A group of students joined forces with Warwick Arts Centre this summer term to work on a project focused on audience development and engagement. It's just one of many ways you can get involved with the Arts Centre for through volunteering, work experience, projects and more.
As part of its programme to support student societies and the wider university body, Warwick Arts Centre worked closely with several MA students from the Centre for Cultural Policy on a project to enhance student engagement through the social media app, Instagram.
Under the guidance of Audience Development Officer, Johnathan Branson, the team had weekly meetings, mentoring and advice on testing new approaches to grow the student interaction on Instagram. The overall aim of the project was to give them real life work experience and an opportunity to have a positive impact on an existing business – a world class arts venue.
The student group analysed the current offering on Instagram and looked at ways in which this social media channel could be improved to pique students’ interest in Warwick Arts Centre. They also examined what type of content created the optimum buzz and what time of day resulted in the highest level of engagement. They then operated a 5-day Instagram takeover - posting their own content and monitoring interaction and reach. Their final findings were then presented to the Warwick Arts Centre marketing team.
Working with an enthusiastic group of students who are both passionate about the Arts Centre, as well as social media, allowed us to gain a valuable insight into our current interaction with our student audience. It allowed us to look at ways in which we could consider evolving our engagement on this social media platform, as well as helping us consider a different perspective and new ideas for social media content. For the students the project allowed them to work with a real business – giving them a chance to make a lasting impact on our social media as well as setting a president for us working more closely with student groups in the future.
Being one of the main businesses on campus - drawing in many outside visitors - means we have to have strong links to local communities and well as schools, performing arts companies and other regional and national organisations. However, being at the heart of the campus also means that it is vital for us to interact and engage with the student population. Instagram is the most popular social media app for 16 – 24 year olds, so it was the most natural choice to use this platform as part of this project.
We have worked with several groups over the past 3 years, and this project as with previous schemes, will leave a lasting legacy – helping us analyse and develop our student offer; developing the types of marketing we use and the programme of events we deliver. It is an incredibly worthwhile part of the work we do.”