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how to use social media in the arts: some case studies

September 11, 2009

Michael Lynn Adams posterArtsLIVE conducted a workshop in Ventura County to assist artists in using social media including twitter, facebook, blogs, youtube channel, and newsletters. I arrived after the first hour, well after most of the food and drinks were consumed and the conviviality ceased  (I was busy teaching at Ventucky College). I then struggled for the first 30 minutes trying to get on-line. Not fun and no support in sight. Eventually, I achieved cyber lift-off.

The quick and dirty presentation closed with a series of case studies:

Michael Lynn Adams, artist, has been using social media since January. Since then, he’s developed a large facebook audience of 1700 fans. He’s developed subscribers to his newsletter by giving away a poster with a subscription. His goal is to help people find him and to grow a mailing list beyond what he currently has–400 people. He chose as the giveaway a poster of painting he knew he’d never sell because his wife is attached to it. His use of social media has led to professional representation by a gallery in Florida. So far, the artist and the moderator (Tyler?) have been talking without giving us his url…so I guess I won’t give it to you either.

Gallery of Historical Figures offers a blog, extensive video content with an eloquent speaker, etc. The moderator suggests they build out their youtube channel, use flickr, add podcasts into iTunes, and to promote using RSS, facebook, etc.

Bell Arts Factory’s Josh Addison took the hot seat next with the moderator. Facebook group has 405, facebook page has 43, they use blogs, flickr, twitter, and other strategies. There’s a number of artists at Bell Arts (30+) and many of them use social media. This past year, Josh has worked hard to develop an audience. After a devastating event in his neighborhood, has moved to being more involved with his atomic world rather than his electronic world which has continued on without him. The moderator suggests that he integrate his various uses of social media, especially to make his website connected to Bell Arts blogs, twitter feeds, etc.  As his community is bilingual, there’s a great opportunity to offer and produce bilingual content.

Ojai Music Festival’s Christiani Thomas started a facebook group for the Music Festival because she was the only one using facebook. They added a fan page when they became available. They got a google ad grant, and developed better SEO. They added twitter in January to their enews, facebook, and blog approach to social media.  For the past two years, they’ve offered a bloggers night; I participated in the one last year but unfortunately I couldn’t get on the wireless from the seat they gave me. The moderator (Tyler?) points out how built out their video and audio elements are yet they don’t have much of a YouTube channel, they blog about once a week, and have about 509 followers on twitter. Everything they do focuses in on telling a specific story about the Music Festival. As a social media presence, they see their facebook role as being a hub. They use twitter as a benchmark–following everyone in the industry, then aggregating the information into their twitter and facebook  feed make what they have to offer more valuable to their audience so they will pay attention. The moderator suggests refining and integrating their approach, developing their YouTube channel, using multiple bloggers, and tracking everything.

Oh, now here comes the moderator’s info and his sales pitch: Tyler Suchman 805/715-9694. $1000 a month is the special he’s offering to attendees here which is 20% off, and is good for about five hours a week.

Nov 2 will be the next event: Alan Brown, the art researcher on audience, demographics, and donor development.

And now here’s more basic info: Slides are here: Check for tweets here: #artslive and twitter account is @ArtsLiveVC . So now here are the links for:

Michael Lynn Adams,
Fine Artist

Josh Addison,
Bell Arts Factory

Christiana Thomas,
Ojai Music Festival

6 Comments leave one →
  1. September 11, 2009 1:43 am

    Good stuff Gwen. I think people will really catch on to the interwebs meshing with the arts. It’s a somewhat free and inevitably profitable line to the whole world. I know you and I are frequent flyers already. Good stuff!

  2. September 11, 2009 2:07 am

    Thanks Gwen for the using my graphic and retelling some of my story. By the way my URL is

  3. September 11, 2009 2:52 am

    Thanks for the kind words as we need all the help and suggestions we can get to build awareness of George Stuart’s Historical Figures!

    We are with Michael — long live the realism resurgence!

  4. September 11, 2009 4:56 am

    Hi Gwen,

    I didn’t know you had trouble logging on during our “blogger night” at the last Festival. But I did read your other coverage – thanks. We will have to make sure we can do a better job on that for next year. Glad you liked the presentation – Tyler has helped us leaps and bounds!

  5. September 11, 2009 5:35 am

    Thanks everyone, for coming by and chiming in! Nice to see some local peeps here! Please come back–I post about the local arts scene a few times a month when inspired!

    Gina, I tried to get on-line and get help doing so. The suggestion was to move way to the side as I gather the wireless worked better over there. But the seat I had was so much better in terms of sound and view that I stayed put and relaxed and enjoyed the show very very much as well as the after-party! Please invite me again!

  6. tyler93023 permalink
    September 11, 2009 4:09 pm

    Thanks for coming, Gwen, straight from the playa? I should have been better at giving out domains for people to follow during the presentation. Fun to be live-blogged! Cheers, Tyler

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