweets are protected, and, again, how would they rate how active they are on a 7 point scale, like above.

I have the lead in question to each send them to a different page, depending on whether they answered yes or no. And after Twitter, I just have a final page of inquiries, with a number of other social media platforms listed which a survey participant can check off, and then a large text box for them to include any of their profiles' handles or urls.

Part of this effort, getting to re-know those in an organization in terms of how much or how little they have a presence on social media, is because I've often found that social media managers concentrate so much on connecting externally first, myself included. But within organizations I've been involved with on multiple levels, staff, member, board, etc., we often come back to the fact that we don't only need buy-in, internally, but we need participation from as many people directly involved in the work of the organization as we can.

And knowing exactly where and how active people are, regarding social media, can add a lot of context to policy, strategy, and implementation, as well as provide insight in terms of mobilizing your existing social resources to help actualize it all.

Want to check out my survey, maybe even fill it out? I only ask that you do so once, and do so truthfully.

You can find it here. Are you with an organization that has already done this? Please leave a comment about how it's affected and informed your social media work, if at all. If your organization hasn't, do you think this might be something you'll want to do?

Let me know what you think,