How Strong is Your Social Net? 2011 Results

2. About the study

How Strong is Your Social Net? was developed by Trudel | MacPherson in partnership with digital media consultancy Sen Associates. The survey launched in December of 2010 and was in the field for ten months, until September 2011.

Our first step was to reach out to 47 conveners nationwide, both large and small, to capture a baseline of data that spanned the country, so that the results were not skewed toward urban areas on the two coasts or only large, highly visible institutions.

We asked the conveners, including regional, state, and local arts agencies and membership associations, to send out emails asking their affiliated organizations to take the survey using specially coded links. At this stage, participation in the study was by invitation only, so we could calibrate our efforts toward getting even geographic representation. Our working target for a good statistical baseline was 500 respondents from at least 30 states.

When we closed the baseline project, we had data from 45 states and almost 1,000 respondents at arts organizations of every type and size. In August of 2011, we opened the survey nationally, and captured over 600 additional responses, for a final count of 1,601.

The survey is comprised of 26 questions, to determine:

  • The location, type and size of the respondent’s arts organization
  • The digital and social media tools and channels the respondent’s organization uses, and how frequently
  • The use of mobile platforms and experiences
  • The attitudes of the management of respondents’ arts organizations, including level of excitement or discomfort with digital and social media; willingness to relinquish control in order to foster interaction and increase transparency; and whether or not digital and social media are delivering on their promise
  • Perceptions of the organization’s effectiveness in using digital and social media
  • The results that organizations are getting from building live participation and audience engagement; developing fan networks; fundraising; and ticket sales
  • The adoption and use of digital and social media policies within the organization, and whether or not the organization encourages its staff to use social media to promote the organization’s activities
  • The audiences the organization is trying to reach, cultivate, and engage
  • Who is responsible for digital and social media within the organization
  • The measurement techniques in use by respondents
  • Answers to open-ended questions about positive and negative experiences using digital and social media

All questions were optional; the respondent could fill out or skip any question he or she wished.

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