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A case study talk given at MCN 2015.
In this case study I will discuss the National Gallery of Art's innovative approach to developing serial content for social media as illustrated through the #ArtAtoZ initiative.
Every two weeks, the Gallery explores a new topic in art (i.e., asymmetry, brushstroke, color, and drawing) across multiple social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest). This focus on broad topics allows the Gallery to leverage its extensive permanent collections as well as draw upon a diverse array of staff expertise including curatorial, education, archives, conservation, and horticulture. The “A to Z” concept also affords museum staff the ability to plan up to a year ahead, as the set of 26 topics is set at the beginning of the year. The added benefit of this structure is the ability to collaborate with other institutions and build momentum over time. From the perspective of the social media user, one is invited to dig deeply into a given topic over the course of two weeks rather than receive seemingly random bits of information each day.
Social media followers are encouraged to engage with the broad theme in myriad ways included guided looking, guessing games, and challenges to respond creatively. I will share findings from ongoing evaluation of the initiative, including what we’ve learned about optimizing content in order to generate the most conversation, sharing, and other engagement.