The Birdbath: Digital Tips & Trends, Summer 2023
Greetings from The Birdbath!
This newsletter from Bower Blue takes a look at digital tips & trends impacting the visual arts & design communities.
It’s summer. The thick of it. Not much to cover right now.
Ha ha… just kidding… it’s THREADS! Today we are going to take a look at the new social media network that everyone in the art world is obsessed with/curious about/has no interest in/glazed over/[looks up from beach towel] what? [choose one or more]
Thanks for being here. Let us know what’s on your mind.
#1. THREADS IS HERE TO… wait… hold on…
Well, that was fast. First, Meta’s new Twitter [‘X’ now, apparently -ed.] competitor, Threads, went from zero to 100 million downloads in record time. It being so closely tied to Instagram, it was no surprise that the art world greeted it with breathless enthusiasm. Also not surprisingly, the hot takes came just as fast and were, frankly, merciless.
Two days after Artnet News declared Threads “poised to challenge Twitter’s status as the go-to platform for very-online people… [and] among those curiously checking out Threads are arts professionals, many of them scrambling to win a piece of this new crush of online attention,” Ben Davis highlighted this gem of insight from Kate Lindsay’s post for the Embedded newsletter: “After years of being subliminally nudged towards this behavior through algorithm changes on other platforms, when given the opportunity to do something different on Threads, we came running back to the bland platitudes and low-hanging fruit we’ve been conditioned to rely on for engagement.”
As expected, Scott Galloway didn’t hold back in identifying a prime contributor of Thread’s early “success”: “Threads’ early success has nothing to do with Threads. It’s a function of the dysfunction at Twitter (aka Elon) and Meta’s monopoly footprint. … Musk’s behavior lowered the drawbridge, and Zuckerberg walked through it without any resistance.”
#2. THREADS INSIDER
So, what’s next for Threads? As is typical of our work here at Bower, we’re turning to both data and human insight. Our social media specialist, Laura Maurer, has this to say, “We’re watching closely to see how many of the initial 100 million sign-ups use the platform consistently. That will determine if and how Threads is adopted by brands and organizations.” In our initial conversations with clients, such as Langson IMCA where we manage their digital strategy and content, we are not recommending just reposting content from Instagram. Being on Threads for the sake of being on Threads is not a strategy — if you are not adding to the conversation or developing a distinct voice, right now, at least, you are just showing the same content to the same audience.
While the current crash in active users is noteworthy, with new features already being rolled out regularly and a seemingly insurmountable lead — in gross audience size, at least — over other pretenders to the Twitter throne, it is surely too early to make a final determination on Threads. We will be watching it closely, and advising our clients appropriately.
#3. SHORT-FORM VIDEO
Short-form video is the most-consumed format online, especially on social media. 85 percent of marketers say short-form video is the most effective format on social media, and this is attributed to having the highest ROI of top marketing trends. Buffer has a good explainer for the form and its utility. While it can seem like just one more aspect of your digital strategy to maintain, with the proper strategy and guidance, creating cross-channel digital content can be seamless and easier than you may think. For many of our clients, when we are producing content for one platform and purpose, we always look for opportunities to repurpose that content across platforms. Need help? Let us know!
Here are just two examples of short-form video produced by Bower Blue. For The 8th Floor gallery at the Rubin Foundation — a client of Bower’s sister agency Blue Medium — we produced a very short trailer from an event, specifically for social media.
For our client the Art Dealers Association of America, we produced two videos featuring interviews with nearly two dozen of their members, but each of the videos was also designed in such a way as to provide them with a number of different assets they can use across platforms. You can see their primary home here on the 60th Anniversary page, and they are also deploying clips on social media to highlight individual members over time.