In the spirit of the new year, I thought I would share my top 5 New Year’s resolutions I think every small arts organization should make. If kept, these New Year’s resolutions will help your small arts organization build a stronger online presence while also developing your audience. So without further ado:
1. Promote less on social media.
With the new year also comes Facebook’s change to their newsfeed algorithm that reduces the amount of promotional posts someone sees in their newsfeed. This means that if your organization only uses social media to promote upcoming events, your reach will drop dramatically. Rather than posting blatantly promotional material, small arts organizations will have to adapt their strategy on Facebook and begin posting meaningful and engaging content if they want to remain connected to their audience.
2. Blog more.
Does your small arts organization have a blog? It should. You can use a blog in a variety of ways, whether it’s posting important announcements for your audience, a staff member writing about an issue relevant to your organization, or sharing the content you are already creating. This last point is key. If you are a small arts organization, you are likely creating a ton of content all the time, and if all you’re doing is adding photos to the “Photos” section of your website, then you are not maximizing their potential. Rather, create a blog post that recaps the event where the photos were taken, then share the blog post in your newsletter and on social media. Creating content in the form of blog posts is a simple and easy way to reach your audience in a meaningful way, and as you continue to write, the number of blog posts will add up and can be recycled later if you’re running low on new content.
3. Implement a social media plan.
Most small arts organizations I know post on social media only when they are doing one of two things: promoting a show or fundraising. The rest of the time they don’t post anything. Instead, organizations should be posting daily to social media (and multiple times per day depending on the social network). But how on earth do you manage all that if you are running around planning and rehearsing for your next big show? Check out Buffer, one of the most helpful tools for managing your social media. Buffer has a free plan, but also offers nonprofits 50% off the price of other plans.
4. Engage more with your audience.
I have been hinting at this, but small arts organizations must learn to engage more with their audience. No one wants to be bombarded with promotional material all the time. That’s how your audience become disengaged. Small arts organizations must learn how to engage their audience, whether that’s through interacting with them directly on social media, writing handwritten thank you cards when they receive a donation, or sharing meaningful content that may not necessarily be created by their organization on social media. Your audience wants to be engaged and entertained, so do it!
5. Be consistent.
Perhaps the most important New Year’s resolution on this list is to be consistent. The only way you will achieve results is by being consistent and making slight adjustments when necessary. While it’s easy to slip back into the old swing of things, the best way to build your online audience is to be consistent in your communication and interaction with them.