Folksonomies Social networking

Social media marketing in the performing arts

Beth Kanter and Rebecca Krause-Hardie have put together a good primer which appeared in Arts Reach magazine on some of the ways performing arts organisations are using social media to engage with their audiences in new ways.

Two things jumped out immediately. Firstly, that social media has seriously challenged the short-term marketing focus of many of the organisations interviewed. This limited focus has historically been the result of funding cycles. And secondly, that the ways that they are using social media are extremely varied.

The Atlanta Symphony’s use of tagging shows that the ‘semantic gap’ issue is by no means unique to museums –

“When audience members post their comments, they will also include “key word” tags to go along with them. This has multidimensional results. It is helpful in searching the site, and it informs the marketing department about the words and connections the audience makes, rather than the connections we as the institution guess that they will make. It’s free market research!

3 replies on “Social media marketing in the performing arts”

Hi Seb,
I was also struck by the keyword ideas. As I’m from the orchestra world, I’ve found it very interesting how much we have to learn from the Museum Field.

I recently interviewed Rob Stein at the Indianapolis Museum IMA for my blog, and it seems like they are doing a really neat job of using tags and keywords.

Do you know of others? Thanks.


Hi Rebecca

There are a large number of major museums involved in the Steve research which is not only building a series of open source art tagging application but also evaluating the influence of UI design on tagging, as well as the different ways in which audiences tag different content. The Smithsonian and several musuems in Canada have also been doing limited experiments.

Over here at the Powerhouse we adding social tagging as well as keyword tracking to our entire public collection. Do a search on here for OPAC2 for the latest on what we are learning.


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