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The Tangled Web: Social Media and the Arts by Devon Smith, commissioned by Theatre Bay Area

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Theatre Bay Area, the nation’s largest regional theatre services organization, today released “The Tangled Web: Social Media in the Arts,” a monograph by Devon V. Smith examining the social media practices of 207 nonprofit arts and cultural organizations across the country. This research, one of the most comprehensive surveys of social media use in arts organizations ever conducted, provides a valuable snapshot of how the arts and cultural center is using social media to engage artsgoing audiences across the country. The full research report is available at http://www.theatrebayarea.org/tangledweb.

Top-level findings from the research include:

• All told, the 207 arts organizations in the study utilize over twenty other social networking platforms.
• The average arts organization is active on three social networks (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube) and uploads 66 new pieces of content each month.
• Facebook Pages that are updated multiple times per day, use a customized URL and feature a custom Welcome tab have more fans, who interact with the page more often, than those who do not.
• Arts and cultural organizations that tweet more than four times per day and do not replicate Facebook content on their Twitter feed have more followers and a higher rate of engagement than others.
• Venue pages on Yelp and Foursquare that have been claimed by an organization have more user engagement than those that have not.
• Arts organizations who use a custom URL and a custom template for their blog have more engagement than those who do not, but overall blogs offer a very low rate of engagement regardless of format, structure or frequency.

Theatre Bay Area, the nation’s largest regional theatre services organization, today released “The Tangled Web: Social Media in the Arts,” a monograph by Devon V. Smith examining the social media practices of 207 nonprofit arts and cultural organizations across the country. This research, one of the most comprehensive surveys of social media use in arts organizations ever conducted, provides a valuable snapshot of how the arts and cultural center is using social media to engage artsgoing audiences across the country. The full research report is available at http://www.theatrebayarea.org/tangledweb.

Top-level findings from the research include:

• All told, the 207 arts organizations in the study utilize over twenty other social networking platforms.
• The average arts organization is active on three social networks (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube) and uploads 66 new pieces of content each month.
• Facebook Pages that are updated multiple times per day, use a customized URL and feature a custom Welcome tab have more fans, who interact with the page more often, than those who do not.
• Arts and cultural organizations that tweet more than four times per day and do not replicate Facebook content on their Twitter feed have more followers and a higher rate of engagement than others.
• Venue pages on Yelp and Foursquare that have been claimed by an organization have more user engagement than those that have not.
• Arts organizations who use a custom URL and a custom template for their blog have more engagement than those who do not, but overall blogs offer a very low rate of engagement regardless of format, structure or frequency.

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The Tangled Web: Social Media and the Arts by Devon Smith, commissioned by Theatre Bay Area

  1. 1. The Tangled Web: Social Media in the Arts by Devon V. Smith June 2011
  2. 2. As a sector t As a sector that has historically been both underfunded and under-resourced when it comes to any sort of technological shift, arts and cultural organizations have struggled with how to effectively adopt and utilize the vast (and ever increasing) expanse of social media tools on the internet. In 2011, Theatre Bay Area commissioned this wide-ranging study looking at the social media habits of 207 diverse nonprofit arts and cultural organizations in order to understand how arts and cultural institutions were tackling the problem and opportunity of social media. This work was done in conjunction with our Leveraging Social Media workshops and granting program, which helps Bay Area nonprofits integrate social media into the work of their entire staff. The comprehensiveness of this report owes much to the researcher, Devon Smith, who spent hours combing the social media space to take accurate tallies of the metrics she discusses here. As one of the largest studies of the social media habits of nonprofit arts and cultural institutions ever undertaken, this report paints a picture of a sector grappling with how best to use all of the new tools at its disposal. It shows that we are a sector unafraid of substantial experimentation, and that that experimentation has begun to lay a groundwork of best practices that stretch across disciplines and geographies. Theatre Bay Area is pleased to offer this study to the arts and cultural sector in hopes that the benchmarks it provides will be useful in helping individual organizations and community-level partners to understand where on the social media spectrum they sit and what best practices (and technologies) will be most useful and actionable in the years to come. Best of luck in this brave new media world. Clayton Lord Director of Communications and Audience Development, Theatre Bay Area This report was commissioned as part of Leveraging Social Media, a program generously supported by The Wallace Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Grants for the Arts/SF Hotel Tax Fund, The San Francisco Foundation, The Koret Foundation, and the members of Theatre Bay Area. You can find more research and reports at the DataPoint Research Program page on Theatre Bay Area’s website, http://www.theatrebayarea.org/datapoint. Cover Photo: “Wet Spider Web” by Brad Smith from Flickr. Used under Creative Commons license. 2
  3. 3. Summary of Findings The vast majority of arts organizations around the country are using at least one social network to connect with their audience and other constituents, but most continue to struggle with how to do so authentically, towards a useful purpose, and with satisfactory results. Especially in times when spare hands and budgets don’t lay idle, it’s important to carefully consider how much time and effort should be put into everything we do, from long-held traditions to new experiments. This study measured the social media activity of 207 nonprofit organizations across a wide variety of artistic disciplines, budget sizes, geography, and experience with social media. This report focuses on aspects of social media that are easy to measure such as frequency and volume of activity, but, like cultivating a donor, maintaining an ensemble or courting a guest artist, the best results from using social media come from building relationships over time, for which there is no cookie-cutter blueprint. • The average arts organization studied is active on 3 social networks (Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube), uploads 66 pieces of content each month to a social network (status update, link, Flickr photo, YouTube video, etc.), and receives 162 user responses in return 1 (Facebook likes, Twitter @mentions, Blog comments, Flickr & YouTube views, Yelp reviews, Foursquare check-ins). • Facebook is by far most popular social network, but arts organizations are spending considerable effort tweeting as well. • Facebook Pages that update multiple times a day, use a custom URL, and feature a Welcome tab have more fans and a higher rate of engagement than those who do not. • Twitter accounts that tweet more than 4x per day, and do not link to their Facebook feed, have more followers and a higher rate of engagement than those who tweet less often, or sync their Facebook posts to Twitter. • YouTube channel owners that upload new video more than 1x per week have more subscribers and views per video than those who upload less frequently. • Yelp and Foursquare venues that have been claimed by their owner have more user engagement than those that have not been claimed. • Most arts organizations using Flickr do so as an archival tool rather than a place for engagement. 1 Assuming linear user response rate over 2 years on Flickr and YouTube, 1 year on Yelp and Foursquare. 3
  4. 4. • Arts organizations blogging on a self-hosted platform, at least twice per week, have more subscribers and comments per post than those who post less frequently, or on a non-branded URL, but overall there is very little engagement. • Twenty other social networks were mentioned on arts organization’s websites, though none by more than 12% of study participants. 4
  5. 5. Study Parameters Theatre Bay Area commissioned the study of all social media activity from 207 diverse nonprofit arts organizations from January to April of 2011. Sectors covered in the study include film and music festivals, museums, chorus organizations, dance companies, theatres, cultural centers, and arts service organizations. Full list included in the Appendix. It should be noted that the selection of arts organizations included in this study wasn’t random, and thus can’t be considered a representative sample of all arts organizations. 39% are located in the Bay Area, 54% from elsewhere in the US, and 7% international. While the operating budgets of these arts organizations range from hundreds of thousands of dollars to tens of millions, it’s estimated the average budget is around $1 million. All raw data included in this study can be downloaded free from http://bit.ly/ArtsBenchmark. Extraordinary effort went into trying to find all 207 of these arts organizations on each social network, however it’s possible a small number of accounts were missed, and thus this study should be considered the minimum level of social activity. Because the usage rate of social media activity varies across the different platforms, data was captured over varying lengths of time: Twitter data from the previous 10 days, Facebook 30 days, blogs 90 days, YouTube and Flickr one year, Yelp and Foursquare from the lifetime of the venue, with all time periods ending in April 2011. 5
  6. 6. Social Media Social media is no longer the purview of rich, white, college kids. Recent estimates from the Pew Internet and American Life Project suggest at least 150 million, 2 or nearly 50% of US residents were active social media users in January 2011. The same study shows Number of Social Networks people of color have equal Used by an Arts Organization or greater usage of social platforms. And in an August 2010 Pew study 40% of internet users age 50+ used social media. 3 If arts organizations want to reach their traditional audience, they can find a substantial portion of them on social networks. If they want to build new audiences, it’s nearly certain they must connect with them online. But on which of the many social networks should arts organizations focus their efforts? What are the most effective best practices on each of these social networks? How does an individual arts organization’s use of social media compare to the rest of the field? This study attempts to answer those questions. 96% of these arts organizations were active on at least one social network in April 2011. While a small If arts organizations want handful of arts organizations were active on up to to reach their traditional nine different social networks, a plurality engaged in the three most active social networks—Facebook, audience, they can find a Twitter, and YouTube. substantial portion of them on social networks. 2 http://www.pewinternet.org/Presentations/2011/Jan/Social-Media-Trends-Among-Communities-of-Color.aspx 3 http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2010/Older-Adults-and-Social-Media.aspx 6
  7. 7. % of Organizations Active Within Time Period Studied Active is defined as an arts organization posting at least one piece of content to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or Flickr, and having claimed at least one of their venues on Yelp or Foursquare. Facebook is by far the most popular social network used by [these] arts organizations. Only three social networks are used by a majority of arts organizations. Median Monthly Activity Per Arts Organization 7
  8. 8. Arts organizations were more active on Twitter than any other social network, averaging one tweet per weekday. They updated Facebook every other day, and their blog once per week. However Flickr and YouTube uploads tended to be unevenly distributed throughout the year, in batches of many pieces of content at one time rather than on a regularly scheduled basis. Median Network Size Arts organizations have on average more than twice as many Facebook fans (“likes”) as Twitter followers, but no other social network community comes within 1/20th the size of those two. However, it is important to note that the community of users interacts quite differently on each of the social networks. The number of subscribers a YouTube channel has isn’t a good predictor of its most viewed video. Similarly, the number of users reviewing a Yelp venue will always be a fraction of those that check-in to that same venue, but unfortunately the number of Yelp check ins at a venue isn’t public data. 8
  9. 9. Community members Median User Activity were eight times more active commenting on the Facebook posts made by arts organizations than mentioning those same organizations on Twitter. On average, there was virtually no user activity happening on the blogs of arts organizations. Median User Activity (continued) The average YouTube video is viewed 17-times more often than the average Flickr photo. 9
  10. 10. Facebook It’s estimated Facebook will reach 700 million users 4 in May 2011. According to Facebook, the average user logs in daily for 55 minutes, likes two new Pages per month, and has 130 friends. The average arts organization also updates their Facebook page daily, while the most active Facebook page was updated more than sixtimes per day. The size of an arts organizations page in this study ranged from 16 to nearly 900,000 fans. 4 http://www.insidefacebook.com/2011/04/21/facebook-climbs-toward-700-million-users-worldwide-with-steady-growth-in- the-us/ 10
  11. 11. Arts organizations that updated their Page multiple times per day have 5 more fans and more engagements per post. And remember these are multiplicative relationships; imagine one month of activity on a hypothetical organization’s page, as illustrated on the next page. 5 While we can’t establish a causal relationship between frequency of posting and page size or rate of engagement, the positive linear relationship holds true across all four frequency categories and implies frequency is at least a significant factor in determining page size and rate of engagement. 11
  12. 12. Page A is updated 2x per day  286,800 touch points Page B is updated 1x per month  890 touch points 12
  13. 13. Type of Facebook Accounts 88% of arts organizations studied were using a Facebook Page rather than a Group or Profile. Facebook recently declared 6 their intention to “archive” all Groups created prior to October 2010 meaning that Groups will lose all of their current Group members. Additionally, any business using a Profile is in violation of Facebook’s terms of service, and could face account termination. Since June 2009, Facebook has encouraged 7 the use of custom, or vanity, URLs that appear as facebook.com/yourname. Even though any Page with more than 30 fans can create a custom URL, this study shows that most, but far from all, arts organizations have taken advantage of this. Those who do tend to have more fans, and a higher rate of engagement 8. Median “Likes” Based on Type of Page A significant factor in why arts organizations with a Profile have so many fans is likely because these organizations have been using Facebook since before 2007 when Pages were first launched. 6 http://www.allfacebook.com/news-flash-the-end-is-near-for-old-facebook-group-2011-05 7 http://www.facebook.com/blog.php?post=90316352130 8 Though again this isn’t necessarily a causal relationship. Arts organization aware of this best practice are likely to be using other best practices as well. 13
  14. 14. By default, Facebook users who Median Comments/Posts Based on haven’t yet “liked” a Page land on its Type of Page Wall, however Page administrators have the ability to change that first page a new user sees to any of the Page’s tabs, including a custom built “Welcome” tab (aka Landing Page). Results from this study show that there is no difference in median “likes” for pages that default to tabs other than the wall, except in cases where they’ve created a Landing Page, where those Pages tend to have twice as many fans 9. Median “Likes” Based on Landing Site An example of an outstanding Landing Page is the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on the next page. 9 Yet again, this doesn’t imply causation, and that’s the last time I’ll remind you that no finding in this study does. 14
  15. 15. 15
  16. 16. Twitter An accurate count of active Twitter users is hard to come by, but recent reports show anywhere from 20 million to 200 million worldwide, 1/3 of that in the US. 10 Twitter claims it has over 200 million registered accounts 11 as of April 2011, but Twitter tracking service Twopcharts speculates only half of those users have ever sent a tweet. 12 From April 2011 Business Insider, Josh Elman, Twitter’s product lead in charge of user retention Many arts organizations told AllThingsD, “his team has identified an ‘aha value Twitter for being moment’ when a casual user turns into an ‘active user.’ That moment happens when users follow 30 able to reach an audience accounts, and when 1/3 of the people they follow beyond typical ticket also follow them back.” Our sources show that there buyers. are 21 million accounts on Twitter following more than 32 accounts. Some subset of these accounts are also being followed by 10+ accounts.” At nearly five years old, and a potentially active user base of under ten million stateside, it’s important to understand who is using Twitter, and why. A December 2010 Pew Internet study found 13 that Hispanic and African American internet users were twice as likely as their white peers to use Twitter, 14 and one in three Twitter users in the study checked Twitter at least daily to read tweets. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that many arts organizations value Twitter for being able to reach an audience beyond typical ticket buyers. From developing relationships with local journalists, to networking with colleagues from across the country, to staying in touch with grant-makers, to reaching new audiences, Twitter has become the place to find, and get found by, important constituents. Unlike Facebook, successfully utilizing Twitter requires learning: • A new language of nonsense-sounding words (see: retweet, hashtags shortlinks). • A confusing set of technical protocols (where does the hashtag go? What happens when you begin a tweet with an ‘@’? How do I tweet a photo? What’s an auto-DM? Why would I follow a list instead of a user?). 10 http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/techchron/detail?entry_id=78597 11 http://business.twitter.com/basics/what-is-twitter 12 http://www.mediabistro.com/alltwitter/active-twitter-users_b9205 13 http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2010/Twitter-Update-2010/Findings.aspx 14 http://www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/stories/2011/05/twitter-african-americans-hargittai.html is a fascinating study about why that might be. 16
  17. 17. • How to find, and be found by, the connections you want to make (from third party tools like Listorious, to joining hashtag chats, to the importance of keywords in your bio, to #FollowFriday, to an @mention in your email signature). • How to think in 140 characters, how to respond to in real time, and what exactly to do with what you learn in the stream. The average arts organization is tweeting once per day and has 726 followers, though around one in five haven’t tweeted in months, and have fewer than 100 followers. The arts organization in this study with the largest Twitter following had less than 200,000 followers, and were tweeting more than 20x per day. 17
  18. 18. As with nearly all social media activity, posting more often is highly correlated with having a larger and more engaged online audience. It appears that there’s very little difference between tweeting once per week, and once per day. There is however an incredible change in the number of followers, and their engagement rate, between an arts organization that tweets three times per day, and one that tweets five times per day. Arts organizations tweeting that often are likely to be responding to their followers, taking part in industry-wide conversations online, sharing links to websites other than their own, and reserving very few of their tweets for self-promotion. Measuring one’s influence on Twitter is a bit of a rabbit hole. Many begin with simply counting the number of followers one has—the more the better. Klout 15 gets more scientific, attempting to measure true reach, amplification probability, and network influence. PeerIndex 16 gets complex with authority, topic resonance, audience, activity, and realness. 15 http://klout.com/kscore 16 http://www.peerindex.net/help/scores 18
  19. 19. This study looks at a one-dimensional metric—the number of “lists” that followers have added an arts organization to, as a percentage of those followers. This metric was chosen because there’s very little an arts organization can do to game the system of lists, and it’s a simple relationship to understand. In the graph above, this ratio holds steady at seven percent, a number remarkably similar to previous studies by the author. A green dot falling far above the line shows that an arts organization has been added to more lists than their like-size peers, implying a measure of influence. What those lists are named, the other Twitter users on that list, and who follows the list, provide a more granular and rich insight into the idea of influence. One of the cardinal sins of social media is “faking it.” As the previous sections of this report have hopefully made clear, Facebook and Twitter are two quite different social media platforms—different kinds of interactions, different audiences, different vocabulary, and different user expectations. Nonetheless, one in three arts organizations studied has linked their Facebook page to their Twitter account. These organizations tend to have few followers, and less engagement than their peers who are more authentically tweeting. 19
  20. 20. YouTube In May 2011, YouTube turned six years old, and released the following statistics: 17 • More than 48 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute • YouTube users watch more than 3 billion videos per day In February 2011, it was estimated YouTube had 490 million unique users per month worldwide, the average In February 2011, user visits the site 14x per month, and spends an average YouTube had 490 million of 25 minutes per visit. 18 unique users per month Owned by Google, YouTube videos have many of the worldwide. same search ranking challenges as webpages, though a significant minority of arts organizations do not use video descriptions, keyword tags, or categories. While some YouTube users subscribe to channels, previous research by the author suggests the vast majority of views of arts organizations’ videos come from related videos, keyword searches, or from links/embeds on other sites. 38% of arts organizations using YouTube uploaded a new video at least monthly, while the most active uploaded 1.5 new videos per day. The average arts organization had fewer than 50 subscribers, while the most popular had over 209,000 subscribers, and more than 63 million collective views. 17 http://youtube-global.blogspot.com/2011/05/thanks-youtube-community-for-two-big.html 18 http://royal.pingdom.com/2011/02/04/facebook-youtube-our-collective-time-sinks-stats/ 20
  21. 21. The frequency with which an arts organization uploaded new videos to YouTube has a distinctly non- linear relationship to how popular those videos are on YouTube. Based on the above data, it seems as if arts organizations would do well to pursue one of two strategies to maximize their efficiency: post just a few videos each year (with the assumption that the few videos they do post are of high quality), or create enough new content to be able to post several videos each week. If an arts organization is seeking a committed YouTube user base (those willing to subscribe to their channel), they must pursue the latter strategy. 21
  22. 22. Yelp Location-based social networks are those where users engage because of a physical location. Most include the option to “check in” to a venue, and share that information with friends using the same network, or to share the check in out to Facebook and Twitter, The average arts and many include the opportunity to review the merits of that venue. According to a November 2010 study by organization has eight 4.5- Pew Internet, four percent of online American’s use star reviews on Yelp. Only location based services. 19 5% of venues have less than a 4-star average. At nearly seven years old, Yelp is by far the oldest of the location based social networks, although it exists in just 8 countries. In February 2011, Yelp CFO Vlado Herman discussed Yelp’s recent user statistics: 20 • 45 million unique visitors in January 2011 • 35% of user activity is from a mobile device • 16 million total reviews • Local entertainment constitutes 10% of reviews The average arts organization has eight 4.5-star reviews. While venues with more reviews had on average fewer stars, only five percent of venues had less than a 4-star average, implying that this quality ranking isn’t a differentiating factor from competitors. Yelp search rankings seem to prioritize number of reviews over quality of reviews, and this study shows that arts organizations with venues that have been claimed by their owner have 4x more reviews than their peers. 19 http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2010/Location-based-services.aspx 20 http://mashable.com/2011/02/16/yelp-growth/ 22
  23. 23. Flickr By September 2010, Flickr users had uploaded a total of five billion photos to the site (compared to six billion photos uploaded to Facebook every month 21). More than 20 million visitors 22 go to Flickr.com every month, and many consider themselves “photographers.” Flickr faces stiff competition in the photo-based social network space in 2011—Instagram is barely 1 year old and already has over four million users, 23 Color is two months old and quickly raised $41 million in venture capital based on its innovative location-based social graph. Arts organizations are by and large using Flickr as a repository for archival photos. On average, they upload less than 100 photos per year, often in just one or two batches (rather than spread out evenly every month). The most active Flickr user among arts organizations studied uploaded 3,500 photos in the past year, and had a single photo that had been viewed more than 4,000 times. Most arts organizations have zero Flickr contacts, and belong to zero Flickr groups. A small handful of arts organizations are hosting Flickr groups for fan photos, curating digital photographs from recognized (and unrecognized) artists, or digitizing their collections. 21 http://mashable.com/2011/02/14/facebook-photo-infographic/ 22 http://siteanalytics.compete.com/flickr.com/ 23 http://mashable.com/2011/05/26/instagram-likes-comments/ 23
  24. 24. Blogging Blogging is often considered the oldest form of social media, yet there are estimated to be just 152 million Blogging provides frequent, active blogs across the web. 24 Though with the blurring keyword-rich content to an of lines between traditional media moving online, and bloggers becoming more mainstream, it’s nearly arts organization’s website, impossible to count how many people read or write and can provide an archive “blogs.” of information and news. Wordpress, the second largest blogging platform behind Google’s Blogger, powers about 13% of all websites, and shows stats for the week of May 15, 2011 of: three million blog posts had a total of 650 million pageviews. 25 A February 2011 article from AllThingsD mentioned Wordpress domains have 517 million unique visitors per month. 26 Micro-blogging platforms such as Tumblr and Blogging Frequency Posterous continue to gain popularity, often centered around viral internet memes like “texts from last night,” “awkward family photos,” and “stuff hipsters hate.” Press darling Tumblr hosts 20 million blogs receiving seven billion combined global monthly pageviews as of May 2011. 27 The reason an organization chooses to blog can extend beyond generating pageviews or comments. Blogging’s role in Search Engine Optimization provides frequent, keyword-rich content to an arts organization’s website. It can provide a historical archive of information and a place for permanent links to important news or documents. It is also an opportunity for staff members to express themselves. None of those reasons are captured in the following data. Just over one in four arts organizations studied actively blogged in the past three months. The average arts blog posted an update one time per week, has seven Google Reader subscribers, and received zero comments per post. The most active posted more than one time per day, averaged two comments per post, and had nearly 350 Google Reader subscribers. 24 http://mashable.com/2011/01/25/internet-size-infographic/ 25 http://en.wordpress.com/stats/ 26 http://allthingsd.com/20110216/posterous-goes-bare-shows-us-all-its-stats/ 27 http://www.tumblr.com/about 24
  25. 25. A relatively small percentage of the internet population uses RSS (real simple syndication) to subscribe to a blog. Of those, it’s estimated that Google Reader has approximately 50% market share of RSS readers. 28 Blog readership statistics are one of the few non- public metrics of social media, but Google Reader provides the number of Google Reader RSS subscribers to any blog. While this graph represents are only a small percentage of the true readership of arts organizations’ blogs, it’s clear that most arts blogs have very low engagement, and very low regular readership. 28 Based on author’s personal knowledge of Feedburner statistics across a small but wide variety of blogs 25
  26. 26. Frequency of blogging had a small but positive correlation with the number of Google Reader subscribers. Blogs with over 50 subscribers posted no less than twice a week. Arts organizations have a choice whether to host their blog on their own website (often choosing URLs such as blog.yourwebsite.com or yourwebsite.com/blog) or on a blog hosting service such as yourwebsite.wordpress.com. Those with a self- hosted blog tend to post more often, have more subscribers, and receive more comments per post. 26
  27. 27. Foursquare Foursquare is the smallest of the four big location-based services (including Yelp, Facebook Places, and Google Places), but has the most opportunities for arts organizations to engage with users. It’s two years old, has nine million users, 29 who are active in 200 countries, with 90% of activity happening on a mobile device. Seventeen percent of arts organizations studied had claimed their venue on Foursquare, meaning they formally notified Foursquare that they owned that particular location, and thus had the opportunity to collect analytics about their users and offer special discounts to those users. On average, 31 people had checked-in to an arts organization’s venue, two times each. The most active venue had almost 29,000 check-ins, and users left more than 100 tips about the venue. Popular tips included recommendations about specific exhibits, special discounts, tasty concessions items, and the best times of the week to beat the crowds. Sixteen percent of claimed venues were offering a special to their users at the time of the study. There was no statistically significant difference in the number of check-ins or unique visitors for those venues offering a special, but there was for those venues that had been claimed. A claimed venue had three times more activity than an unclaimed venue. 29 http://techcrunch.com/2011/05/12/foursquare-sf-hires-hr-manager-morgan-missen-is-closing-in-on-a-new-soma-office/ 27
  28. 28. Other Social Networks Many other social networks were mentioned on arts organizations websites. MySpace icons were linked to on twelve percent of arts organization homepages, even though Compete puts the site’s traffic at just 30 million visitors per month, and based on current trends will have zero visitors by the end of 2011. Other social networks of note include professional networking service LinkedIn, book marking tool Delicious, information service Wikipedia, and several different fundraising platforms. Noticeably absent from this list of other social networks were currently popular platforms such as Q&A site Quora, photography network Instagram, microblogging platform Tumblr, presentation service SlideShare, or artist social networks like ArtLog. 28
  29. 29. Appendix Companies Reviewed 18th Street Art Center Creative Clay A.R.T./New York Creative Growth Adventure Theatre CreativeTime African American Arts & Culture Complex Creativity Explored Alliance for Arts Cultural Development Corporation of DC Alonzo King Lines Ballet Dallas Children's Theatre Americans for the Arts Dancers' Group Anna Crucis Women's Choir Dancing Wheels Arthouse at the Jones Center David Dorfman Dance Arts and Services for Disabled Inc DC Short Film Festival Arts Boston Destiny Arts Arts Council Silicon Valley di Rosa Arts Orange County Diablo Ballet Arts Project Australia Diavolo AS220 Discovery Theater Asian Improv Arts DiverseWorks Atlanta Jewish Film Festival Djerassi Resident Artists Program Austin Creative Alliance Electric Works Australian Dance Theatre Emerald City Theatre AXIS Dance Evidence Dance Company Barrel of Monkeys First Stage Bay Area Children's Theatre Folsom Street Fair Bay Area Men's Symphony Fountain Gallery Bay Area Video Coalition Fractured Atlas Berkeley Art Center Frameline Bill T Jones Full Frame Documentary Film Festival Boston Gay Men's Chorus Full Radius Dance Bric Arts Gallery 16 Bumbershoot Gay Men's Chorus Los Angeles Candoco Gay Men's Chorus of Washington DC Center for Asian American Media Golden Gate Men's Chorus Center for Dance in the West Grand Performances Chanticleer Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Children's Theatre Hawaii Theatre for Youth Children's Theatre of Charlotte Headlands Children's Theatre of San Francisco Heartland Men's Chorus Childs Play HERE Arts Center Chitresh Das Dance Company Hewbrew University of Jerusalem Choral Arts Hyde Park Arts Center Chorus America Imagination Stage City Parks Summer Stage Indefinite Arts Society Company Ballet Intermedia Arts Coterie Theatre Intersection for the Arts CounterPulse Intuit: Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art 29
  30. 30. Israel Film Center Real Art Ways ITVS Redlands Bowl Janet Pomeroy Center Repertory Dance Theatre Japanese Cultural Community Center Resounding Harmony Jewcy Richmond Art Center Jewish Community Center of San Francisco Ritual Project Jewish Music Festival Robert Moses Kin Joe Goode Performance Group Root Division Kala Art Institute Roundhouse Kearny Street Workshop Rude Mechanicals La Pena San Francisco AIDS Foundation LA Stage Alliance San Francisco Center for the Book League of Chicago Theatres San Francisco Film Society Lesbian & Gay Chorus of San Francisco San Francisco International Arts Festival Levitt Pavilion Pasadena San Francisco Jazz lincoln center San Francisco Jewish Film Festival Liss Fain Dance San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Liz Lerman Dance Exchange San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art london gay men's chorus San Jose Jazz Luminato Sean Curran Luna Dance Institute Seattle Children's Theatre Malonga Center Seattle Men's Chorus manilatown Heritage Foundation SF CameraWork Margaret Jenkins Dance Center SFCAT Carnaval Marie Chouinard Shen Wei Dance Mark Morris Dance Group Showup.com Mattress Factory Sojourn Theatre Mill Valley Film Festival SOM Arts Mission Cultural Center Southern Exposure Missoula Children's Theatre Spielberg Jewish Film Archive Montalvo Arts Center St Ann's Warehouse Monterey Jazz Festival Stage One Museum of Craft and Folk Art Stephen Petronio Nashville Children's Theatre Stern Grove Festival National Endowment for the Arts Stop Gap Needles and Pens Straight No Chaser New York City Gay Men's Chorus STREB Niad Art Center Susan Marshall Other Israel Film Festival SXSW Outfest TED Outside Lands The Black Rep Parsons Dance The Children's Theatre Philadelphia Cultural Alliance The Crucible Pittsburgh Arts Council The Jewish Theatre Power to the Peaceful Festival The Lab PS 122 The Paper Bag Players Pure Vision Arts The San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus Ravinia Festival Theatre Bay Area Rayko Photo Center Theatre Communications Group 30
  31. 31. Theatre Development Fund Vocal Essence Theatre Puget Sound VSA Hawaii Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts VSA North Fourth Toronto Jewish Film Festival Winnipeg Folk Festival Treasure Island Festival Wolf Trap Foundation Trisha Brown Company World Arts West Turtle Creek Chorale Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Twin Cities Gay Men's Chorus Yerba Buena Gardens Festival UC Berkeley Art Museum Youngstown Cultural Arts Center UK Jewish Film Festival Urban Bush Women Visionaries and Voices About Devon V. Smith Devon Smith is currently the Director of Social Media for Threespot, a digital engagement agency in Washington, DC primarily working with nonprofit and governmental clients. Prior to this, she worked for nonprofit organizations across the country including Actors Theatre of Louisville, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Mary Gates Foundation, Peter Kyle Dance, Roundabout Theatre Company, World Science Festival, and Yale Repertory Theatre. She holds an MBA and an MFA from Yale University, and a BBA and a BA from the University of Washington. More social media research and reports can be found on her blog, www.24UsableHours.com. About Theatre Bay Area As the largest regional arts service organization in the country, Theatre Bay Area works to unite, strengthen, promote and advance the theatre community in the San Francisco Bay Area, working on behalf of our conviction that the performing arts are an essential public good, critical to a healthy and truly democratic society, and invaluable as a source of personal enrichment and growth. Through education, research, audience development, support and advocacy programs, Theatre Bay Area strives to make the Bay Area’s theatre and dance communities as strong and sustainable as possible. More information at www.theatrebayarea.org. 31

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