Welcome to the beautiful new media. Starting in around 2008-2009, we entered a new era where art, design and beauty became the hottest commodity on the Internet. Partly, this is because social media essentially made the internet into one of the most democratic forums for art in the history of mankind. Right now, “likes”, shares, retweets, reblogs and social media following is as good of a barometer for an artists success as anything else out there. Thanks to a post by Blouin ArtInfo, we learned some social media strategies that are being used by Museums such as SFMoMA and ART21 to promote their curated works.
“Museums need to see their social media channels as an extension of the institution’s mission statement, rather than merely promotional of the mission. When we inspire, educate, and add meaning to people’s lives through content that has value, that’s where we see success starting to happen.” – WILLA KOERNER
With so many platforms to follow and keep up on, a diverse community of creatives cultivated their unique position in this space and made it into something really special. Art lovers who are proactive about following these networks find themselves in a vibrant community where art created on any subject conceivable in the world can be found. Perhaps out of necessity, this radically changing landscape posed a serious threat to the Museum. With so much art archived online, how could these institutions continue to find an audience?
“It’s challenging to rank one social network as more important than another because it ultimately depends on the target audience, what you’re sharing, and your objective…” – JIAJIA FEI
“Our social media activities include regularly posting to and updating our seven social media accounts, searching each platform for other content that could be of interest to our audience, communicating with peer organizations, and checking in on our hashtags and key phrases.” – NORA GOMEZ
It turns out that both the museum and the Internet at large benefit when this unlikely pair joins forces. Through blogs and social media, a museum can share a wealth of information that is specifically tailored to the image and message of the institution. Being able to share artist lectures on Vimeo, while simultaneously supporting a public art instillation on Instagram and Foursquare drives attention to the museum. On the flip side, the public gets increased access to the art they love.
“The reality is that you can’t fully figure out social media unless you’re practicing it daily. The process can be fine tuned as you go along. Heck, social media changes so frequently that you’d be foolish to not fine-tune your approach as you go along.” – JONATHAN MUNAR
It appears that the future direction of this movement is still undecided. What we do know is that there is plenty of art out there right now for us all to enjoy. Part of the fun is getting active in this community and curating our own specific tastes and following them on our own social media. Twitter, Tumblr and especally Facebook are becoming increasingly important in this era. Will more Museums decide to bring their presence online? If so, the question of driving traffic transforms into an issue of attendance. Institutions still need to figure out how to sell the in person experience. Only time will tell.