I recently found a couple of online articles and presentations that I found really interesting and wanted to share them. The first is a look at Online Marketing in the Energy Industry and the second is a look at Social Media in the Arts Industry.

Both present very well rounded approaches to Online Marketing that can be applied to almost any project and both also do an excellent job of weeding through the online landscape to reach the end goal.

Can Social Media Save the Art Industry?
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Art Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, The Louvre, the Musee D’Orsay, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, The Art Institute of Chicago, the list just keeps going…but what’s wrong with this sequence?

With a recession raining down upon us, not many individuals have the time or money to invest in a $20 museum ticket. Cultural past times, such as museums and art centers have taken a massive blow to their internal egos. Around the world, state and government municipalities have sliced budgets, cut staff, and some museums could soon be closing because of a lack of money, interest and more importantly, visitors.

In an effort to revive itself, the arts industry, and most notably, museums, are turning to social media to help boost their fundraising & increase revenue.

Most recently, The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA, launched a new website that completely reconstructs how you take part in art online. The site now offers a variety of social media tools, such as MoMA communities on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, iTunes U, and Flickr. The MoMA is even allowing people to upload their photos they have taken to the MoMA’s Flickr group, which is then featured in a special section on the website, with your name attached to it! All of these community-sharing ideas allow users to take part in the art experience with their friends and more importantly, share it online.

And one of the most notable social features on the new website allows visitors to setup an account online and save or share favorite works of art with others; from paintings, exhibitions, films, and other pieces of the museum. This ‘social bar’, which now rests at the bottom of the page, when clicked, expands to show images and other information that users can ‘collect’ and share. A user then can take those photos and send them to their friends.

The museum never had an ongoing blog, but by using this new approach to the information age by discovering ways to attract and share information with art lovers who may never get to enter the doors of the MoMA – it represents a key tactic in reviving the arts industry.

Artful Thinking…

In a time where social media has become more than just a second thought in many CMO’s plans, social networking, blogs, photo sharing, social bookmarking, videos, and more have allowed online communities to become a much more integral part in a museum’s marketing plan. Places like the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and the Brooklyn Museum, all artfully utilize social media in effective and engaging ways.

When it comes to representing a community online, Facebook presents a company with an opportunity to package an idea, and quickly disseminate it among the community for multiple reactions. Creating social channels within the museum’s online environment offers a new means to communicate interactively with an audience and build membership and visitors to a museum.

The Museum of Modern Art’s Fan Page on Facebook has over 60,000 members, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Fan Page has over 56,000 loyalists – the evidence exists. Museums can utilize their networks through email, wall posts, news feeds, and other interactive elements within the platform – in turn, allowing visitors to respond via comments and wall posts.

Facebook has done the unimaginable, and broken geographical boundaries, creating relationships for people who might have not have met otherwise. The same can be said for businesses that push forth and also take part in the online phenomenon. Some even say it has come to the point where not being on Facebook is similar to being phone-less.

For an artist or even a culture center, such as a museum, creating a social platform enables this connection to exist between artists, museums, critics, and fans so that they can communicate with each other directly, and increase the engagement level between the museum and the fan.

Simply said, creating and marketing this platform properly could create the lasting connection the arts industry is looking to enable, and not only lead to increased engagement digitally, but also lead to something more important – another $20 in the door.