April 9th, 2010

TAB Talks: Tweeting Art Setouchi

How do you get people interested in an event 1) they’ve never heard of, 2) will happen next year, 3) in a remote location?

In the summer of 2008, we visited the Setouchi area and started working on a website for Setouchi International Art Festival (July 19th – October 31st 2010). It’s been revamped several times since then, as the artist list was confirmed and preparation gained momentum. We’ve also been enthusiastic about developing and carrying out a social media strategy to build buzz and amplify the discussion leading up to the event.

Twitter was one of the obvious platforms, and with the service hitting a stride in Japan in summer/fall of 2009, the timing was just right.

Between the five of us at AQ, we post to more than a dozen Twitter accounts. We’re constantly trying out different tools, theorizing and experimenting with audience interaction, and diving into Google Analytics and bit.ly. As you can imagine, it’s led to many lively discussions around the office.

The interest turned outwards, i.e. a talk event specifically for and by the art industry and art enthusiasts. Piggybacking on the TAB Talk platform and held as part of TAB’s fundraising campaign, the event came to life on a late Sunday night.

TAB Talks #17 “Twitter & Art Promotion”
Venue: Loftwork Ground
Schedule: 2010-03-14 from 20:00 to 22:30
Address: Dogenzaka Pia 1F, 1-22-7 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0043
Phone: 03-5459-5123

Various naka no hito for art related Twitter accounts gathered to share insight on “how we can drum up interest in art and build a community on Twitter”. (Vocabulary of the day: the person behind a blog or Twitter account is called naka no hito 中の人 in Japanese, which literally means “person inside”. )

Here’s the lineup of presenters and panel discussion participants:

I had the honor of joining this fabulous group to present our work with the Setouchi Twitter account. It’s meant to be a case study on using Twitter for an upcoming art event, giving the Setouchi answer to the question “How do you get people interested in an event that 1) they’ve never heard of, 2) will happen next year, 3) in a remote part of the country?”.

Here’s the presentation material (sorry, Japanese only).

In addition to a full house, the talk was broadcast on Ustream with the help of content producer Tetsuomi Sukeda. The video is archived in two parts: Part One and Part Two.

The presentation is a short summary of our Tweeting activities in the past year. The fun has just begun and there’s a lot we’d like to do as the opening date gets closer and more details become available. Focusing on our Facebook presence and really getting the English Twitter account off the ground will be the next venture.

Again, here are the links. See you somewhere online or on an island in the Setouchi Inland Sea!

Tomomi SasakiTomomi is a project manager at AQ, in charge of maintaining structure in the creative process and clarity in communications.Read more posts by Tomomi Sasaki

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