When I’m not blogging I have a day job at the very lovely All About Audiences. This month the excitement is building at AAA Towers in the run up to our first annual conference. We’re Not In Kansas Anymore: Adapting to Survive takes place on the 28th of March at the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester. We are pleased to have announced keynote speakers including:

(Unfortunately the Wicked Witch of the West will not be joining us as she was already booked to appear in the West End.)

The theme of the conference will be focused on organisational resilience, individual resilience and looking forward. This prompted me to think about social media and the role it will play as the changes and cuts to the arts sector begin to impact upon our country.

In The Wizard of Oz the story centres on the ruby slipper wearing Dorothy, and her encounters with a variety of colourful characters on the Yellow Brick Road. If you’re familiar with the tale you’ll remember her friends the Lion who seeks courage, the Scarecrow who seeks a brain and the Tin Man who seeks a heart. It strikes me that in these challenging times the arts sector should be applying these assets – courage, brains and heart – when it comes to social media.

  • Courage – When things get tough it is often easy to rely on what has been done before, however this is not the time to be sitting back. Organisations must be brave, innovating new ways of applying social media tools for engaging audiences.
  • Brains – At a time when budgets and resources are tight ensuring maximum return on investment is critical. A scatter-gun approach can no longer be taken to using social media technologies. As such monitoring and impact analysis become even more essential. This intelligence can then be used to ensure social media activities are being delivered in a way that produces tangible outputs that help meet business objectives.
  • Heart – It is said that the biggest investor in the arts is the audience. As such undertaking social networking with heart becomes increasingly important using these tools to build ‘personal’, long standing, sustainable customer relationships and a community of advocates with a positive attitude towards your brand.

It is clear that if arts organisations are to reach the promised land of Oz they must adapt their use of social media to aid their survival. In the case of  social media many of the opportunities are as yet unexplored meaning there are plentiful possibilities for those Munchkins willing to take on the challenge.

*** To keep in touch with all chatter regarding ‘Adapting to Survive’ on Twitter by following the hashtag #AAAConf. ***

Image c/o Brian Negin licensed under Creative Commons.