By GiannaLia Cogliandro Beyens
ENCATC Secretary General and editor of the /encatcSCHOLAR
Social media researcher, Goldsmiths, University of London
Why do you think it is important for cultural managers to use digital tools for the implementation of their activities? How these tools could impact their work and increase their efficiency?
Well, I can only speak in detail about the situation in the UK. But in the last two years, Smartphone penetration has reached 78%. More and more people are using these devices as the hub of their lives. There is not a forest of newspapers anymore on the metro, there is a forest of phones. People can begin the journey of a visit to your institution from anywhere. Most importantly, you can use the devices to bring people closer to your cultural institutions. This is a great creative opportunity. However also, the data that comes from Social Media gives us a great opportunity to really understand an audience in real depth. However it is also important to point out that different people like to be communicated with in different ways. Some love printed word, some love video, some love social media. We are all different.
Which are today the basic digital tools that each manager should at least use to be efficient?
- Followerwonk – to analyse and compare their audience with those of others.
- BuzzSumo – to see what the most shared content is in your community.
- Canva – a great tool for quick and good social media design.
- Cloze.com – for personalised customer relationship management (CRM).
- similarweb.com – to analyse competitors.
All these tools are free – and there are plenty more.
What are the needs in terms of education?
There are some absolutely great online educational resources that are becoming available. Get Smarter in South Africa have a 94% completion rate for online digital courses, which is astounding. For quick questions, Youtube is of course great. It is the second largest search engine in the world and a great visual resource.
I think getting together with other cultural managers is the key, not only can you practice these tools together, but sharing of practical examples is the key.
Do you think that the use of digital tools could increase and diversify the audience of a cultural organisation?
Great exhibitions, or plays, or any piece of cultural diplomacy, are always trying to answer the questions that are going through society’s mind. I believe that these tools can help you see your audience at a very detailed way. You can see if the creative decisions you make, match the people who support you.
Which advice would you like to give to beginners?
Learn by doing. Go to the tools mentioned. If you get stuck, go to Youtube or come to an ENCATC masterclass, and we can investigate and learn together.
Header image: Chris Hogg.