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7th June 2019 Jacqueline Haxton

Audience interaction through social media #DigiLab

In this #DigiLab blog Charlotte Angharad from Metro-Boulot-Dodo (MBD) talks about her third experiment to develop Instagram Stories and the impact the Digital Lab has had on the organisation’s approach to social media.

Our third Digital Lab experiment was originally going to be based on community interaction through our website related to a project that we’re doing to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Moon landing. Unfortunately, the project has been delayed until October so although we still plan to undertake this experiment, we needed a new experiment for Digital Lab.

So instead, our third #DigiLab experiment is an Instagram one. Although I lead on MBD’s social media I don’t know much about Instagram or Instagram Stories — as a result we’ve just been posting on Instagram rather than developing stories.

We have at the moment a fantastic intern, Silvia Campanile, who knows a lot about Instagram. Silvia is a design graduate from Naples who’s working at MBD for four months as part of the Erasmus Programme, which is a European work placement programme. Silvia is working on some of our VR projects, as well as on design and 3D animation. She’s also been helping us with our social media, in particular Instagram.

Silvia has started to develop MBD’s Instagram Stories — she’s been posting content and developing interaction with followers. Our experiment is evaluating that work.

Silvia’s made a real difference to our Instagram and we’ve seen an increase in followers. It’s also made a difference to how we view our audiences. We originally started 22 years ago as a touring theatre company so our audiences were in the room with us when we were performing. We could see audience reactions to our work; hear their clapping and experience a real-life interaction.

However, these days we do a lot more work online and using Virtual Reality (VR). We do work that’s site specific, for example audio heritage trails in historic properties. As a result, we’re not always there when our work is happening so we’re not seeing the reaction of our audiences and we’re not talking as much to our audiences. We miss that interaction.

So the work that Silvia’s doing with our Instagram Stories is creating more interaction. Throughout the working day people will ask questions through Instagram about the work that we’re doing. They’ll ask questions such as: what’s a difficult day in the office? Or, what we’re working on next week? It gives us an opportunity to directly interact with our audiences and that’s a really good resource that we’ve previously not tapped into.

It’s changed the way all of us in the team are thinking. It’s made us more aware of our audiences on a day-to-day basis.

Silvia is also imparting her knowledge of Instagram to the rest of the team and training us up to the level that she’s at. So that when she leaves we’ll be able to carry on the stories.

As a result of the Digital Lab programme, we’re now developing ‘tone of voice’ guidelines for our social media platforms so that we can have a consistent organisational voice across all our channels. We’re also defining which platform we want to use for which type of content — so that we know what type of post we want to put on each platform. #DigiLab has opened our eyes to how best to use our social media channels and how we can implement that across the whole organisation.

Read Charlotte’s previous Digital Lab blogs: Paid social media advertising #DigiLab  and Digital Advent Calendar #DigiLab.

Images courtesy of Metro-Boulot-Dodo ©.

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