Posts tagged: Facebook

Google Mentoring – The Dock report

By , August 26, 2010

It can be very worthwhile for an arts organisation to have hundreds of fans on their Facebook page, or thousands of Twitter followers – but is the time and energy spent on these platforms seeing a real return for the organisation?

If you are running a gallery, is your time on Twitter resulting in an increased footfall? If you are looking to sell books, cds, tickets online – is your time spent engaging with your Facebook community converting into sales?

Important questions indeed. Twitter, Facebook, FourSquared etc. – these are powerful tools indeed, however for many organisations, it still remains far more important to get the basics right on the website – particularly if this is where you hope to do business. So, for those looking to generate business on their website, the success of social media platforms is largely measured in the extent to which these tools bring visitors to your site.

Beginning earlier this year, four arts organisations received mentoring from Google Ireland over a number of months. Here, Michelle Dillon Marketing Officer of The Dock in Carrick on Shannon outlines lessons learnt during her mentoring, which she received from Tom Morrison-Bell, Nathalia Niznik and Alan Flanagan in Google.

If you are interested in discussing this work with those involved please visit the Arts Ireland group on LinkedIn – if you’re not already a member, it’s free to join (what’s this? find out more here).

to download a pdf of this Michelle’s report, click on this link: The Dock – Google mentoring report

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Using Google Analytics to enhance your web presence

Before the mentoring…

At the time of applying for mentoring The Dock was already engaged in a number of different aspects of online marketing – alongside our website we had a presence on facebook and twitter, we used Constant Contact for e-bulletins and had a stand-alone wordpress blog. We had specific goals we wanted to achieve such as;

  • growing our email list to the same size as our postal mailing list (when mentoring started it was only 1/6),
  • reassessing if our blog was worth the time that was put into it
  • doubling our facebook fans and twitter followers.

Our overall plan was to build a larger and more engaged online audience within our current resources, in particular an audience that would be more receptive to our online booking system that will be introduced later in the year.

Considering our audience demographic, resources available and the size of our organisation we felt we were performing okay, however going into the mentoring scheme we realised that our online activities were being carried out in a very unsystematic manner. We were conscious that we were operating without a coherent online marketing strategy and we were concerned that perhaps we may be covering too many bases, without enough resources, and for not enough return.

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The first meeting with Google…

From the outset we learned to focus on thedock.ie as the hub of our online presence – something which we had begun to overlook as we gained more momentum and energy in the other aspects of online marketing. This shaped the outcomes of the mentoring process. While it is important to open new channels of communication with our audience, we still needed to direct them towards the main website as this is where the bulk of our information is to be found. Also, in relation to our primary aim, it is where they can actually purchase tickets. Social media accounts should complement and enhance users experience but should drive customers towards goals set out for the website (financial or not).

The Dock’s digital loop; YouTube, Twitter, Facebook & Blog direct traffic to the website


The team from Google started off the mentoring session by looking at our web analytics account, to see from where people are coming, from where they exit the site, and what are they doing while on the site.

Note – most websites come with some sort of statistics monitoring package installed however if you don’t already have Google Analytics installed you should consider it. It is extremely powerful, free and a small job for your webmaster to add to your website.

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Looking at the stats…

The two main areas we looked at were

  1. Where were our visitors coming from
  2. What were they doing while on our site

A synopsis of what we discovered was -

Only 10% comes from direct traffic (where the visitor knows the address), while this is declining as a lot of people use search engines even when they know the address, as it is faster. This shows that we need to promote our site more offline. Over 50% comes from search engines and of this 80% comes from a keyword with the word ‘dock’ in it.

This throws up 2 strategies:

  1. How can you increase traffic coming from words not based around ‘the dock’
  2. Increase awareness of The Dock to drive more traffic through this word.

Just under 40% comes from referrals (i.e. clicking on a link to thedock.ie from another site). There were some surprises here and certain websites were sending us much more traffic than we had realised. Social Media referrals: Facebook is the 16th highest referral site, twitter is 19th, the blog is 45th. Is it worth reassessing how much time we spend at this?

Our bounce rate (how many people leave the website after visiting only the page they arrive at) of 47 percent was much too high, and a good indication of how good your site is at retaining peoples attention, showing that our website could be working better to encourage more visitors to explore the site. People visited, on average 2.68 pages per visit. We had to ask ourselves were we happy with how much information people can get within this amount of page depth?

Furthermore we had 73% new visitors to the site – while it is great that we are attracting 73% of visits new that does leave the question why are only 27% returning. Ideally we would like to keep these new visitors and encourage them to visit the site more often.

The team at Google showed me how to set up ‘Goals’ in Analytics focused on the main places we wanted our customers to click – such as book now and join our mailing list to monitor how many people actually use these functions (here is a blog post detailing the process http://analytics.blogspot.com/2009/05/how-to-setup-goals-in-google-analytics.html)

Google Analytics can be daunting; there is so much information available it is easy to get swamped. If you haven’t used it before my advice would be to set aside 45 minutes and explore it and make a note of the reports that will be useful to your specific organisations needs. If you are like me and find stats and figures difficult to get your head around without visuals, I recommend the Site Overlay tool – this basically shows your stats over your actual website and makes it easy to visualise the customers’ journey through your website. It very useful to see what is working on your current website and what isn’t. (Site overlay report is located under Content > Overview).

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Review of the website…

So after analysing the stats it became clear that our website was not working as well as it should, and rather than concentrating on our social media involvement, it was clearly the website which we needed to review, particularly in light of our aim to encourage people to use our online booking system.

Obviously in the current economic climate we were concerned about allocating scarce budgets to redesigning our website, however the team at Google showed us that it didn’t take a drastic overhaul of our website to make it work better for us. We worked with our existing web designers to “revamp” our website and make some simple changes rather than a completely new and potentially costly redesign.

When thinking about changing your website keep in mind what currently works well and of course who your audience is. As an arts organisation it is often more important that it is aesthetically pleasing but don’t add a feature just because it looks cool – ask yourself, ‘what’s its purpose?’ Does it keep people on your website? Does it convert goals? As an example, even though Flash looks great, we had to keep in mind that much of our audience are accessing our website using lower broadband speeds so a quick loading website is more important.

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A quick synopsis of changes we made

1. Highlighting our “calls to action”

  • “Book Now” buttons were made prominent and ready to link to online booking facility when it becomes available shortly.
  • Also “join our mailing list” was made more noticeable, placed in a more prominent position and simplified which will be discussed further below.

2. We utilised space on the site by widening the site on the page and changing positions to reflect where people look when they view a website . (Tool to view how your website looks in browers http://browsersize.googlelabs.com/)

3. We brought The Dock’s blog over to thedock.ie domain – this will be discussed further below.

4. Due to low broadband speeds in our area we were conscious to stick to our original decision to avoid Flash and have a quick loading page so we focused more on how images were displayed on the home page.

5. Adding the share button and moving the links to blog and social media to their own section to distinguish them from links to other pages on the website.

6. As well as making the front page look fresher and more up to date we gave all of our pages (website/twitter/youtube/emails) a similar colour scheme, emphasising continuation of our brand.

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Review of Blog…

From the outset of the mentoring we were concerned about the amount of time The Dock’s blog took up and what our return was on it. From looking at the WordPress statistics package we already knew views were consistently low and after analysing the statistics we discovered that the blog was only 45th highest referrer to the website. While this seemed to speak for itself, the return on investment in the blog was low. We had a dilemma as the blog was the only place for our customers to access certain pieces of information, so as a result we decided to bring the blog over to thedock.ie domain. By hosting the blog on the main site we are cutting off a fall off point and not splitting our audience between blog and site. The blog would now be incorporated as a news section. Head lines of latest articles will be displayed on the home page so as to attract new viewers to the blog but as it is hosted on the website.

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Review of Email…

As mentioned above we wanted to grow our email mailing list to the same size as our current postal one. We discovered through Google Analytics our click through rate to our “sign up to our mailing list” page was very low. A general rule of thumb is that the more hurdles there are for a customer to overcome the less likely they are to complete it. Whilst located on the front page it didn’t stand out enough and once you enter the page itself it is detailed and requires somewhat of a time commitment to fill out – particularly as we hadn’t specified which fields were required, thus making it seem that they all were. Our main priority was to get people to sign up to the monthly bulletin. To make it as simple as possible we put a form in a prominent position on the right hand side of the home page where the customer can enter their email address and click submit. This is linked to our constant contact database, and eliminates the need for us to process additions to the database.
A useful tool for analysing the movements of readers of the newsletter to the site I was introduced to was analytics tagging (see http://www.google.com/support/googleanalytics/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=55578 and for how to use it http://google.com/support/analytics/bin/answer.py?answer=55518) which creates links that can be tracked through Google Analytics.

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Review of Social Media…

This was one of the more surprising aspects to our mentoring. Is it worth dedicating the amount of time you spend for the results you get? Despite having consistently more followers on twitter than facebook (we created a twitter account first and put slightly more time into keeping it updated) by checking through the stats we found that facebook actually channelled more people to our website. The google team suggested that while the energy of the twitter account was good perhaps there was too much information on twitter and it was drowning out some of the more important information. We have now actually maintained our time spent on facebook and halved our time spent on twitter while still attract followers.

It is extremely important to cross link URLs to build a comprehensive communication structure on every channel (as illustrated at beginning of report).

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Using Google Analytics to shape a strategy…

While the website revamp was being completed I was busy fusing the information gleaned from Google Analytics with the overall goals of our organisation and strategy to draft an overall online strategy. This was not a complicated document, a few pages long, to be used largely as a reference for making decisions on resources. You can use Google Analytics to help plan your time.

For example, by using google analytics to break down where your customers are coming from and what they are doing on your site you can decide where to focus on link building. We get a lot of referrals from google images however these have a high bounce rate and rarely click beyond the landing page so there is little point in putting a lot of effort into developing this. But if you look at referrals from hotel websites, you can see that the time spent on the website is much longer and with higher page visits so it is worth putting effort into working with the hotels to develop this further.

Remember the importance of monitoring and evaluation. Google Anayltics can help argue for funding for marketing or show you what is not worth the effort put into it. Don’t forget about sales in house and the drip drip effect of marketing – a customer may find out about a show online but may still come into the building to book a ticket or pick up the phone and call. Our front of house team asks customers where they heard about the show. Only one of the options set up on Databox was online (website) – when we changed this to reflect our online presence (website and blog, twitter, facebook, other) we were surprised at the level of bookings from facebook in particular.

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Conclusion

This mentoring project has helped us refocus our time spent on online marketing and rethink what is important to us. Using Google Analytics to find out more about our audience online and combining it with our goals as an organisation has helped us shape an online strategy.

Focus on our website – this should be the hub and all social media should link back to the website, particularly considering the fact that sales online are driven through the website. Remember to monitor. Are you doing too much? If you are unsure if something is working keep an eye on stats and it will be come evident what you need to change.

Remember statistics are not the be all and end all. It’s easy to get bogged down in stats so always keep in mind what is interesting and useful and what is merely interesting. Also what is useful information for another organisation may not be necessary for you to monitor.

Mentoring report: Droichead Arts Centre mentored by Aoife Flynn

By , April 21, 2010

Launched by Arts Audiences in November 2009, the New Media Mentoring Scheme matches individuals with expertise in digital media, with individuals in arts organisations seeking mentoring for specific projects in the area of new media marketing.

Following an open submission process, individuals from eight organisations were selected for mentoring. On completion of this process, these individuals are required to produce case studies, to be published on this website, in order to share learning achieved with the wider arts community.

Under this scheme, Aoife Flynn of asquared mentored Marcella Bannon, Director of Droichead Arts Centre over the past 3 months. What follows below is Marcella’s report on this.

If you are interested in discussing this work with Marcella and Aoife, please visit the Arts Ireland group on LinkedIn – if you’re not already a member, it’s free to join.

to download a pdf of this report, click on this link: Marcella Bannon Mentoring Scheme Report

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Report: Marcella Bannon, Director, Droichead Arts Centre

Our requirement in brief:

We felt we had all the right elements in place to build an increasingly rich relationship with our audience online, however we realised that in order to do so, we would need an overall plan as to how to draw all of these element together into a successful strategy.

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Our starting point when we met the mentor:

Droichead Arts Centre had upgraded its website in September 2009, and we were in the process of moving into a more “on-line” strategy in terms of advertising and marketing. The new website has links to our facebook and twitter, and includes a bright area homepage, with a flash moving screen and an online booking service. The site was designed specifically to highlight areas of our programme we specialise in i.e. Youth Theatre, Visual Arts, Community Outreach and the Film Club.

We knew we needed to market our organisation to a greater extent online, in order to stay relevant and to reach a new audience of a younger demographic. In addition to this, significant funding cuts necessitated a review of our overall marketing strategy, placing e-marketing a priority, as we were no longer in the position to afford seasonal programmes.

We found e-marketing attractive as a sales and marketing tool, as it involved low outlays in terms of cost and staff maintenance. We had a presence on Facebook and Twitter along with our own “blogging” space on the homepage of droichead.com. In addition, we were producing a bi-monthly constant contact e-guide being circulated to 3,000 people, and we were sending regular webtexts to a catchment of 900 people.

However, we were not optimising our time and energy in using this media, as we were maintaining facebook, twitter and web text hap-hazardly, as an ‘extra add on’ instead of integrating as a key tool in the overall marketing strategy of the centre.
In this mentoring process, Aoife Flynn helped us to evaluate each of the individual strands of activity in our online campaign, and in so doing, helped us to come up with plans for an overall strategy as how to best move forward.

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Oliver! at the Droichead Arts Centre

Developing A Sales Led Strategy

Aoife helped us to put together an overall digital strategy, designed specifically for Droichead Arts Centre. This strategy is sales led, although this would not be the case for all organisations.

With tighter funding, our reliance on digital media will grow, and it is imperative that we can change the habits of our audience, encouraging them to seek information online, book online and give feedback online. Such changes do not happen overnight, and it will take a number of months to realise this.

We are now reviewing ways to evaluate, on a weekly basis, the sales impact of campaigns through our digital media and linking it directly to our box office. This involves planning around the following;

  • Analytics – each digital package has an analytical facility which can measure the success the usage of the application including Facebook, WordPress Blog, Constant Contacts and Google, we are looking at ways of measuring the successes.
  • Setting up direct code on Databox to link in with offers on Facebook and E-guides. We are also exploring a newsletter facility offered by Databox [Droichead's Box Office system] as an alternative to Constant Contacts, as it would feed directly to our sales system.
  • The track-ability of digital marketing is very significant – it is possible to set up special offers on facebook pages with their own specific url so you can track how many people accessed an offer on facebook. You can also get stats from facebook on fans locations.
  • The re-training of staff. Droichead Arts Centre hosts a CE employment scheme with staff changing annually. It is vital for us to develop strict training plans within our strategy and procedures to encourage the audience to seek information about our service digitally. This needs to happen at the first point of call through our box office and on all printed marketing material. Training also needs to be given to all Marketing staff and managers on how digital reports should be delivered always relating back to Sales.


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Facebook & Twitter

We can see that Twitter can be a powerful tool in engaging with the public. However, when we considered the various factors, we decided that at this point it would not be worthwhile utilising this facility.

It takes staff resources & management time to plan and sustain a successful campaign, and we don’t feel that there is a sufficient cohort of our audience on Twitter to make this worthwhile, so we decided to focus our resources into Facebook. However, the facility exists if our situation changes.
With regard to Facebook, before meeting Aoife, Droichead Arts Centre already had a group profile and a personal profile. The personal profile was required to maintain the group page, and to feed into the daily newsfeeds. Aoife recommended it was better practice to set up a business page. [Arts Audiences note: for further info on the advantages of a facebook page over a facebook group or facebook personal profile, read this article by Aoife Flynn].

So in March, Droichead made the change over to the page. Now, people are no longer our friend on facebook, instead they are fans. This is attractive to people, as it protects their privacy, as we can’t see their private data, nor can we email them (so no junk mail). Now, to receive our news, our fans must subscribe to our news feeds. Another advantage of a facebook page is that members of the public can access a facebook page without actually having a facebook account, which broadens access.

When we set up, we encouraged all our group members to transfer over, and we now have just under 600 fans and rising. We update this daily with news snippets, and the page has definitely increased interaction, with some posts opening up a lot of discussion, which we are very happy to see.

We’ve also linked our wordpress blog to feed directly into our facebook page, which reduces duplication of work load. This means that people who are more comfortable with facebook may read our blog entries, whereas they mightn’t visit the site of the blog itself.

We are currently experimenting with different campaigns but it’s difficult to assess the outcomes against sales just yet.

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Digital Loop – website, blog

Arising from this process, Droichead Arts Centre realised the importance of creating a digital loop between all the digital media we use.

Rather than have all of the various applications bringing the public in a variety of directions, now, as part of our sales led strategy, all digital media feeds back to the website and specifically to the booking facility. Similarly, from our website, the customer should be able to easily access facebook, our blog, e-guides and staff email.

Our wordpress blog is integrated with facebook and the website. One person is responsible for updating the blog twice weekly however all staff, artists, and youth theatre facilitators are requested to relay news to this person. The blog will contain interviews, behind the scenes information, information on outreach projects and conversations. This is targeted towards people who want to know a little bit more in an informal environment.

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Exhibition in the Droichead Arts Centre Gallery Space


Constant contact E-guide

Constant Contact is a software application which tracks the success of email campaigns. Having spoken with Aoife we found that what we thought was a ‘low’ opening rate for our e-guide was in fact above average.

We weren’t particularly happy with our opening rate, but in conversation with Aoife, we found our opening rate of is actually above average – our last mail out had an opening rate of 35% – sometimes it’s higher or lower, depending on the events. Average opening rates vary sector by sector, but generally are around 20%.

We agreed our aims in this respect are to;

  • create a more accessible, sales driven e-guide.
  • Increase the number of members opening the e-guide by introducing incentives like competitions.
  • increase the traffic on the website with the introduction of more hyperlinks to the website.

When evaluating the e-guide, we realised that its layout was a concern, as we found that every computer hosted a different programme with individual spam filter preferences. With so many embedded images, our e-guide was being viewed differently on each computer e.g. often images needed to be right clicked on to open or they wouldn’t appear at all. This was leaving the e-guide untidy and busy to the viewer and we had no control on this.

To rectify this problem we did the following;

  • listed our up incoming events to the top of the page linking directly to more information on our website.
  • removed all images except for the banner.
  • detailed offers on the side panel of the e-guide again hyper linking back to the website.
  • introduced competitions and special offers at the bottom. Due to the change in spending trends in Drogheda we decided to offer special offers if people booked events 2-3 weeks before events.


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Conclusion

We realised though this mentoring that digital marketing strategies are, by their very nature, constantly evolving with the technology and platforms available. This document is a first step to gathering our thoughts on how digital marketing can work for us, but we recognise that any strategy is an organic document that will need constant updating.

It is still early days yet to measure the success of the changes we have made. For one thing, it will take time to incorporate the strategy in totality due to limitation on staffing and the need for ongoing training.

However, we feel we have taken very positive steps towards using the various different aspects of new media to move towards a system which makes the most of our limited resources in our goal of bringing an increasing amount of our business through the website.

Finally to say, we found the mentoring process extremely helpful, and are very grateful to Aoife Flynn for giving her time voluntarily for this mentoring. Her broad understanding of the arts and in-depth knowledge of the new digital marketing technology, coupled with her familiarity with the resource restraints on arts organisations ensured the targets/ tasks she set were achievable, and the advise she offered was relevant, timely and highly valuable.

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Some quick DIY tips


Website:

Ensure your have a booking online facility on your homepage. Ensure your Facebook link, twitter and blog are clearly linked on your homepage.


Facebook

Set up a business page. Not a group page or people page. Use a bright image and a description which describes your organisation best. Update 2-3 times weekly. Don’t always push events – people see through this. Instead, update on activities in the venue. Set up a vanity URL i.e. www.facebook.com/droichead


Blog

Set up a wordpress blog. It’s simple and easy to use, plus it free. Nominate one person in you staff to update it twice weekly. Look at other organisation blogs to get a sense of the kind of language you need to use.


Constant Contacts

Review how it’s appearing in patron’s inbox. Keep it simple and have direct link to you website and booking online facility. Introduce Special offers and competitions to entice more user/higher rate of opening.


Digital Loop

Ensure each digital media feeds into each other. A simple example is this; all Droichead Arts Centre staff is now updating their email signatures to include links to our website, facebook, blog and e-guide sign up.


Staffing

Droichead Arts Centre does not have a professional Marketing Manager. If your organisation is the same, identify someone who is it savvy and interested or/and identify a work place student who can focus on this area for you. Training is important to ensure all staff are clear on the kind of language used in each medium and can evaluate its effectiveness. I believe this training needs to be integrated to management, marketing staff and box office sales staff.


The wider arts community

We all face similar challenges in the arts these days. It is important to look at what other organisations are doing to keep up with current trends and technology.


Evaluation

There is always the danger that the sales generated from these strategies are not worth the time and money spent pursuing them. As such, it is important to put in place clear evaluation procedures to assess the level of resource input against the sales, for each different element of the digital marketing strategy. Introduce analytical reports as part of the marketing report in your operations/staff meeting.

A word from Arts Audiences
Are you interested in discussing this further?

If you are interested in asking Marcella or Aoife about aspect of this mentoring, please join us in the Arts Ireland group in LinkedIn. If you’re not already signed up for LinkedIn, it can be done in 5 minutes. If you are already on LinkedIn, but not part of the group, enter “Arts Ireland” in the search box and you’ll find us!

Using facebook to build your audiences

By , February 23, 2010

facebook-logo

Freelance consultant Aoife Flynn of asquared is one of the mentors on our New Media Mentoring scheme. Aoife has very kindly put together the following information for those looking to facebook, and in particular the ‘facebook page’, to build audiences. Even if you think you know facebook (as did I!) what follows is highly informative and well worth a read.

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Facebook is a fantastic resource for businesses on the web. As facebook is about social groups and sharing of experiences and interactions, experience-based businesses are a natural fit, making it particularly suitable for arts organisations. As a web platform, facebook allows you to gather those users that are interested in your work into one place, and then allows you to have a two-way conversation with them, sharing information and content.

There are over 1.2 million Irish users on facebook meaning that 1 in 4 Irish people use this service, and approximately 50% of these users check into their account at least once a day. That’s a potential daily readership of over 500,000 people – significantly higher than the reader/viewership of traditional Irish media outlets. Not least of all that facebook is a free tool, with the potential for an international reach for your organisation and its programmes, so the real question is whether you can afford not to have a presence on facebook.

Page/Profile/Group
In theory you, or your organisation, can have a presence on facebook in three main ways
1) a personal profile
2) a group
3) or a business page

This article will illustrate why a business/fan page is the best option for your organisation.

Personal Accounts/Profiles.
This is the basic facebook account, and if you are already on facebook under your own name then this is the sort of profile that you will have. It displays your personal information and is set up to best represent individuals. From this profile you can become “friends” with other users, post pictures, share links and so on.

A lot of organisations have set up accounts for their businesses as a personal profile. This is actually against facebooks terms and conditions and may case your account to be removed, and in the case of repeat offenders to have your access to facebook restricted. Personal Profiles should only be used to represent individuals.

Not only is this against facebook’s terms, but many users will refuse to “add you as a friend” if your organisation is set up in this way as doing so would give you a high level of access to their personal information. Let’s say Mary attends your events and wants to stay in touch on facebook, if you are set up as a personal profile and she adds Arts Centre X as a friend, You- as Arts Centre X, would potentially be able to see Mary’s friends, her photos, her status updates and so on. Similarly any of the staff members of your organisation, now or in the future, could technically login as Arts Centre X and gain similar access to Mary’s information which might include where she lives, her personal email address, her education information and other very personal info that she would not wish to share with the organisation. No matter how much Mary may like your organisation it is highly likely that she won’t add you as a friend if she knows how facebook works.

Correct business presences on facebook:
Facebook terms and conditions ask that businesses set up either as a Group or a Page. Although they look very similar, and while it is ok to have a group, it is far more advantageous, and more appropriate, for your organisation to have a Page.

Group v’s Pages
Groups are a reasonably acceptable way for you to represent your organisation but, as they are intended for volunteer groups, informal groups, and unofficial representations of an organisation or a person they are not the most professional option.

Groups will allow you to communicate to your fans, and will restrict your access to their personal information, but they are linked into your own personal profile and as such you are personally identified with every post you make. This means that your name and your personal profile picture appears beside any email or status update you make on behalf of the group, and may leave you open to receiving emails from group members, depending on how your own personal account privacy settings are set.

Why set up a page?

There are several compelling reasons
1) Pages are locatable by google or other search engines. They will also display for anyone on the web- you do not need to have a facebook account to view a business page.

2) A Page will allow several individuals to administer it. So your director Lisa, your marketing manger Julie or your receptionist David can, providing they have facebook accounts, be set to administer the page. Anytime Julie or David or Lisa post an update on the page it will appear to come from Arts Centre X, not from Julie or David or Lisa personally. Your organisation’s image appears beside each post, not that of Lisa or David or Julie. So the public will not know who is who, and furthermore the public cannot see who administers a page. This allows for better administration between a group, a more consistent voice for your fans and a depersonalisation of the online space from individuals to the organisation.

3) Users connect with pages by becoming “fans”. Once you reach 25 fans you can set a specific url, or web address for your page. So rather than an unwieldy web address with letters and numbers you can set the page as http://www.facebook.com/ArtsCentreX

For example: http://www.facebook.com/TheModelSligo

If you have a page, and have over 25 fans, but have not already set your specific url go here to do so: http://www.facebook.com/username

4) As the administrator of a page you cannot access a fan’s personal profile- unless they have allowed their profile to be accessed publically. This protects the fan and will make them more comfortable connecting to a page.

5) Pages cannot direct email messages into the inbox of their fans. Rather a page will send an “update” to it’s fans. It looks the same but it is delivered into the less visible “update” box, and fans are unlikely to get notifications that it has been sent. This may seem like a disadvantage, but actually it works to encourage people to become fans as they know they won’t receive lots of emails.

6) Status updates from Pages, unlike those from groups, will appear in the newsfeed of your fans. The newsfeed is what a user sees when they log in to facebook. It is a clickable list of all the recent updates from people and pages that the person follows. As we observed in the introduction about 50% of users check in to their newsfeed every day, and many of these check in several times a day to see what is “new”. This makes the news feed a key way for you to reach your audience.

7) Pages allow you to import information from other social media platforms (blog, flickr account, youtube, twitter etc. ) thus providing you with an easy way to share content with your fans. If you have a blog or twitter feed you can set your page to automatically publish a new blog post/twitter post to your fans without you having to log in to facebook to make it happen.

8) Pages will give you access to valuable stats on your fans. A business page will tell you if your fans are male or female (by % and numerically) what countries/counties they are from, how often they interact with you etc. This information can be extremely valuable when tracking campaigns to see what methods of communicating work best with your fans.

If you want to set up a page for your organisation click here (read the FAQ’s below before setting up your page).

Click here to read more on Pages from facebook.

FAQ

I don’t have a personal facebook account, can I set up a page for my organisation?
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Yes you can. Facebook will allow you to set up a business account which will give you access to your page and to advertising but not to people’s personal profiles. Click here to see how to do this.

*Although it is possible to do this I would caution against it. If you are going to make the best use of your facebook page you are going to need to know how facebook works, which you can only do if you are a user yourself. How will you design campaigns to appeal to facebook users if you do not know how facebook users behave?

I already have a personal account but I want to set up a business account to keep things separate. Can I?
No. If you already have a personal account it is against facebook rules to set up a second account, business or otherwise. Doing so may cause all of your accounts to be deleted.

Who in my organisation should set up the page?
Ideally someone who is an active facebook user, however- it is important to note that whoever is the original creator of the page is not currently able to sever their relationship with the page without deleting the page entirely. This may change in the future, but this does mean that a more permanent member of staff should be the one to first create the page. Once the page is created you can add any number of admins to manage it.

IMPORTANT NOTE the Name of your page (Arts Centre X) is not changeable once it has been set. i.e. the name that displays on the page will be the one you create on the first screen, so be very careful to chose the correct name for your organisation.

I’ve set up the page and I want to make John, a member of my team, an administrator- how do I do this?

Go to the Page. Click on the words “Edit Page” which are directly below the page picture. This will bring you to the edit screen, scroll down a little and look on the right hand side. You will see a box called “Admins” with your name and image in it. Click on “Add”. From here you can add any other user as long as you are already friends with them. If you are not already friends with John you will have to add him as a friend before you can select him as an admin.

I already have a profile/Group set up for ArtsCentre X, can I convert this profile group into a page?
No, facebook doesn’t currently allow this. It is reasonably easy to move people who are friends of a profile or part of a “group” for ArtsCentreX onto a new page.
The simplest way is to email them with a link (remember to type/paste the whole link including the http:// part) to the new page explaining that you will be closing the group (and why if you like) and asking them to join the new one to stay in touch. It is often advisable to wait until you have your 25 first fans in place, and to have chosen your unique url facebook.com/ArtsCentreX before sending this email, but it’s not crucial to wait for this.
Additionally you can change the status update on the group/profile to say: We are moving ArtsCentreX to a Page and will be closing this group/profile we’d love if you came with us too- just click on this link: (and link here to the page of course)

And finally, you can also change the name of the group, and the info box on the group to say it’s closed. For example see a group that was set up for DJ Donal Dineen here: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?v=wall&ref=ts&gid=5367509854


I have set up my page but I can’t find it when I type the name into the search box on my facebook?

Are you a fan of your own page? You will need to be a fan before the page can be found in this way.

Online ad campaigns – facebook and google

By , January 20, 2010

Interested in a quick and highly informed insight into the world of online ad campaigns?

Technology in the Arts is a US based organisation which, in its own words, “explores the intersection of arts management and online technology“. As well as blogging, twittering and, eh, facebooking, they also podcast, and have an archive of over 60 podcasts looking at a broad range of ideas and initiatives and developments.

In a really informative interview, Erik Gensler e-marketing consultant talks about how he helps his clients (such as New York City Opera, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and the Carnegie Hall) to use google ads and facebook ads to target audiences successfully.

I found this interview really informative, particularly when Gensler explained just how good a match a facebook ad campaign can be for the arts (all to do with segmentation). I’ve paid into new media seminars, and learnt less. For this lesson, I downloaded the podcast for free, and listened to it while sitting in traffic… the joys of the podcast.

To access the interview click here

http://www.technologyinthearts.org/?p=1052

‘One Dances’ on Facebook

By , December 11, 2009

A recent survey of 18,000 adults in the US by the National Endowment for the Arts points to the fact that while audiences for traditional live performance is slipping in some quarters, an estimated 47 million Americans choose to watch or listen to music, theater or dance performances online at least once a week (ref Washington Post). This is perhaps a sad reflection of the fact that we spend an ever-increasing amount of time in front of our computers! However, arising out of this trend it is heartening to see artists using new media to engage and inspire audiences in imaginative ways.

Eliot Feld, New York based modern ballet choreographer, has for some months been posting a series of imaginative dance pieces to his facebook page. These poetic posts, all of which begin with the words “One dances” can transport the reader momentarily, reminding us all that dance, should we wish to engage with it, is never too far away.

Here we see some of his posts from August & September;

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One Dances

(thanks to my office neighbour, Laurie Uprichard, Artistic Director of Dublin Dance Festival, for passing this on. If any visitors to the site have anything they think may be of interest, please let me know, I would be delighted to hear).

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