Like This! EAL/LA Talks Social Media with Lacey Huszcza
by Candace Kita
On a dark Tuesday night, deep in the echoey heart of the AT&T building, a group of arts administrators and I converged to discuss a very serious matter: Facebook.
Of course, I have always taken Facebook very seriously, as a daily procrastination destination full of news, photos, and LOLs. However, as I convened that evening around a large board room table for Emerging Art Leaders/LA’s Social Media Workshop, I hoped to think about Facebook and other social media platforms a bit more strategically.
Led by Lacey Huszcza, the Director of Advancement at the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the Social Media Workshop propelled us to consider how arts leaders can use social media to connect with audiences and communities. With the lures of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube, Tumblr, Foursquare, and Pinterest as just some of our social media options, how can we best use each one? How can we ensure that our pages, tweets, videos, and posts match our organization’s mission and values? How can we use social media platforms to actively engage individuals in our work?
As the newly-crowned Development Strategist and Visual Curator for Tuesday Night Project, a 14-year-old volunteer organization that runs a free, public performance space in Little Tokyo, I frequently mull over those weighty social media questions. Tuesday Night Project has a Facebook group, Tumblr account, Youtube channel, Twitter feed, and Yelp page–and with a staff base that you can count on two hands, juggling those platforms in a productive, cohesive way can be a huge challenge.
Thankfully, Lacey’s knowledge, verve, and commitment to participatory learning made my inquiries manageable–and enjoyable–to address. Lacey outlined some useful tips on using social media platforms for professional branding, audience engagement, and social networking. Then, we got down to (hypothetical) business; in a small group learning activity, we brainstormed online engagement campaigns for an imaginary arts non profit. Bursting with a plethora of ideas to catch our audience’s eyes, we envisioned Facebook trivia contests, Foursquare check-in scavenger hunts, and Youtube “behind the scenes” video series, all in the effort to make our fake arts organization’s online presence fresh and fun. While the activity was based in fiction, the ideas we generated were definitely useful strategies to take back to our (real) organizations.
By the end of the evening, the new possibilities of Youtube, Twitter, Tumblr, and all the rest left a veritable creative buzz in the air. I could barely wait to Tweet, reflect, and write about it. Fundamentally, though, the workshop pushed me to think about Facebook and its social media fellows as places for more than just LOLs. However, that doesn’t mean that having a bit of fun with our online communities shouldn’t be a goal, too. At its core, social media carves a new kind of space for us to be social–and having fun with our audiences means connecting with them in a dynamic, powerful, and unforeseen ways.
About Candace Kita:
A recent Scripps grad, I’m exploring arts activism, community organizing, and Asian American/LGBT issues. My major loves in life include blogging (mostly about the above topics), hand-drawn typography,coffee, and Arcade Fire.