The Arts & Everything in Between

October 16, 2023 | Duration: 38 mins

Social Shifts: The Changing Tide of Audience Engagement


Meg Edwards

Audience behaviour is changing social media in dramatic ways. Marketing Manager, Meg Edwards of HdK Associates explains what is changing and how arts and culture organisations can adapt. 

Social media’s ability to engage audiences and prompt interaction is like the holy grail of marketing. But, audience behaviour – especially Gen Z’s behaviour – is changing how everyone engages online. 

We sat down with HdK Associates Marketing Manager, Meg Edwards to get her insights on how arts, culture and heritage organisations need to think about audience engagement in this shifting social media landscape. 

Meg explains why targeted storytelling is crucial in engaging audiences on social media to bring your mission and productions to life and the importance of authenticity and transparency. 

She discusses Gen Z’s impact on the rise of short form video content and what to consider when creating short form media. Meg explains when using short form video, aim to spark joy, inspire awe, and build community alongside directly promoting your mission. Audiences crave these emotional connections. 

Meg also shares practical tips on keeping your marketing content and campaigns fresh and on point in the constantly shifting waters of social media marketing. Afterall, the relationship between audience behaviour and social media is dynamic. Understanding their reciprocal impacts rather than viewing platforms as external force will make all the difference.



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About Our Guest

Featured Guest

Meg Edwards

Meg comes from a History and Literature background, where sharing and consuming stories was second nature. Over the last 5+ years she has worked with bold and brilliant organisations from across the world. At HdK, Meg designs and delivers bespoke digital marketing services for a wide range of clients including Birmingham Royal Ballet, We The Curious and Trinity Laban. Meg’s experience in writing, producing and performance drive her to empower clients to build lifelong audiences through digital storytelling.

The Arts & Everything in Between Podcast Recording (2023-09-07 11_14 GMT+1)

[00:00:00] Welcome to the Arts and Everything in Between podcast, brought to you by Ticketsolve.

Lucy Costelloe: Hello and welcome to the arts and everything in between podcast. My name is Lucy Costelloe. I’m head of sales and marketing for Ticket Solve. And I am delighted today to be joined by Meg Edwards, marketing manager at HGK. HGK brings together 25 years of experience with a team of specialists. We’re joined by a team of experts, web programmers, animators and filmmakers to offer solutions in all aspects of digital marketing to arts, culture, heritage and non profit organizations.

Meg has been with HTK for over three years and today she joins us to chat about social shifts, the changing tide of audience [00:01:00] engagement. Meg, hi, good morning. Welcome. Thank you so much for joining me today on the podcast. How are you?

Meg Edwards: Hi, Lucy. Yeah, I’m really good. Thank you. How are you? It’s lovely to be here.

Lucy Costelloe: Oh, I’m really looking forward to this Meg. I have to say I’ve been thinking about this episode a lot just to maybe give our listeners a quick background into our introduction. We had the opportunity of connecting this year at the AMA conference there in Leeds. Audiences at heart.

I sat in on the HDK session around TikTok and I’m really looking forward to having this conversation with you today.

Meg Edwards: Oh, thank you, Lucy. Yeah, it was the AMA session was brilliant this year. I think we had an amazing time and some really great conversations and connections off the back of our, of the back of our session.

So really looking forward to this conversation with you.

Lucy Costelloe: Amazing. Meg, typically on the Arts and Everything in Between podcast, We offer our guest of choice, just a quick opportunity, maybe to give our [00:02:00] listeners a little bit of an insight into yourself and your areas of expertise as well. So I’m really curious to hear so you’ve been with HDK for three years and how did you get involved with the sector?

Meg Edwards: Yeah, absolutely. So I studied history and English literature at university but I’ve always been interested in theatre, in, the creation of arts and performing arts. So producing, writing, directing. And I knew I always wanted to stay in that sphere. So I think Covid and lockdown really accelerated a lot of things and simultaneously slowed some things down for us.

But digital became A really important way of communicating in our sector. So moving into marketing, particularly digital marketing made a lot of sense for me. So HGK has been a brilliant chance for me to stay in arts, culture, heritage, nonprofits and help [00:03:00] people connect with audiences online and build lifelong connections.

So yeah I’m really enjoying it and have some fantastic clients past and present. Yeah.

Lucy Costelloe: Amazing. And I have to say, wearing my marketing hat here today. I’m really excited to, to learn from you Meg today, particularly around social media. I think there, there could be that kind of feeling in our sector where we understand the value of social media, but sometimes on a busy week, it really can slip down our list to do, or we roll our eyes or my.

favorite, all time favorite kind of laugh or chuckle that I get to myself about social media is that gif or that meme that goes around quite frequently in different channels and chats where it’s like how people perceive a social media post and it’s just like a picture but the reality of creating a social media post, it’s the thought, it’s the strategy, it’s the budget, it’s the content, the assets, the copywriting, the use of emojis.

The hashtags there’s so many different components in [00:04:00] there. And I think you know today what we’re talking about as well It adds a further layer of complexity to what how we are engaging with our channels and the practices that we’re using and how If we haven’t started to tweak Our approach in this climate of the new normal and why we should really look at considering that, from today and, I can’t think of someone who would, do this topic more justice than yourself and obviously that the digital expertise of HDK as well.

Meg, that the core topic of what we’re talking about today, we could, it’s nearly an A and a B, it’s audience behavior, and we’re focusing in then particularly on social media, and we want to bring the two of them together and see how audience behavior is changing social media for arts, culture, and heritage organizations, and I’d really like to, get started on maybe, Can we paint the scene of why we think social media is and [00:05:00] has changed dramatically in a very short space of time?

Meg Edwards: Yeah, that’s a huge question. And I think it’s a really important one. I think we’ve seen a really rapid change in technology, but also in different generations interactions with technology, social media, AI recently, which has just been in many ways, but also very exciting. And I think a lot of arts organizations are sitting in between both the terrified and the excited.

And I think that’s also, personally as a social media user I feel, I absolutely feel that too. I think. It really comes back to storytelling. And that is something that I, I hope we, we do touch on today. Storytelling is something that has been important, probably the most human thing that exists, really, it dates back over [00:06:00] 30, 000 years.

Back to cave paintings and visual and oral storytelling, and it’s no wonder that it’s something that we really crave. And storytelling is everywhere, in news segments, articles, and… Dare I say it, TikTok videos, you’ve got beginnings, middles and ends and heroes and villains and all of those wonderful things that make us really interested in pieces of content.

So that thirst for stories has absolutely always been there. And I think what social media is showing is that It’s all the same mechanisms of, pound criers and, early print papers and the advent of the printing press, it’s the same patterns of technology and technological progression that we’re seeing with social media, but it can certainly feel like it’s this huge, terrifying thing that is completely taking over, now with AI and the metaverse.

But I think humans have always been evolving inventing and reinventing. Yeah it’s an interesting, scary and very big [00:07:00] topic.

Lucy Costelloe: Absolutely. And I I don’t know, do I laugh or cry at myself when sometimes I’m looking at our kind of our calendar for the week for social media or, our strategy documents that I think, okay, we finally have it here now.

And then a new channel appears. I remember when TikTok came up, I was like, So stubborn. I was like, that won’t last that not looking at that just yet, because that won’t last. And then the changes with Twitter, which are, absolutely ginormous and everything like that. It’s always social media as a platform, as well as, being, just one avenue of of digital communications.

It’s iterative and it’s always changing. And I think for someone like myself who likes to shy away from change, who likes, patterns that can be something that’s quite challenging to embrace sometimes as well. So I think In terms of this idea of storytelling, I think that’s incredibly powerful and particularly within our sector where, organizations tend to make a very [00:08:00] positive impact on audience members.

There’s lots of potential there as well. And I suppose, Meg, my first question then just, keen to, to follow up on, on storytelling is, are we selling our stories on social media?

Meg Edwards: Yeah it’s a brilliant question. I think… We’re lucky to work, I certainly feel very privileged to work in the arts, culture and heritage sectors, where ultimately the quote unquote product that we are selling is a story. It’s an experience. We’re selling a piece of opera, we’re selling a ballet, we’re selling an exhibition.

It only makes sense. That we use social media in a storytelling sense, we are selling an experience, whether I, I use the word selling in, a lot of things that we encounter are free and outdoor exhibits, for example, but we are promoting experiences that are going to be emotional in one way or another and that are going to [00:09:00] tell a story.

So I think on social media. in the arts, culture and heritage sectors and indeed beyond that. It doesn’t make sense to not be telling stories. I think this is something I hear an awful lot from clients, for example, who work at big institutions where there’s a lot of red tape and there’s a lot of different faculties and everyone’s fighting for space on social media and social media.

Marketers or marketing officers or managers can feel so powerless in the decisions that they have. They know they need to post this on a Monday, this on a Tuesday. Someone’s asking this of them da. And it’s so easy to forget that you, or to not realize that you have control as a marketer over what you do.

And I think the ways in which you tell stories is the best. Biggest area that you can have that control. For example in this, this comes up an awful lot If [00:10:00] we have a vacancy that needs to be posted on social media Can we tell that story in an interesting way? How do we provoke? Responses who’s our target audience in that instance?

It’s a very clear target audience It’s someone with the right experience who’s looking for a job We’re looking for stories. We’re hungry for experiences and I think just reminding social media marketers that they do have power and agency over the way in which they tell their organizations various stories is really important.

Lucy Costelloe: Definitely. I actually just have thought of two examples that have really resonated with me that have taken, I presume, a similar Approach. From looking from the outside in is what organization project art center last Christmas. They were around December. I think they did a push or they were reupholstering their famous red seats.

I suppose some of the traditional posts that I would see about purchase [00:11:00] your seed or, donate to our organization tends to be like a static post and really focusing in on, the donation aspect and, your contribution means so much, but they tweak that a little bit.

Don’t get me wrong. They definitely emphasized just how much of an impact audience support would have for what they were hoping to achieve. But it was just the story that it was. They created through a video. It was so on brand recognizing familiar faces. The red seats were very much pictured there.

It was, a play on, getting bums on seats and everything. It was really incredible. And then probably, another example going back even a few years previous was the reopening videos. When we were back in the middle, I’m going to say of the pandemic, we were, looking at social distancing very much limited capacities as well.

It was the video that Home Manchester put together as well about highlighting themselves. We, we, Our appearances, we are exactly who you think we are. We just handle things a little bit differently. That’s to keep you safe. And [00:12:00] the story around that of coming back it was done, it was done so beautifully as, as well.

So the narrative is there, but it was just how it was executed. And in a way that very much shares the story of the organization. They’re just two in particular. I guess that I had thought of and maybe that last example in particular kind of ties in with what we’re hoping to address here, which is this whole idea that, we’re not too confident, perhaps we’re not 100 percent certain exactly on audience behavior at the moment.

All we can say is it’s different and we’re trying to adapt our approach so that we gain more of an understanding of audience behavior. But I guess tying that in with social media a little bit, Meg, what do you think has changed in terms of audience behavior for arts, culture and heritage organizations?

Meg Edwards: I think we’ve seen enormous change. And I think like you say, Lucy it’s hard to know exactly what that change has been [00:13:00] and perhaps more importantly, what that change is going to look like in three, five, 10 years time. I think, one of the big ones is attention spans have been decreasing for the last, 30 plus years.

I read somewhere that We know our average attention span has decreased by two minutes in the last 10 or maybe 20 years which is when you’re talking about social media enormous because Who sees a video that’s two minutes long anymore and doesn’t scroll, so I think attention span is a huge thing.

I think it’s something I’m super conscious of in my own life is when I’m cooking, for instance, I feel a real need to put on a Netflix show or to listen to a podcast, which, in some instances is great and it’s serving my brain and it’s. healing. But in other instances, if I’m watching a TV show, you feel that need to reach for your phone for absolutely no reason.

We’re just being bombarded with so much content and so much information that it’s no wonder that from a brand [00:14:00] perspective, we are fighting for space. We are fighting for people’s attention and attention really is our most valuable commodity because we have so little of it now. I feel like I’ve really gone off on one about attention spans, but…

No, it’s so important. Yeah. Yeah I think, that need for genuine connection and genuine interest that we were also robbed of during COVID, particularly young people. Everyone experienced horrible things during COVID, but… I’m thinking my parents are both teachers and the impact that they’re seeing now on, on the kids who were pre GCSE level, for example during COVID, now doing their A levels and going to higher education, who have had such formative years of that socialization, that in person connection taken away from them.

Obviously, digital becomes much more important and much more significant to younger people’s lives. [00:15:00] But there are things that I think there’s a real price that we’re all paying with that. Yeah, it’s a lot to think about.

Lucy Costelloe: Yeah, definitely. So if we were to break that down then a little bit and focus back in on, on, on what you’re pushing us to consider now, this kind of shift towards storytelling what are the most important traits then?

So we know, okay, our stories are not just competing. The content that’s on the channel that we’re posting them on, it’s also Netflix, it’s everything else that’s coming in. What are the most, yeah, the most important considerations then that we should be thinking about?

Meg Edwards: I think it comes back to, so I would split this into two things.

One is, Your position as a brand, as an organization, your values, your why, I think something Lucy, you said earlier that really sparked something is you hear so often, Oh, but we’re not like that because we’re with this or with that. Why is [00:16:00] that? Have you interrogated that critically? Have you thought about that critically?

Because yes, organizations have immense histories behind them in some instances, hundreds of years. But they are organizations made up of. I think we forget so often as marketers, but also as consumers and internet users, that organizations are just a group of people doing their best. And. Working, make a living.

And I think that why that mission, those values really need to be critically interrogated as an organization. That’s a very lofty goal. That’s very blue sky thinking. But, within marketing teams, we have that power every, for example, every six months just to sit down as a team for less than an hour.

It can be half an hour with us. The goal of auditing your social media or auditing your marketing output against your values and against your Mission statement and your why statement for [00:17:00] example It will be so clear whether you are being true to those values if you’re not being true to those values.

Why is that? Does it feel like actually there’s something that we haven’t quite put into writing yet that is more true about us as an organization or in on the topic of today? Is it a shift in audience behavior, for example, with TikTok and with the changes on Instagram? You’re seeing tones of voice and types of content that are brilliant for those platforms.

But from an outsider’s perspective, perhaps from a board member’s perspective or a director’s perspective, that tone doesn’t sit within the organization’s identity. I think That’s fine. Audience first, always audience first. Who is on our platforms? Who do we want to be communicating with?

And is there a way that we can adapt and shape our brand a little bit to be making meaningful connections and engagements with those audiences on those platforms? So I think Tiktok is [00:18:00] A really brilliant example of the ways in which storytelling and a move away from hard sales can really benefit organizations.

I think there’s a real myth that, and I know we talked about this recently at the AMA, but there’s a real myth that TikTok doesn’t drive sales. And that’s just not true. You just don’t see the overt. Marketing techniques like you do on a website, for example, or through email marketing. But people are using TikTok or the things they learn on TikTok or the accounts they interact with, the influences they follow to make purchases.

And that goes for the arts, culture and heritage fields as well. So to bring that back, I would say, revisit those values, revisit that mission and work really work really hard or work, hard’s the wrong word, work smarter on, on what kind of content you are putting out, what works well for you and the types of [00:19:00] audiences that you really want to engage with.

Lucy Costelloe: Absolutely. I know. I think that’s it’s got a lot of sparking in my head at the moment. We’re looking at, Internally at Ticket Solve, this is a great opportunity. We’ve had some new members of the team join and join my team as well. And we’re using that as an opportunity to sit back and look at what channels bring us value and how.

We believe that all of our channels contribute to making the value and sharing kind of the. The brand message and core values of Ticket Solve, but they’re all very different, and we’re taking that opportunity now. So I definitely have, there’s a few, shall I say, light bulbs that are flickering now at the back of my mind that I want to bring back to our team just to take that approach. Six months down the line, what do we want to see? And what will what do results look like? I suppose something as well that you’ve touched upon there, the big word TikTok. And you also mentioned just around the impact of the pandemic on a younger demographic of audience members.

[00:20:00] Should we? Talk about the rise of Gen Z.

Meg Edwards: Yeah, absolutely. I think it’s a big topic. And a really important one as well. Gen Z are, they are digital natives. They are tech savvy like we’ve talked about. And sorry, something’s just come to mind. A colleague recently told me that they’re, they have a friend who works in a nursery.

And, when you were a child and you’d accidentally call a teacher mum or dad, for example Kids are accidentally calling their teacher Alexa. No, Yeah, which is I feel like I’m my mom says I was born cynical So I really do bring that into everything I do but it’s terrifying and so sad But I think it’s something we have to listen to technology is The most natural part of these generations lives and that’s only going to increase, which oh, we can be worried about all day long, but it’s, it’s what’s happening.


Lucy Costelloe: being that age, Megan, [00:21:00] turning around to your teacher and just saying, Alexa, be quiet. Alexa, shut up.

Meg Edwards: It’s, it is really. It’s I really appreciate that we’re laughing at it because if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry, but it really,

Lucy Costelloe: oh my goodness, I am on the edge and I heard that I was, I thought you were going to say they were calling the teachers Instagram, but Alexa, oh my goodness.

Wow. Yes. Okay. So just on that note I have this now sense of understanding that I am probably so much further behind than I realized in terms of.

I feel like for this podcast as well, as we’re doing our teasers, we need to do a poll. Meg shares a story on on this episode of the Arts and Everything in Between podcast. Can you guess what the answer is? And we’ll see what responses our listeners Our listeners. If you have listened and submitted, [00:22:00] and if you if you did guess right that it was Alexa, please get in touch with the podcast.

We’d love to check you

Meg Edwards: out. Oh, that’s brilliant. Brilliant. Oh, there might be some Google assistants and what’s the other one or Cortana and those things funny. Yeah, no, but I think, yeah, Gen Z are incredibly, we have to listen to the data and we have to listen to the stories and the ways in which they engage on social media, because it’s only going to get, like I said, it’s only going to get more apparent, social media 10, 15 years ago was exactly what it says on the tin, social media form of making connections.

And in many ways it still is, but TikTok, Instagram, other platforms, but primarily now TikTok and Instagram, but let’s keep it broad with social media. It is an incredibly important search engine for [00:23:00] Gen Z and it will be for Gen Alpha as well. We, HGK, so we work, we build websites for arts, culture, heritage organizations, and we’re really Conscious of the fact that a lot of people’s first interactions with a brand is going to be on social media So it’s no longer typing into google and going to a website it is spending Long lead in times on instagram social media being served this kind of content before going on to a website on Through your phone, for example, so those entry points for potential audience members for potential target audiences for, for higher education organizations, for example, we work with it with a few really brilliant ones.

It’s not necessarily going to be a prospective student sitting at their computer and typing in. Universities near me, it might be that it is through [00:24:00] influencers who go to that university or through an advertisement on Snapchat or from TikTok. So it’s a huge topic. That’s something that is, is I think really important to understand the ways in which people will.

Find entry points into their brand in the future. I think just on a slightly different point, Gen Z have very different massively generalizing here, but they really value authenticity. They value raw, authentic, genuine content. So in, in many ways, advertising has taken a real shift.

It’s no longer what you. We saw in, the nineties, which is Buy this perfume and you will rule the world and have all the money in the women that you desire there’s a trend of and i’ve been seeing this on the tube and on the sides of buses of Buy this product It will literally have no impact on your life other than you will have this product and I think that kind of self deprecating [00:25:00] Humor, but also just realism.

That’s absolutely true. You’re not good. Your life isn’t going to change if you the newest pair of Doc Martens, for example. But you’ll have the newest pair of Doc Martens and that’s pretty cool. And Gen Z certainly, really value that, that self awareness. So yeah, I think influencers, partnerships, advertisements, all of these different spheres of digital marketing are having to shift quite quickly based on Yeah the rise of a generation who have been raised on technology.


Lucy Costelloe: Wow. I think the examples that I’m thinking of are, iPhone don’t sell iPhones. They sell pictures of waterfalls and the sound of it that you capture on your phone. And the other one I thought of, which I don’t know, will I have to go back and edit this out, Meg?

You can tell me, but have you ever seen the movie, What Women Want?

Meg Edwards: Yes, I have seen the movie, What Women Want. Oh, I love it. That’s guilty pleasure, those kinds of movies.

Lucy Costelloe: Okay, perfect. So we might be [00:26:00] able to leave this in this episode, but isn’t there a scene where they’re talking about, is it the running shoes?

Yes. And they do it so well, they close their eyes and they say, it’s not about the shoe, it’s about the sensation on the tarmac, it’s about the journey. Yeah,

Meg Edwards: absolutely. And I think just bringing this back to arts, culture, heritage, education, non profit, we are, again we, there’s no better.

sector to be working in than to be selling experiences. And I think this really comes back to emotions as well. It’s so important to be employing emotions through your digital storytelling, because ultimately when someone comes and sits in your auditorium or walks around your exhibition, it is the emotional connection that they’re going to remember.

I think we all have, there was a brilliant session at the AMA on emotions and. employing emotional storytelling. And it really made me think about those stories that everyone has. If you asked [00:27:00] anyone of An emotional time they had at a concert or a ballet show or the theater, they would be able to recall that.

And that is, I just think the most powerful marketing tool that there is. I, mine was seeing once the musical in the West End when I was a kid and it genuinely was my first experience of heartbreak. I did not see the end coming at all and I was. I was like maybe eight, nine years old, just crying my eyes out on the way home.

And for this day, if I see anything to do with once I will go I have such an evocative response to it. And I think, we’re so lucky to be able to work in a sector where emotions are a really beautiful and powerful thing. And not something that’s, dangerous as it can be in many other sectors.

So yeah, again, I went far off from what women want, but it does come back to that experience of the running shoes.

Lucy Costelloe: Absolutely. Yeah. And I’m just, like that kind of sensation on the back of your neck when you are sitting. in a concert or, [00:28:00] yeah, absolutely. So that kind of brings us on Meg to something that we were hoping to discuss.

And you’ve brought up TikTok quite a few times. So I think it’s good to jump into this idea of the attention span now and looking at short form video. What is it, that’s driving audience members to engage more than they ever have before with video as a platform, but then this idea of it’s concise.

It’s short form video. It’s captioned as well. I’d love to hear your take

Meg Edwards: on that. Yeah, I think, firstly, I think it would be silly to not acknowledge the power of algorithms in this instance and how with platforms like Instagram and TikTok, we are being served incredibly well curated content from who we are as people, what our data tells these algorithms.

And therefore, like we’ve talked about, it’s so easy to get [00:29:00] stuck when you’re in bed in the morning or before bed, just scrolling on TikTok because you’re being served, the majority of things you’re being shown are things you’re going to show interest in. So I think. The power off algorithms as they get stronger as they get more intelligent is cannot be understated in terms of the role they play in short form video content.

But I think also another element that audiences really yearning for alongside the storytelling is joy. I think we have such little attention. We have such little time as we’ve talked about and People turn to social media for comic relief, for moments of joy. And those are something you can get almost in IV injection form through short form video content, just seeing your favorite stand up comedian or a new stand up comedian that you’ve never, watched before tell like a joke in 15 seconds. Like it’s brilliant or to watch some then, it comes back to, do you [00:30:00] remember that TV show? What was it called? You’ve been framed. Oh, and that was brutal, but it comes back to the same thing.

Yeah. You just want that little release of serotonin of, that adrenaline rush, these emotions, these very physical emotions that make you feel better. And I think, it’s a, it’s a. This alone is enough topic for a debate of whether it actually makes you feel worse at the end of the day or whether it makes you feel some sort of joy and connection and sharing that with your friends and family when you watch a short form video that you find funny.

So easy just to send to 10 people all at once and I think that’s how, yeah, totally and I, I get stuck in that, yeah. What I do struggle with is watching all of the videos that people have sent me. I think maybe my love language is gift giving but I really struggle to

Lucy Costelloe: get through

Meg Edwards: everyone else’s videos.

But yeah, I think joy is a big one and then [00:31:00] strengthening of the algorithms on these platforms as they get more intelligent. Is, has a massive part to play in the power and the success of short form video.

Lucy Costelloe: Absolutely. And I feel like that word algorithm, like it’s always something we’re up against, always something we’re competing for.

I always say, particularly for the likes of say, our Facebook channel ourselves, that a lot of our own endeavors are on Facebook are to make sure that we’re not punished at a later stage. through the algorithm because we haven’t been doing what it wants us to do. We’re at the peril, shall I say, of the algorithm.

And I suppose in terms of any advice that you could give teams of all sizes really in terms of, making sure that your content is rewarded through engagement via the algorithm. What would some of those tips be?

Meg Edwards: I think I will give some tips for the here and now, but I think the most important thing you can be doing is.

[00:32:00] We have a kind of a weekly roundup as a team of any news articles or anything new that’s come up in the last week. So constantly sharing that new information about new features on social media, new, you once upon a time weren’t able to upload things with alt text on Twitter, for example.

Brilliant, you can do that now. Keeping in. Up to date with all of these changes is really important. The algorithm itself is such a dark art. No one really understands it. And there are thousands and thousands of things that will be affecting it. Similar to SEO in that respect. But I think A few top tips are short form content is great.

Make sure that it is sharp. It’s engaging. For example, if you’re looking at a, looking at creating. some pieces of content about your upcoming exhibit. Make sure that you focus on one piece of story in each video or one angle. You [00:33:00] can absolutely do a beautiful big opening video, but I think you’ll more likely find that the short ones focusing on one piece of art or one funny trend or something are going to perform better.

Another is to keep up your community management. Platforms like TikTok and Instagram really value good social media citizens. So if you can show that you don’t just post and then sit back and hope the likes and views roll in, you follow, you like, you engage, you comment on other people’s channels, you build up your community, you support those who support you, your content is more likely to be pushed further.

I really hate to throw a spanner in the works, but my colleague Sarah in one of our update sessions did tell me that TikTok is starting to push longer form content because it wants people to stay on the platform longer So watch this space because that was That’s real surprising news to me but I think that just goes to show you just have to build up [00:34:00] these skills that are transferable, build up your resilience as a team, and we’ll be ready to fight any new changes like vine disappearing all of a sudden, or Twitter turning to X, all of these things that, that We aren’t, they’re outside of our control, but what is inside of our control is making sure our skills are up to date and that we are being collaborative and creative where we can.

Wow. And,

Lucy Costelloe: and just on that note, to start to tying our episode together, you mentioned the famous letter there, X. Do we, or do we not change the icons on our websites from the sweet bird to the X? What are your views? Oh,

Meg Edwards: that’s a gentler question than I was expecting, to be honest.

Lucy Costelloe: In terms of

Meg Edwards: the icons themselves, I think, yeah, changing them to X does make sense. I think it just speaks to a much bigger conversation about whether we should abandon X or continue going with X. Honestly, I’m surprised I’m calling it [00:35:00] X. Up until about five minutes ago, I was calling it Twitter. It’s a really, it’s a really tough one.

And I think it’s been very difficult for audiences, for marketers, very disheartening to have experienced all of that very quickly. I. I think it just speaks to how quickly this course can change. I think the first week it happened, threads, everyone was jumping on threads. It was like a mass exodus, but there’s no rush.

The things change, it’s okay to adopt a new platform, but you have. to protect your time, protect your energy and your resources in house. You can’t just keep adding new social media platforms into the mix without critically considering whether we remove another one. So whether X or Twitter ends up becoming.

somewhat abandoned from arts, culture, arts, culture and heritage organizations in the UK and beyond. [00:36:00] I really don’t know. But I think we’ve seen with the vast majority of our clients have pepped up a presence on X at the moment and have either tentatively opened a threads account or Not opened one yet, but it’s on the horizon.

Okay, wow,

Lucy Costelloe: that’s great intel. I’m glad you, you took my subtle question and gave us the answers we were definitely looking for. Meg, have you any final thoughts or key takeaways? I know throughout this episode I’ve been jumping in and asking you for so many different tips and thank you so much for sharing those insights with us.

But I suppose, as a final reflection. If there was anything that you wanted to share with our

Meg Edwards: our listeners. Yeah. Thank you lucy I think I think I suppose i’ll just bring it back to the question which is you know How is audience behavior changing social media? I think it is a bit of a chicken and egg topic for all of us [00:37:00] because in many ways we can ask how is social media Changing audience behavior.

And I think that intricate relationship As arts and culture heritage marketers is something that we should be conscious of and engaging with. There’s, I don’t think there’s an answer to that. But it’s just something that. Yeah, it needs to be considered. I think many of us, most of us, are considering that all the time.

We have a responsibility as organizations to our audiences, and are we being responsible stewards of our organizations in the ways in which we’re communicating with our audiences online? A big question. I recognize I’ve raised that at the end. But yeah.

Lucy Costelloe: Thank you. And Meg, just to say, this has been such a great episode.

I’ve really enjoyed it as well. I’ve learned so much myself, so many different takeaways that I’ll definitely be bringing back to our team. So thank you so much for your time and sharing your wise words with

Meg Edwards: us today. [00:38:00] Thank you so much, Lucy. It’s been a real pleasure to be here.

Thank you for talking with me.

Lucy Costelloe: This has been an episode of the Arts and Everything in Between podcast brought to you by Ticketsolve. We’d love for you to like, subscribe and share the podcast. And again, a big thank you to the team at HDK and in particular to Meg today for joining us.

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