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!