In this case study presented at MCN 2015, I discussed the National Gallery of Art’s innovative approach to developing serial content for social media as illustrated through the #ArtAtoZ initiative.
Every two weeks, the Gallery explored a new topic in art (i.e., asymmetry, brushstroke, color, and drawing) across multiple social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest). This focus on broad topics allowed the Gallery to leverage its extensive permanent collections as well as draw upon a diverse array of staff expertise including curatorial, education, archives, conservation, and horticulture. The “A to Z” concept also afforded museum staff the ability to plan up to a year ahead, as the set of 26 topics was set at the beginning of the year. The added benefit of this structure was the ability to collaborate with other institutions and build momentum over time. From the perspective of the social media user, one was invited to dig deeply into a given topic over the course of two weeks rather than receive seemingly random bits of information each day.
Social media followers were encouraged to engage with the broad theme in myriad ways included guided looking, guessing games, and challenges to respond creatively. In this talk, I shared findings from ongoing evaluation of the initiative, including what we learned about optimizing content in order to generate the most conversation, sharing, and other engagement.