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The Arts & Social Media: Instagram

August 2, 2012

As an interactive media strategist and an arts enthusiast, my many loves have a way of colliding both professionally and in my spare time.  As I navigate the ins and outs of the lovely job market, hoping to find a gig that’ll allow me to help arts organizations transition into the digital era confidently, I’m coming up with so many burgeoning ideas that I can’t hold onto until I find full time employment.  So I’ve decided that I would start blogging some tips for arts organizations and performing arts venues to adopt when tackling social media and its appropriate usage for their particular brand.

Instagram is a great, and still relatively fresh, social media network that deals with photo sharing.  It quite easily allows you to take a photo, apply a cool filter and share.  Much like Twitter, it features a stream of content created by those you follow with two subsequent functions that allow you to ‘like’ a photo as well as comment.  In addition, your photos can be uploaded to other social media platforms making it easy to integrate into an already existing Facebook or Twitter strategy.

Performing arts organizations may not see an immediate benefit from adopting Instagram as opposed to just TwitPic‘ing or uploading photos to Facebook but the filtering process as well as the ability to play with highlighting and blur effects, makes Instagram photos a tad bit more interesting to look at plus it houses all of your photos for easy access as you continue to use the application.

NOW, onto today’s helpful strategy, for those performing arts venues who want to try out Instagram.

Breaking down the fourth wall with Instagram.  

The fourth wall is a term used in the theatre to describe the division between what’s happening on stage and the audience.  Performing arts organizations have a way of adopting this both as it was defined in the 19th century as well as organizationally.

Instagram provides a way to break down that fourth wall and digitally include the audience (in this case, followers) in on the action, from the stage to behind the scenes.  So the strategy I’m writing about today isn’t terribly difficult to adopt.  It merely has to do with the type of content being shared once an organization decides to use the program.  Instead of using Instagram to showcase only marketing materials or production photos, engage followers by giving them an insider look into the inner workings of what’s going on before, during and after an event.

  • Behind the scenes photos of rehearsals
  • Costume creation and design
  • Set production
  • Promotional events and receptions
  • Merchandising

Snapping pictures in these kinds of settings will undoubtedly make followers feel more invested in what’s happening, perhaps create interest if there was none before and subsequently build a sizable amount of anticipation for the culminating product or, in some cases, event.  Take a look at the recent Broadway production of “A Streetcar Named Desire” and its Instagram usage (Instagram username: @streetcar2012) for a nice example of proper implementation and use.

More tips on Instagram and other social media platforms as it relates to the arts to come!

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One comment

  1. […] first post I wrote about social media and the arts was on how to effectively start using Instagram for your […]



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