Taking Social Media Marketing Offline


Today’s article is inspired my recent trip to the Artisphere, a local Arlington county funded art museum that has been struggling since it opened in 2010. The museum features contemporary exhibits by local artists.

When I entered, I saw the current Artist In Residence, Beth Baldwin, working on some of her awesome plush toys. Nearby sat a huge stuffed anteater (complete with felt ants sewn to the end of its tongue) and a sign that read:









Which I did. That is one cute anteater.

Since the museum’s goals are to increase visitors, revenue and improve public relations, this is a great idea for an offline promotion. What better way to encourage visitors to spread the word with their networks than through an interactive social media display?










One of the challenges faced by the Artisphere as a taxpayer funded project is the need to prove its value to the community. Demonstrating a positive ROI to taxpayers and the county board are vital to the continuation of its funding. The key to achieving this is to bring in more visitors by leveraging the fans they already have.

Here’s why this type of offline social media marketing can be extremely effective for getting new visitors:

  • It transforms visitors into promoters who create positive word of mouth in their social networks
  • It encourages identification with the Artisphere brand through active participation
  • It offers visitors a clear reason to become brand advocates (It’s nearly impossible to resist taking a picture with something so adorable)
The sign doesn’t just say, “Like us on Facebook and Twitter!”, but goes one step further and creates an opportunity for visitors to WANT to share it (by baiting them with an adorable, touchable art piece). By the way, you can buy Beth Baldwin’s plush art on her Etsy store or at the Artisphere if you’re in the Washington, D.C. area.

To follow the Artisphere’s example, ask yourself: What would incentivize my current customers to create positive word of mouth for my business? 

Feel free to share your ideas below!

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