Devon Smith explains location based social networks

This is a guest post from Devon Smith, one of the trainers for Leveraging Social Media.

The Wallace Initiative is the major funder of Leveraging Social Media, a program aimed at increasing social media capacity for arts organizations, led by noted non-profit technology expert Beth Kanter. Watch this space as well as Beth’s Blog for more from the 30 organizations participating in the extended program as well as Beth and the other trainers.

Location based social networks bridge the digital world with the physical world: users “check in” to a real world location using their smart phone. These social networks can connect arts organizations with their audiences in new ways, but each has its own strengths, audience niche, and purpose. Google Places is the largest, Yelp has the most active users, Facebook Places drives Facebook Page engagement, and Foursquare effectively uses game mechanics to encourage loyalty. So does your arts organization need a verified profile on every service? Is your audience already talking about your arts organization on these networks? How will smart phone usage inside your venue change the audience’s experience with the art?

The following presentation:

  • Defines what location based social networks are;
  • Compares the differences between the major location based social networks;
  • Provides step-by-step instructions for how to sign up and use each one;
  • Shares results of a 1.5 year study of theatres using Foursquare; and
  • Collects eleven case studies of innovative uses of Foursquare in the arts and beyond.

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In 2008, The San Francisco Foundation (TSFF) and Grants for the Arts/San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund (GFTA) embarked on a four-year funding partnership to encourage systemic and sustainable structural change in the relationships of Bay Area arts organizations to their audiences, supported by the Wallace Foundation. Community offerings during the grant period (2008-2011) included seminars, workshops, large public convenings, implementation grants, development of a regional shared mailing list, and expansion of the website.




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