Given our society’s collective disdain for anything resembling art which doesn’t involve people named Snooki (read: performance art), it is remarkable that museums, dance companies and arts organizations manage to keep their doors open in today’s troubled economic climate. Two years ago, The New York Times and other publications worried that museums and other arts organizations could be completely flattened by our cash-strapped country. But today, theaters, museums and arts organizations have dug deep into social media marketing to stay in business and to entice new audiences.
A New York museum that isn’t the Met and a fading dance legend are two shining examples of how the arts are collaborating beautifully with social media marketing.
The Brooklyn Museum, for example, has a killer social media marketing strategy that covers all of the bases. From blogs to Twitter and Facebook, the formerly struggling museum has jumped into social media headfirst. Its Foursquare initiative not only invites badge-seekers to visit and check into the museum but to explore the culturally-rich area of Brooklyn it calls home. Staff members of the museum use social media to promote local restaurants and other nearby places of interest. The Brooklyn Museum also employs Foursquare to plug monthly events, awarding visitors with special badges and paperless memberships to the museum. The museum makes headlines today both for housing unique exhibits and for not being on the brink of ruin.
Chicago’s Joffrey Ballet Company calls itself “America’s Company of Firsts” – so it is fitting that the company is one of the first dance organizations to really use social media to the hilt. Packed with videos and reviews, the company takes advantage of the power of Facebook. Yet the Joffrey Ballet doesn’t stop there: Over the summer, the institution scored a major win with a Groupon deal that saw more than 2,300 new subscribers to the Joffrey. It was a 50 percent increase in subscriptions and one that challenged art lovers to put their money where their mouth is. Plus, the Groupon promotion offered a great discount to sweeten the deal. Joffrey promoted the Groupon on its Facebook page and record numbers poured in. It’s an e-mail marketing, social media and arts partnership that could change the way theaters do business across the country.
But it doesn’t end there. The National Endowment for the Arts, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, The Getty Museum and dozens of others are using social media in hopes to survive and thrive. This country is nothing without our artistic and cultural institutions, so relying on the latest social media marketing techniques is something we think even painters of masterpieces would consider awe-inspiring.