New Social Media Trends for 2016
As the year 2016 approaches, as arts marketers we can look back and reflect on the variety of social media networks that we have seen succeed as effective platforms for engaging audiences: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, to name a few.
On the other hand, we’ve seen just as many flop. From Friendster to MySpace to Google+, these platforms fell short somewhere along the social media road to success. For example, Friendster lost the race to Facebook and MySpace when these two placed their emphasis on social sharing and connection. Then, MySpace -- even with its tag line “a place for friends” --- sunk when it gradually became an advertising platform for bands rather than a network for connecting with people. Even Google+ couldn’t match -- let alone improve upon -- the social experience of Facebook.
For arts organizations, social media is a core part of our marketing strategy and a convenient ways to connect to audiences. However, with technology constantly evolving, emerging platforms, updated features, and new innovations, it is increasingly important that arts organizations continue to incorporate the latest social media tools into their marketing and audience engagement strategies.
So what are these latest and greatest tools?
Meerkat and Periscope, two popular live broadcasting apps, are the new social media competitors on the market. Both of these allow you to broadcast an arts event – whether it’s a ballet, street performance, or a rock concert - to a global audience. They are also both linked to Twitter, one of the top social networks for real-time engagement. Both Meerkat and Periscope gained thousands of users around the world within months after their first launch, and the number of users only continues to increase. It is no doubt that live streaming video is changing the way that the arts are engaging with the rest of the world. Periscope creators said that they wanted “build the closest thing to teleportation,” bringing people from different places together -- and it’s working!
Live webcasting is not only changing the way we are communicating and socializing with the rest of the globe but it is also changing the way arts organizations are able to connect with a broader audiences. With live webcasting becoming the new social media trend, it is only a matter of time until arts organizations around the world incorporate these tools as a part of their marketing strategies.
Live webcasting gives arts organizations numerous possibilities for engaging audiences more authentically than ever before. For example, Meerkat and Periscope allow arts organizations to interact with their audiences in real time. There’s no editing to live webcasting; no time for special effects or sepia filters. It’s just you and your audiences, raw. Sounds intimidating? It’s not – it’s transparent, fresh content.
The arts can broadcast live events with audiences, no matter where they are. Being able to broadcast your arts event gives your audience a sense of belonging, where they feel part of your organization, even from thousands of miles away.
Meerkat and Periscope also give you the opportunity to interact with your audiences while live webcasting an event by maintaining communication through comments and likes. Organizations can also interact with audiences by providing Q&A sessions during or after an event. With this feature you can see an immediate response from your audience and gain an understanding of what your audience wants to see from your brand.
Another way to use live webcasting apps is to show users behind the scene footage that they normally would not have access to. NBC news shows their audiences behind the scenes clips (sometimes co-anchor Adrian Arambulo takes their Periscope audience for a quick stroll around the studio before the 11 pm news). This tactic provides a sense of curiosity and exclusivity.
Meerkat and Periscope allow organizations of all kinds to connect and engage in a deeper way with their audiences. Raw content shows brand authenticity and a level of transparency that attracts patrons and keeps them coming back for more. So don’t be afraid to show a more personal side to your arts organization, and have fun with it! Meerkat and Periscope users are not only looking to consume new content, they are also looking for fresh forms of entertainment.