Creating and implementing a social media strategy for a sculpture park in the Berkshires

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Company

TurnPark Art Space (TPAS) is a sculpture park located in the Berkshires, MA. In addition to the permanent sculpture exhibit, TPAS also exhibits the work of acclaimed modern artists and, during the summer season, musicians, singers, and dancers from NYC and the Berkshires perform live in the outdoor stone amphitheater.

 The TPAS philosophy is to create a space where people come together and are inspired to share their passion for art and creativity.

Goals

 Use Instagram and Facebook to:

  • Identify and test the main target audiences.

  • Build the TPAS brand identity and convey the TPAS mission.

  • Use posts, pictures, and videos to inform target audiences what TPAS has to offer.

  • Organically increase the number of followers by posting informative content.

  • Educate followers about TPAS and local artists.

  • Actively engage followers to get feedback about events, exhibits, and local artists.

  • Increase ticket sales for TPAS events.

Use email marketing to:

  • Inform subscribers about upcoming events.

  • Grow the email list.

Challenges

As TPAS is a nonprofit business and there is a limited budget for events promotion, my main strategy was to promote organic growth.

Target audience research and creating the social media strategy

I analyzed the TPAS audience on Facebook and Instagram and interviewed the TPAS owners about their existing and prospective audience. I created a social media strategy for TPAS in the form of a mind map.

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I identified three main target audiences.

Audience # 1

Art community from the Berkshires, NY, Brooklyn, Williamsburg, Red Hook, Hudson Valley, and Boston, who are interested in contemporary art and want to meet and engage with like-minded people.

Most popular platform: Instagram.

Ways to promote TPAS for Audience # 1

  • Feed posts and stories about artists and musicians performing in upcoming events.

  • Articles/blogs about current exhibitions, events, and workshops.

  • Ask Instagram influencers (photographers, artists, bloggers) to post about upcoming events.

  • Ask visitors and artists to tag TPAS (user-generated content).

  • Promote local artists.

  • Crosspost during live events.

  • Ensure that the visual quality of content and captions is relevant.

Post examples for Audience #1

This past weekend we welcomed the celebrated Georgian-American artist Uta Bekaia and his installation "Inhabitants of Childhood." The opening performance by Floating Tower featured colorful costumes, music and dance- all inspired by a timely fairytale of a child separated from his mother. The audience braved the hot weather and followed the performers throughout the park, encountering a taste of a different world culture at each station: from Persian classical songs to Georgian traditional dancing, from Gregorian chant to Guamanian lullabies.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ "When covered in make-up, actors let go of their facial expressions"-says artist Uta Bekaia, the installation's creator who also designed the costumes for Floating Tower's performers. "And by virtually losing their face, the performers become entrenched in a trance-like state, an experience that is infectious for the audience."⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ We would like to thank @UtaBekaiaia, composer @MáttiKovler, the Persian/American singer Parham Haghighi, soprano Ariadne Greif, mezzo-soprano Sophie Delphis, mezzo-soprano Lucy Dhegrae, Georgian traditional dancer Lea Elisha, actor Chris Okawa and others crew for taking us along on this imaginative, immersive journey.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ As always, we'd love to hear about your experience as well! @sdelphis @lucydhegrae @parham.haghighi #sculpturepark #berkshires #liveperformance #livemusic #soprano #intheberkshires #costumes #costumeshow #weststockbridge⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀

Result

Audience # 1 is very active on Instagram. Followers increased from 400 to 1300. Engagement rate increased by 70%.

What worked best

  • Real-time posting and live videos during the events.

  • Posting about other artists and performers who have a large following on Instagram and tagging them in the posts.

  • Being online during the events, posting and creating stories, and engaging with the audience in real time.

  • Using narrow geo hashtags like #weststockbridge and #intheberkshires.

What can be done to improve the results

Continue to do the same but be twice as active:

  • more posts

  • more Instagram stories

  • more collaborations

  • more live videos

  • create and use branded hashtags

  • allocate a budget to collaborate with Instagram influencers.

Audience # 2 Tourists: families and others who spend a weekend or vacation in the Berkshires, and want to explore new child-friendly places.

Most popular platform: Facebook.

Ways to promote TPAS for Audience # 2

Publish relevant TPAS reviews on the TPAS Facebook Business page.

  • Post videos and photos.

  • Write engaging posts about past events.

  • Ask visitors and artists to tag TPAS (user-generated content).

  • Live videos.

  • Pictures, videos, and stories about child-related activities and family-oriented events.

Post examples for Audience # 2

 
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Result

Audience # 2 are not very active; they read content but do not comment or “like” anything. Engagement rate increased by 80%. Event signups increased by 50%.

What worked best

  • Posting videos were by far more effective than posting professional pictures.

  • Writing about other artists and tagging them in the post.

  • Facebook Ads for promoting TPAS events (cost per event was about $0.5 per response).

  • Brand positioning: rewriting TPAS “About” section, and creating an introductory post to explain the purpose of TPAS.

What can be done to improve the results

  • Use a story-telling approach and less formal tone in the posts.

  • Create and post more videos, including video interviews with artists.

  • Bring the owners’ personalities to life (less official and more personal content).

  • Use the owners personal Facebook profile to promote events and share content from the Business page.

  • Incorporate Facebook Messenger to use alongside email to update followers about upcoming events and to answer frequently asked questions.

Audience # 3

Locals who live in West Stockbridge and other cities within a 10-mile radius of TPAS who love art, live performances, and concerts.

Most popular platforms: Facebook and email marketing.

Ways to promote TPAS for Audience # 3

  • Post relevant content on TPAS Facebook business page: articles, videos, and pictures about past events, Q&A with artists, events announcements, etc.

  • Send emails about upcoming events and exhibitions.

  • Run Facebook Ads for upcoming events and exhibitions.

 
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Result

More people come to TPAS events more often. Locals respond and share TPAS events on Facebook and engage with TPAS content.

What worked best

  • Collaboration with local businesses (flyers in local coffee shops, galleries, bookstores, etc.).

  • Email marketing.

  • Facebook Ads promoting TPAS events.

 What can be done to improve the results

  • Create more engaging content for Facebook by asking questions and starting discussions about contemporary art, music, etc.

  • Encourage people to share their experiences about performances and ask them to share their opinions and ideas about new events.

Conclusion

I achieved all the goals that we set, increasing followers and improving engagement on both platforms.

Instagram: followers increased from 400 to 1500 and engagement improved by 70%

Facebook: followers increased from 600 to 864 (organic growth only) and engagement improved by 90%

TPAS brand identity is now recognizable on Facebook and Instagram