From Meta’s revenue slump to Twitter’s Musk meltdown, it’s been a rocky road for social media of late. Here, we ask three digital experts in the cultural sector for their advice and predictions for online platforms and how they will affect the art world.
I’m sure many of you have had conversations about the Twitter situation. Should we, as cultural organisations, be staying on the platform? Does it still align with our values? Is our audience still going to be there? I’d imagine 2023 will be a rocky year for Twitter and conversations about potentially abandoning the platform may well become more serious. Alec Ward, digital skills manager, Culture24
It means people are exploring all the other options out there—whether it’s choosing your “instance” on Mastodon, creating chatrooms on Discord or embracing the impulsivity of BeReal. Adam Koszary, head of digital, the Audience Agency
I expect to see a lot more hand-wringing, some dialling back of Twitter activity, but only a few outright abandonments. Chris Unitt, founder, One Further
The pandemic forced galleries to take social media seriously. We saw a flurry of online tours, virtual exhibitions, videos and new ways of buying art—some of it good, some of it a bit naff. Now the dust has settled we’ll see some of those offers mature, with online workshops and talks as standard but also experimentation in how we celebrate art through more interactivity, experimentation with AI, easier ways of shopping through social media and slicker, more dynamic video. AK
What’s it all for?
This year you should be thinking about how you can use social media to bring your audiences into the spaces where you have more control and can grab more of their attention. A case study from an Arts Marketing Association conference showed that they get 173% more conversions through email campaigns than they do through social media. I’ve argued that your social media should partly help drive people towards your newsletters. This case study shows that you can build much stronger relationships outside of the social media algorithms—2023 is the year to get on top of your newsletter, and create a solid offer for your audience. AW
In 2023, everyone and their dog will be on TikTok, and it’s going to force galleries and artists to adopt a more playful, creative approach to social media. The tone that TikTok demands may grate with more traditional audiences but as the economy bites we’ll see a greater effort to connect with new audiences through memes, humour and presenter-led videos. AK
Many are realising that their social feeds don’t need to be a series of highly ignorable, bite-size press releases. Instead, they’re looking to find social media-friendly ways to highlight the objects, experiences and viewpoints that people are passionate about, turning social media into more of a community experience. CU
Managing social media accounts is time-consuming and staff time is something that organisations are increasingly lacking. Something has to give. There's been a trend towards quiet quitting—doing the minimum expected on a platform (usually announcements and customer service)—and a reticence to jump on the new platforms that would increase workloads. Time is being used to focus on fewer platforms and do a better job of building a community or following. CU