Archive for the ‘The Arts’ Category

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The Arts & Social Media: Instagram (Part 2)

October 15, 2012

With my first post, I wrote about social media and the arts and how to effectively start using Instagram for your arts organization (especially for performing arts centers and companies).  My post relied heavily on explaining IG and its simplest functions and subsequently gave ideas on the type of image content to use as opposed to the capabilities of the actual application.  With Instagram slowly becoming a powerhouse platform with exceptionally high usage, it’s important to make sure you are using it to it’s maximum potential.

These are a few really quick ideas and tips on how to creatively use Instagram for the arts, outside of simply posting pictures.

  • Hashtag, hashtag, hashtag!
    • Instagram allows for hashtags to be incorporated in captions and are actually searchable by users.  Therefore, if you can effectively hashtag your picture, do it!  A simple hashtag can go a long way (#dance #theatre #Sondheim #Ailey #Gershwin) and getting specific can yield some great results.  A simple #LesMiserables hashtag can put your community theatre production’s photo in the company of content from past professional productions and other current productions.
  • Start a photo challenge
    • A lot of IG users are finding pleasure in participating in monthly photo challenges that call on users to follow a set guideline and post a photo a day based on that’s guidelines content request.  These challenges pop up monthly but can be adapted for weekly challenges, if a month proves to be too strenuous.  Check out a general photo challenge outline and think of how you could potentially adapt it to fit your own organization.  Perhaps think of incorporating the challenge into a contest, with its completion yielding a prize.

  • Follow your peers AND your devoted patrons.
    • Much like Twitter, IG can and should be a platform for two way communication.  Nothing reads quite as badly as an organization who has tons of followers but chooses to follow no one.  Social media is exactly that, social and should be taken advantage of in that way.  Therefore, interact with IG users and followers, whether they are other organizations or fans of your organization.  Follow them and don’t be afraid to interact with their photos, if relevant.  This builds a relationship and is likely to increase loyalty to your cause/brand/content.

More to come in future blog posts!  I’ll be hitting on best practices for Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other social media platforms as it relates to the arts.

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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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