The Art of the Business

A blog dedicated to artists who are serious about their business.

Social Media Marketing Offline May 19, 2010

I talk a lot about social media marketing: tips, how-tos, etc. But a new and increasingly interesting field of social media marketing is taking place off line, in the real world.

So, I’ve been doing some research on the topic, and here’s what I’m finding out:

Tracking social media hits is really challenging. A great deal of the resistance of businesses, in particular, to starting social media marketing is because it’s hard to prove the ROI. What I mean by that is, “If I have a facebook page, how many tickets will I sell?” It’s hard to prove, because of the ripple effect of social media. If I send out an invitation to a show, I know who that invitation goes to. But any one of those folks could pass it on to their friends, or their friends’ friends, and so the people that actually show up at my theatre may be the 3rd or 4th generation (or more) of that invitation.

This is part of the reason why I love social media so much, but it does make it difficult to track where people are coming from.

Using social media offline can help to track where people are coming from. For example, a couple of weeks ago, I saw an ice cream place on Twitter post a tweet that said they would be offering a 1/2 price discount on ice cream for the first 10 minutes after the Canucks scored a goal. So, if the Canucks score a goal, and someone comes in and asks for 1/2 price ice cream, you know that person is on your Twitter feed.

Another reason why social media marketing offline is starting to catch on is because of the prevalence of smart phones. Nearly everyone I know has an IPhone or a Blackberry these days. If you see a sign like this, for example:

You can immediately go to your smartphone, go on the internet or to your Facebook app, and “like” this business. And people “like” to get exclusive social media offers–which for the business is a win-win, because it offers an option to track where that business came from.

Our smartphones also make it really easy for us to offer immediate reviews. A while ago, when I went to buy a futon, and drove across town to find the store closed, even though I was there within the opening hours clearly posted, I immediately twittered the #fail. The opposite is true for positive reviews: great meals, extra special service, etc.

Online relationships lead to real-life meetings

Last week, I published my very first e-newsletter. In it, I talked about the experience I had at Northern Voice. Briefly, I argued that social media is not killing face-to-face relationships, but, in fact, strengthening them. You see, we get to know people online, and when we meet them in real life, it’s less awkward, and we already know things about each other, so it’s easier to find something to talk about. Many of these online relationships are leading to real-life meetings, or Tweetups. That’s when a bunch of folks who all follow each other on Twitter, and have something in common, meet in real life for coffee or a drink.

Stay tuned… I’m working on a post with tips about how to use social media marketing offline.

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What happens when Social Media and Visual Arts collide? February 10, 2010

Twitter/Art + Social Media, that’s what.

From April 1- May 1, 2010, the Diane Farris Gallery will be presenting an exhibition called Twitter/Art + Social Media, an exhibition of work by artists who use social media for the inspiration, production or presentation of their work. How cool is this??

From the Diane Farris blog:

Since 1984, Diane Farris Gallery has been known for finding and establishing new talent. In the year 2010, the gallery recognizes the strong role played by social media in the production and/or promotion of artwork. We are particularly interested in how social media is affecting the practice of artists who use it to share feedback on their artwork, to promote their artwork, to organize shows or to produce artwork collaboratively.

Social media may include websites, blogging, instant messenger, rss feeds, social bookmarking, Facebook, Blogger, Flickr, MySpace, deviantART, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Skype and podcasts. Artwork may include painting, drawing, photography, printmaking and three-dimensional work as well as computer-based art, video and performance formats.

Submissions are currently open, but only until Feb 24. Click here for submission guidlelines.

(with special thanks to Lili De Carvalho)

UPDATE, FEB 19: Submission deadline date has been extended to March 5.

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The Tricky World of Permissions February 5, 2010

A couple of weeks ago, my sweetie, who is a singer/songwriter, got invited with another singer/songwriter friend to perform at an open-mic night. The host was a restaurant. The business-savvy owner wanted to video tape them and put the footage on YouTube.

My sweetie had some pretty big concerns about this: first of all, as with many open-mic sessions, the songs he performed were works-in-progress, so the quality of the songs might not have been at a polished, professional level. Secondly, because they were works-in-progress, they hadn’t been copyrighted in any way, and he was concerned about someone else taking his tunes off of YouTube without permission.

Now, I’m the biggest advocate of using social media to promote your art career. In fact, these days, it’s difficult to get noticed by the big guys unless you already have a built-in fan base of adoring fans. Witness Justin Bieber. Justin is a teenager from Stratford who wanted to be a musician. So, he started his own YouTube channel, and built a fan base. It was only after that, that he got a record deal.

There’s no doubt about it–social media is powerful. So powerful, that you need to be careful with it, sometimes. If my sweetie’s songs had been out on YouTube in their currently unfinished form, it may not have shown his work in the best light. Or worse, someone else could have co-opted his work.

I recently had a conversation with a professor of theatre at a BC University. He was directing a play last year, and the play called for partial nudity. Unsure what to do, he took the question to the students, and the response was, “are you going to confiscate everyone’s phones at the door?” A well-timed photo taken surreptitiously on a phone’s camera cause real damage to that actor if it got out on Facebook.

So here’s a couple of things to bear in mind when you are using other people’s art in social media:

  • Ask permission first–“Is it okay if I use your photo/song/video on my blog post?”
  • Give credit where credit is due: whenever I use photos of a play, I always credit the photographer, even if they were paid for the job.
  • Vet the post past the person before you hit publish: send the person whose work you are using a copy of the blog post before you publish it, to make sure they are okay with what you’ve written.

The bottom line is this: think the golden rule. Wouldn’t you rather be asked if you were okay with someone sharing your stuff before they do?

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Are you connected? February 3, 2010

The other day I started thinking about what Social Media looks like, and just for fun, I drew a flow chart of my online presence. It looked like this:

Most people participate in Social Media for a couple of reasons:

  • maintaining relationships/connecting with folks they already know
  • meeting new people (potential clients)

Let’s ignore your friends for now. If you were friends before Facebook, you’ll be friends when the next great thing has made it extinct. Let’s focus on how new people, potential clients, can find you.

For me, the vast majority of people ‘find’ me through my blog, and lesser so, through my website. Now, everyone has a preferred way of doing things. Some folks might be on Facebook but not Twitter, or vice-versa. If you want to maintain contact with someone new, you need to make it as easy as possible. So, it’s really important to have your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Flikr connections in a place on your blog or website where people can easily click and find you in their preferred social network.

Let’s now look at it from the reverse. Say someone finds you on Twitter. You want to keep in contact with them. Yes, they’re following your Twitter stream, but make it easy for them to also subscribe to your blog, and become your Fan on Facebook.

I can’t tell you how many times I have gone to someone’s blog or website, and wanted to connect with them on another platform, and not been able to find that information easily. Many people import thier Twitter feed onto their blog or website, but don’t make their twitter handle known, or have a button which makes it easy for me to access them on Twitter.

Make sure, wherever you choose to have your presence on the web, that you make it easy for people to connect with you in other places.

UPDATE: See the second part of this post where there are specific technical directions.

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Demystifying Social Media Workshop: Dec 1 November 27, 2009

Filed under: Arts Marketing,social media,Workshops — Rebecca Coleman @ 9:31 am
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Well, Simon and I are at it again. We have an upcoming, two-part workshop at the Alliance For Arts and Culture on Dec 1.

Part 1: 9 am-12 pm
Social Media Marketing Theory

The marketing game has changed. The internet’s offer of instant global communication has given us a new tool kit to reach our customers. To succeed in this new arena you first have to understand its language.

There’s no point in learning how to pull the levers until you know why   you’re standing at the controls. In this morning session, the facilitators will discuss the paradigm shift in marketing from its traditional forms to the social internet. They will talk about what it means to join a social network, the etiquette required and how to choose the platforms that are right for you.

The facilitators have been using social media platforms such as Blogs, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube with measurable success for several years now, and will pass on the lessons they’ve learned. And they’ll examine the art of communicating and building relationships within this compelling new world.

Part 2: 1-4 pm
Theory into Practice

In this afternoon follow-up of the morning’s Introductory Workshop, you will move from theory to practice,as the facilitators share clear, concrete methods and tips for building your social media marketing plan using the most effective sites in the landscape of platforms: Blogs, Facebook, E-mail newsletters, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.

This is where we will answer all those nagging questions about the weird and wonderful world of Social Marketing. The techniques may have changed but the abiding principle of Marketing is the same as it’s always been, and always will be: building relationships based on trust. And that is the heart of Social Media.

Both workshops take place at
The Alliance for Arts and Culture
100- 938 Howe Street

Each workshop costs $50 for members, $75 for non-members.

Click here to register.

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Why Social Media Matters (guest post by Rebecca Krause-Hardie) November 16, 2009

Rebecca posed a question to me the other day.  It was something like this…
I know social media is important, and you know it’s  important, but how do we make the case for the value of social media – to people who think its just hype?

I think there are lots of reasons.

First, a bit of perspective: we seem to be approaching social media as if it were a whole new deal. Let’s be clear. We have all been struggling for thousands of years, how to relate to and engage one another; as tribal members, as individuals, families, clans, communities, institutions and organizations.

We have struggled as teen-agers with parental relationship controls, and peer pressure to behave in acceptable ways or be excluded. As adults we are participants in many organizations, institutions, companies, as well as community, cultural, and religious groups, that each subtly define what appropriate social behavior is and what is possible.

For thousands of years, large scale conquests across continents, wars and commerce have cross fertilized our cultures and social structures. Then, POOF, along comes the internet and social media technology tools, that have transformed the informational and social landscape of time, distance, interactive immediacy … and the possibilities for building and sustaining relationships, that are  both positive and negative.

But one thing is clear, over the centuries, through all of this … sustained personal trust, transparency, authenticity, loyalty, passion, and the value of personal relationships in our social networks – is the glue that keeps it all together.

So how does this speak directly to the value of social media today?

Here we are in the thick of it. Social media is about building and sustaining virtual networks of relationships – personal relationships – that are also built on trust, authenticity, transparency and value. When we, as individuals and organizations, invest in social media networking with our friends, associates, customers and prospective customers, there is also significant value that appreciates – to all of the participants.

Many researchers have identified a very specific group of those personal, loyal and passionate supporters, and relationships, that are the core multipliers of each of our networks. Alan Brown calls them Initiators; Fredrick Reichheld calls them Net Promoters.

Here is one analysis of the value of that relationship of trust, transparency and passion, delivered and sustained over time – Frederick Reichheld wrote an article in the Harvard Business Review called The One Number You Need to Grow:

‘Net Promoters’ – People who are wildly passionate about what we do

Enterprise Rent-A-Car was interested in understanding how people’s actions correlated with what they said. If someone says that they like to go to the theater – do they actually go, and what choices do they actually make?   In the study, they first tracked people’s initial responses to the survey, and then followed their actual downstream behaviors.

Historically millions of dollars have been spent understanding customer behavior; learning how to second guess what customers need and want. Most methods were complex, hugely expensive, marginally adequate, and frequently could not actually or accurately predict behavior.

Reichheld decided on a more direct social media approach – have a Q&A conversation with the customer – and really listen.

With the help of Reichheld, Enterprise discovered that the answer to only one survey question was all that was needed. This question is now widely used across a broad spectrum of for profit and nonprofit organizations:  That one question is:

“How likely are you to recommend my company to your friends?”

In the survey, people who answer that question with a 9 or 10 (on a scale from 1 to 10), are your Net Promoters. These people are the ones that will make the buying decision because they love your stuff (you deliver trust and real value over time), and when they passionately refer their friends to you for free, their friends are likely to act on it positively, 75% of the time.  This is an astounding return rate, especially if we look at typical results from direct mail for example with 2-3% returns.

Reichheld goes on to say that to grow your business the ratio of the Net Promoters to all the other respondents should be 75% or better.   How are you doing? You should ask the question and really listen to the answer if you want to grow. If your numbers are lower than that, your customers will be able to tell you what you need to do to change it … if you ask, and then act on it!

Personal referrals are effective 75% of the time!

We just learned from Reichheld that personal referrals are effective about 75% of the time, so it begs the question.  “What are personal referrals about?” They are about personal relationships.  We talk to our friends, and we tell them what is important to us.  We share, we trust, we value….  all the things that evolve from building social capital.  When we are enthusiastic about something we share it.   Let’s say I just had a spectacular experience with the customer service at AutoZone and I tell you about it; that will probably stick with you next time you need to pick up a part.  (Or have a headlight put in….. they did it for me instantly politely and happily!  Yay!)

On the other hand, say I have three excruciating gut-wrenching and really bad experiences in a row with Spirit Airlines (yes I did!) and I tell you about it; that may affect how you think about them too.

What does this have to do with Social Media?

Social media is about building relationships with people.  When people are making their decisions in large part based on what their friends say, then it’s important to know what their friends are saying and feeling.

If they are a passionate promoter then social media tools can help you empower them to deliver your message for free.

If they are not a net promoter, then you should be concerned about what they are saying and feeling that is not helping your cause.  What can your organization do to provide more value and to address the issues that these people have.  How will you even know what they are saying and thinking?

You can use social media tools to listen and have conversations with people. To be relevant you have to be part of the conversation.

Want some facts and figures?   Check out this video on YouTube….

beckydeckRebecca Krause-Hardie is a social media strategist, arts blogger, facilitator/trainer & project manager; helping arts and NPO’s use the web and social media effectively.  Rebecca has over 20 yrs experience in new media, business, marketing, finance. She developed and has been the Executive Producer of the award winning New York Philharmonic’s Kidzone website, now in its 10th year. http://www.nyphilkids.org.  Representative clients the Boston Symphony, NYPhilharmonic, Detroit Symphony, MAPP International, Canadian Museum of Nature, NYS/Arts, Caring.com and the Paul Taylor Dance Company.
She blogs at http://arts.typepad.com/
She Twitters at @arkrausehardie

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One more social media video September 21, 2009

Filed under: Marketing with YouTube,social media — Rebecca Coleman @ 12:57 am
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Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been finding and sharing with you videos that talk about the power of social networking.
Here is the latest of them. Created by Xplanevisualthinking for the upcoming Media Conference Forum in October in NYC.

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