Earning Your Social Media MFA: everything we never get to talk about

I spend most of my time with clients talking about the most basic features of social media, so I was excited that the TCG conference this weekend gave me the opportunity to talk about the exciting future of social media-everything we never get to talk about. From big ideas like Big Data to cool tools like Packrati.us, from staffing models like Y Combinator to events like Museum Next. There are a million opportunities for the nonprofit theatre industry to experiment (check out the #SocialMFA hashtag for more ideas from the crowd). If there are arts funders, arts organizations, artists, administrators, or simply art lovers out there who get inspired by this presentation and have ideas for collaboration, let’s continue the conversation.

Social Media in the Arts on Prezi

If you’ve never seen Prezi, press the “More” button to go full screen. Then press the arrow key to move along a path that I’ve laid out. You can also zoom in or out at any point in time to see additional information by mousing over the upper right hand corner of the screen until a blue menu pops up. The only thing I don’t like about Prezi is it’s inability to embed speaker’s notes, so instead, below:

Home: We have a ton of material to cover, and I’m going to fly through most of it, throw a lot of stuff at you, and hopefully a few tidbits of information will stick. I’m assuming you already have a base level understanding of what these topics of conversation are, I’m focused on showing you more advanced features, and examples of 2nd generation products built on top of the platforms. This presentation is public & online, so don’t worry about taking notes

Title: I titled this ‘Earning Your Social Media MFA’ last fall when I proposed this session to TCG, but the idea has morphed a bit, and now it’s just

Rotate image: Cool shit I want to talk about, loosely related to digital media & the arts

#socialMFA if you want to tweet about this session, you can use the hashtag

Bio: I’m currently the Director of Social Media for a consulting firm in DC called Threespot. We work mostly with nonprofits, designing & building their online strategy — from websites to mobile apps to social media. My background is in theatre management — I’ve worked at theatres across the country, from Intiman in Seattle, to Roundabout in NYC to Actors Theatre of Louisville and Yale Rep. I publish a ton of research online, which you can find at www.24usablehours.com.

Platforms: I’m going to start out with some of the most familiar social media platforms

Facebook: 7 years old, 500 million active users, average of whom spend 25 minutes per day on the site.

Eventbrite is a ticketing service for free & paid events. They do lots of great tracking of Facebook shares for events listed on their platform. There’s almost an even split of those people who share the event pre & post purchase, but post-purchase shares drive more event purchases. So, remember one of your key targets on Facebook should be people who’ve already seen your show.

Facebook Nonprofits: Facebook recently launched a dedicated resource page for nonprofits, with tips & guides for pages, advertising, installing apps, etc. Check it out for your basic questions.

FB Questions: One of the most recent features added to Facebook is the Questions feature. You ask a question, provide several choices, and anyone can vote — even people who haven’t yet liked your page. This spreads virally because it’s public to everyone. Don’t forget FB has a self interest in promoting its newest features, so it will tweak edgerank to give priority to the newest features.

YCBA: landing pages are under-utilized by nonprofits. All the research I’ve done & I’ve seen shows pages with landings tabs have more likes & a higher engagement. Key features: tell users WHAT the benefits are of liking your page, featured UGC, about section gives me clear mission statement.

Sponsored Ads: newest ad unit. You pay to get your logo added to a post that appears in a newsfeed mentioning your name. Purchased from the same ad platform. Images draw the eye. Facebook is prioritizing these in edgerank.

Social plugins: allow you to take Facebook functionality off the page, and onto your site — with like buttons, comments, recommendations from friends, live stream chat. Most you can get up & running in a day.

Chart: Most research points towards increased user engagement. Theatre Puget Sound saw comments increase 5 fold after implementing comments.

Foursquare: 10 million users, gaining about a million users a month — has really broken away from all the other LBS.

Image: If you haven’t used it before, Foursquare is a mobile application, when I arrive at a location, I press a button on my phone to ‘check in’ & that could get me a discount, alerts my friends, records that data to give me recommendations in the future.

More People: the recommendation function is particularly important for theatres. Foursquare has enough data to know that those people who check-in to Brazilian food restaurants in Hollywood also happen to check in to Anteus theatre down the street, and so can recommend your venue.

Average venue: this is based on research I did of 207 arts orgs across the country in April of this year. Shows that claiming your venue & offering a special have some value. I’ve got a ton more research posted on my blog about best practices for using foursquare, and a bunch of examples of arts orgs using foursquare in different ways. Not necessarily a causal relationship.

Quora: this screenshot is from another social network called Quora where you can ask questions & get answers back from founds of technology companies. I track mentions of foursquare, and was intrigued by this answer, from foursquare founder, about their intention to work with more nonprofits. Right now process for getting a custom badge is time consuming. Trying to automate it.

Venue Stats: Foursquare calls this the google analytics of the real world. You only get access if you claim your venue. I’m working with a free concert in the park org right now to help them use this data to infer a bit about their audience demographics.

Sonar: is an app that uses foursquare data to recommend people you strike up a conversation with, who happen to be near you. Example of big data — we’ll talk more in a few minutes.

Brooklyn Museum: a lot of activity on Foursquare. Staff uses it to recommend local eateries & shops they like. Encourage fans to leave tips about the venue. Features everyone who’s received a badge, or ever been a mayor on their blog, offers a special to mayors for a free membership.

IntoNow: allows you to check in to television shows & chat in real time with others watching the show at that moment. Proprietary sound recognition technology automates the “check in” process. Competitor site GetGlue allows you to check in to any form of content — books, music, films, etc — but you have to select from a list. Remember: the idea that people want to share not only where they are, but what they’re doing, will continue.

Twitter: Unknown how many worldwide users are active. In the US, could be anywhere from 10–100 million, likely somewhere in the middle. Remember twitter is much smaller than the amount of press it tends to get implies, but it’s in large part filled with people who are important constituents of yours — critics, journalists, funders, other arts administrators, potential employees.

Strategy: the best strategy I can give you, is to simply be useful. Share. Not just about yourself, but about others as well. You have the bio of everyone who’s following you. Pay attention to serving THOSE people, not some mythical audience member.

Hashtags: are a popular way to collect information into one stream & get everyone talking about the same thing at the same time. In the broader arts community, there has been a great collaboration for a series of hashtag chats, that unites artists with audience members, and gets marketers out of the way.

Crowdbooster: is my favorite tool for tracking twitter. It’s free & in beta, so who knows if it’s a long term solution, but it tracks my progress over time, shows me impressions & engagement levels per person, and insight into individual pieces of content. Look at graph in UR corner. Retweets along x axis , impressions along y axis. Let’s zoom in on 2 different tweets.

Zoom: This tweet was in reponse to techsoup & was part of an industry wide chat on #nptagging. Only got 2 retweets, but reached almost 11,000 people bc influential accounts were the RTs.

Zoom 2: Another tweet a few days later was retweeted by a ton of different people, but ultimately reached fewer impressions. So just tracking mentions isn’t useful. Also consider what people learn about me because of those tweets — which is most valuable?

Klout: we’re still searching for a good measure of influence. Klout is one, peer index is another. Empire Ave is newer still. Right now, they’re too easy to manipulate. You can look at it VERY big picture. If I see two accounts side by side & one has a Klout score of 20, and another of 50, I have a general sense that the 50 is probably more active. But that’s all I know.

Zoom: Use the firefox klout plugin to get Klout scores embedded into your Twitter feed.

Paperli: great resource if you want to keep up with what others are tweeting about, but don’t have time to check twitter everyday. Collects all tweets from tcg theatres & formats them like a newspaper, can be emailed to you every morning. Create your own or subscribe to someone elses.

Kickstarter: It’s one of the most artist-friendly fundraising sites. If you look at the stats, on average $1m raised per week, and 2,500 active projects, means on average each project is earning $400 per week. Don’t expect to raise millions. Project specific. Kickstarter can turn down your application.

Arts Proj: These successful arts projects ranged $600 — $10,000. Before you do your own, stalk other successful (and not) projects to see what worked & didn’t.

Zoom pledges: Research by kickstarter shows most popular levels are $25, $50, $100. Best projects keep donors updated often, throughout, last less than 30 days, have experiential benefits (not just value based)

Curated Channel: Kickstarter has selected a few dozen organizations who can curate their own selection of projects to promote. You can apply to be one of those curators.

Other funders: A bunch of other fundraising platforms, each with their own strengths:

  • Threadless: if you have a visual that would make sense on a t-shirt
  • Crowdrise-for events
  • Jumo-to leverage a community, more than just $
  • Help Attack-donate your social status updates
  • Causes-$35 million raised total –technically smaller than kickstarter
  • Indigogo-like kickstarter, but you keep donation no matter if you reach your goal
  • LetGive-mobile app in dev now, released end of summer

YouTube: Same consumption patterns as Facebook with similar # users. Much more about browsing. Don’t expect your video to be seen on your channel. Much more likely to be discovered via a related video.

Live stream: Better Left Unsaid is great example of live stream. Over the course of X weeks streamed the show. Read the article on 2amt.

Annotations: allow you to do a choose your own adventure narrative. Get to the end of one video & users can choose which video they want to see next.

HTML5: allows you to do stuff in a browser you would think only an iphone app could do. Check out Arcade Fire video for example in use.

Google: is using these more & more for doodles. Playing a guitar, lunar eclipse slider, all HTML5.

Instagram: really new, but growing quickly and indicative of shfit from text to images.

Zoom hashtag: users take photos using phone, option to apply filters, all are public to anyone. Can include a hashtag, which makes image searchable. Some brands are promoting their hashtag (check Charity:Water, NPR, WaPo). Instagram makes it easy to embed this stream on your website

Color: example of a similar app, but instead of public to everyone, photos are public to only those in your immediate vicinity. Good for events (like galas, festivals, etc). indicative of a flexible social graph.

GroupOn: Sold as many groupon last quarter as all of last year. A lot of talk about how bad deals are for merchants because of low margins & bad customers, but note that 44% of deals from 2nd time merchants in May of this year.

Graph 1: Most consumers subscribe to several daily-deals services (& there are literally hundreds of clones now)

Graph 2: Living Social is 2nd most popular

Graph 3: 75% of users have purchased less than 6 groupons, even though they receive emails DAILY.

3 examples: Note cost differences from $22 — $99, and 500–1100 quantity sold. Will be difficult to time your Groupon to coincide with an unsold show because often a several month application process.

GroupOn now: flash deals based on your location

G Team: Groupons nonprofit arm. Focus on gathering people/actions & not on money.

Tech in the Arts: great article on their website comparing groupon to living social

Scoopola is a groupon for live events. In development now, for end of summer.

Slideshare: if you want more info on social media platforms, check out the monograph theatre bay area just published.

Principles: these are big ideas shaping the digital & social landscape

Mobile-230 million cell phone users in the US.

Quick Response: codes are big in the press right now. Snap a photo with your phone, and most often a URL will open. Could also download a v-card (contact information), image, video, anything you could fit in 5,000 characters or less.

Nashville: I happened to catch Nashville children’s testing a QR code that led to their program on their Facebook page. Interesting to see their fans discuss awareness of QR codes.

DTW: great use of QR codes all over their lobby. I had hoped this one on their front window would check me in to foursquare. It didn’t.

Cupcakes: you can put QR codes on anything you can imagine.

Bus: You can use them to provide real time information that is constantly updated as in the case of DC bus stations

Postal systems: use QR to track unique pieces of mail: just like a barcode, you can pack lots of info into small space. Benefit of QR is that it’s a standardized system that anyone can read.

Art gallery: using QR codes to link to additional information about the artwork

Character sign: if you have a multi-lingual audience, you can direct mobile viewers to different language websites because your cell phone knows what language you speak (also where you area, and what time it is) in a way that a website browser doesn’t.

Sign 2: QR code eliminates the need to explain the click path described on the right

Conference: uses them to download contact information of participants.

Poster: used a bit.ly link to show real time tweets about the show.

Bitly: speaking of bit.ly, every bit.ly link has a qr code automatically generated for it that you can grab & use. Snap a photo of this QR code & you’ll find a video of the tweet I mentioned earlier from Alamo drafthouse. 15 retweets yielded 165 clickthrus.

Zoom: many other services will generate a qr code for you. They’re all about the same.

Locale: solves the problem of phones ringing in theatres. We’re getting there, but still a few years out. Turns ringer to silent when you’re at a venue identified as ‘whatever’. Many companies are now working to identify every building in the world (simplegeo & foursquare) to automate the choice.

Square: take credit card (or cash) payments using your iphone/ipad instead of a traditional cash register. Keeps track of SKU’s, & can email receipt to customer. Could be great for concession stands. Free to get card reader, 3% transaction fee.

Augmented Reality: describes a mobile app that overlays information on top of camera viewfinder. Could be anything from what’s inside a building/historical information (like google goggles) to layar (where you decide what info to overlay).

Game Mechanics: process of motivating or suppressing user behaviors, online or off. Could be to attend the theatre more often, or discuss the production online, or just about any other behavior we want from our constituents. This is an old idea given a new jargon.

Pizza: Example of using game mechanics to drive behavior. Start with a vision, describe behaviors you want, select game mechanics to drive behavior, then build the technology/process that implements the mechanics.

Lenses: these are the game mechanics behind an app called SCVNGR. Listed on slideshare. Gives definition & examples.

SCVNGR: This is a SCVNGR game that happened during the humana festival this year. Encouraged audience members to talk to eachother, to stop by certain locations of the theatre, to take action (photos & audio recording). Great test case.

Dropbox: example of game mechanics in use; reward schedule (steps 1–6), achievement representation (get more the more you do), free lunch (free stuff for doing something), progression dynamic (crossed off the list).

Yelp: more examples: status (elites), leader boards, give information about your progress

Lenses: If you’re really into game mechanics idea, there’s a ton of material out there. This is one of the best books I’ve seen.

Big Data: we are generating HUGE amounts of data by our actions (on & offline), and we now have processing capabilities to build new services & products using this data. Closely related is the concept of an API, which stands for Application Programming Interface, which is a way for one website to pull information from another website. For example, when I open hootsuite & can see data from twitter.

Culture Hack Day: event in london in January of this year. Brought together programmers & cultural institutions for 24 hours to build new products.

Tate: one example of that is ‘when should I visit’ which mines foursquare data in real time to see when the museum (or anywhere) is least busy.

Dashbarods: Indianapolis museum has one of the most well known public facing dashboards.

AVC: another example of real time web activity. You can see this in action at chartbeat.com. Awesome to watch activity as a blog post goes live, see how it spreads across the web.

NYArtBeat has its own API of arts events happening in new york city. Any programmer could use this API to build a product using all of that information. This is hopefully what project audience will look like for the theatre world.

Infographics: are a sign of the age of big data. This is one created when federal buget released.

Zoom: infographics are great marketing these days. Everybody would rather see a data-rich story represented via images rather than words.

Needlebase: If you’re someone who’s trying to collect or clean a large amount of data from across the web, needlebase is my favorite free tool. Here is an example of someone scraping data from hundreds of different live event websites & displaying it in a calendar format. Because it’s automatically pulling in info, the calendar will always be as up to date as the websites it’s pulling from.

UGC: one of the earliest principles of the web is the idea that users want to generate their own content.

Edmonton blogger: example of a blogger posting a review, AD responds with a rant, the situation blows up very quickly around the community.

Yelp: user reviews a preview on Yelp, Mike Daisey sees it & doesn’t approve. We’ve long had conversations between professional critics & theatres about etiquette, now general public getting in on the action. Should have a discussion about what we can and can’t expect of our audience.

Public Theatre: using guest tweeters (So You Think You Can Tweet) to write about shakes in the park based on tweet submissions.

Pilot Theatre: a play created by, and played out on, twitter over 9 months. Transmedia-on & offline events. We see this a lot with television shows — characters that exist on social media. New area of exploration for theatres.

Woolly Mammoth: great example of multi-social campaign & when users become the content. Agony & Ecstasy timed with launch of iPad2, so they sent team out to capture reactions of people in line. Use t-shirts w/ QR codes, foursquare ticket discount, tweets with multimedia & a branded hashtag.

Bronx Zoo: example of spontaneous creation. A form of performance art.

Life in a Day: will premiere this summer, I saw it at sundance this year & is phenomenal. Tens of thousands of UGC all uploaded on 1 day. David Fincher created documentary. Notoriously difficult to get people to submit this content. This team worked hard to send cameras out into the field & develop a Digital Asset Management system to tag & find material.

Projects: these are interesting projects going on that didn’t fit elsewhere

PitchCentral: is a website based in UK matching all these people together. Cool business model uses the web to connect people.

Tixato: ticketing service built for the (right now small) theatre company. I’ve been watching this during its development and have been really impressed. Puts the technology of TODAY into your box office.

Synchronous Objects: Recording you can view & tailor to your tastes. Different camera angles, different audio layers, different annotations. Interesting realization of the desire for modern day viewers to manipulate the content their watching/using.

ArtLog is a social network for visual art lovers. Uses the data from the social network to surface trending artists or galleries. Gives you an industry wide picture of what’s happening in the art world.

Resources: things to think about that may help you when you go home.

News: a bunch of different sources. Theatre -> technology -> museums -> nonprofits -> social media. These are the blogs I read (in the arts).

Staff: For social media in for-profit corporations, hub & spoke, and centralized are most popular structures. But you can consider these other options. Depends on your organization. Check out Altimeter report for more info.

Networked Nonprofit: in other industries, we see Free Agents crashing into fortresses. Not so much in the arts. Where’s our free agents??

Incubators: Y-Combinator, KickStart & 500 start ups are incubators. Provide small teams 3 months of salary, mentorship, & office space to help them launch. Arts funders (or arts-based venture capitalists) could help us do this. LetGive & Scoopola are both in incubators this summer.

Co-working spaces: NewWorkCity, General Assembly, Dogpatch Labs. Peer mentorship — put companies in close quarters, charge them for office space & supplies, but allow cross over between teams; offers public workshops at night on industry topics. Arts funders could help us do this. Art.sy is at General Assembly.

Geeks in Residence: idea comes out of Australia. Matches (& funds) programmers with arts institutions for a year, and documents their progress for the rest of the industry to learn from.

Hashtags: follow #2amt if you wan to continue having conversations like these.

Events: keep an eye out on interesting events, & follow them on twitter or the blogosphere

TEDxMichigan Ave: was all about the future of the arts. Videos are online now, check out the website.

Seven on Seven: matched technologists with artists for a day to see what they could create — ranged from works of art, to works of technology.

MuseumNext: so jealous of this. It’s the presentation, stretched out over several days. An entire conference dedicated to technology in the (visual) arts. I would love to curate a model of this for the performing arts.

Lanyrd: sign in with twitter to see who you know is attending conferences. Another reason to follow interesting people. Can then track these conferences. Not yet fully functional.

Tools: online tools to use

Storify: you’ll see me use this tool to document TCG conf where a lot of people are using a lot of social media channels to talk about the same topic. Andy Carvin shows great use of it to pull together social media from lots of different channels into one story. Storify takes care of the formatting. You search keywords, drag & drop content into the story, add your own text

Zoom storify: this is what a completed storify looks like. It formats tweets, rich media like slideshows, videos, or photos that people have tweeted.

MyFaceInstagram: here is WaPo using storify & instagram & UGC

Prezi: free for anyone to use. That’s how I built this presentation. Flash based.

Packratius: one of my must have tools. You register your twitter & delicious accounts, and then never have to touch it again, and everytime you tweet a link, it will be saved to delicious bookmarks with relevant tags. It’s the way that I was able to gather this much material in just a few hours for this presentation.

If This Then That: takes the packratius idea, and extends it to a bunch of different platforms — Facebook, email, Evernote, etc.

Zoom IFTTT: which means, you could go in the reverse direction, from a delicious bookmark to a tweet. Or a Facebook post to a phone call.

Questions?

Thanks! Follow me @devonvsmith or subscribe www.24UsableHours.com.