You may have heard the words ‘social audio’ being bandied around at proverbial (now virtual!) dinner parties but what is it and ultimately, can it help to grow your art business?
Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, the face of business and how it is conducted has completely changed. With the temporary closure of most businesses during the various lockdowns enforced across the world, in-person meetings also ground to an immediate halt. Virtual meetings suddenly became the order of any business day and companies like Zoom and Google blossomed. What’s now been dubbed, the Zoom Boom by many, founder Eric Yuan saw his net worth soar by almost 400% in 2020 - that in a time when a number of companies were experiencing considerable losses. Read more about the Zoom Boom here.
Virtual meetings have definitely created some much-needed lighter moments in terms of what (and who) was caught on camera. And, to be absolutely honest, who hasn’t attended a meeting wearing last year’s unsightly slippers or left your mic on when you distinctly remember turning it off? While virtual meetings were created out of necessity and will continue to form part of most companies’ hybrid business models, there is a general feeling of virtual meeting fatigue amongst many. Added to this, the fear of Covid 19 and the desperate isolation the continual lockdowns and social distancing imparts, has created a huge need for connection on both a personal and a business level.
The artworld was devastated by the pandemic and art sales are purported to have dropped by 22% in 2020 with cancellations of major fairs, exhibitions, and events across the globe. In an instant, artists and galleries had to move online in a bid to sell artworks, and art sales online doubled compared to 2019 according to Statistica. See more Statistica stats on the artworld here. More and more art businesses and fairs are embracing using both an online interface and a physical gallery to conduct their business. This trend is expected to continue and it is important for art businesses to stay abreast of the digital and virtual trends.
In a social media-saturated society, It has become increasingly difficult to actively engage with existing and potential clients and new avenues have to be found in order to connect with them in a meaningful way.
Enter Social Audio. Social Audio and Social Media Audio are conversational meeting rooms that use voice as their main form of communication. Clubhouse, one of the more popular Social Audio apps, launched in March 2020 and became a household name after Elon Musk tweeted that he had been on Clubhouse in January 2021 - the app instantly became the most downloaded app on Apple Store. What made Clubhouse so popular, was that it was the perfect networking opportunity, influencers loved it, it was exclusive, and initially by invite only.
Twitter Spaces, Spotify, and Green Rooms are amongst the most widely used social audio platforms today.
Social audio rooms are popular amongst businesses and consumers alike as they are known for creating a sense of community, deep interaction, and the ability to connect with old and new friends in an informal setting. An interesting study suggests that our tone of voice, not our facial expressions, could be the primary means by which we reveal emotions when we speak. And, while the research was not on social audio per se, this may be why many are turning to social audio as a way of creating niche online communities as the setting is more comfortable and relaxed and one can easily gauge the moods and emotions of the people in the room. Read the study.
Artfundi partnered with Angle Audio and recently launched ‘Artists in Conversation’ on https://quotesbylivingartists.com/channel This weekly Audio Room is a place to enjoy regular, lighthearted dialogue and build a community of like-minded individuals in the artworld. Artists, curators, collectors, and gallerists from all over the world meet on a Thursday to chat with no set agenda. Conversations take their own course driven by the people in the room, just like a dinner party.
Says Tamzin Lovell-Miller Founder and CEO of Artfundi “Artfundi is always looking for new and innovative ways to connect and to help our clients grow their art businesses to the next level. Our Audio Room creates a small and intimate space for sharing stories and experiences. It has been both humbling and inspiring to experience the sense of community and the creative ideas that have come out of these sessions. We will definitely continue using Social Audio ourselves and Audio Rooms will be included in the bouquet of features and services offered on the Artfundi platform in 2022, and we are very excited about that!”
To join Artists in Conversation on Thursdays, click here.
How could social audio be used to grow your art business?
Online Viewing Rooms, Exhibitions, and other Art Events
Take your OVR’s or exhibitions to a whole new level by adding an audio room to connect an exhibiting artist with a global audience during an exhibition or fair. This will create an informal setting where potential buyers and collectors could get to know the artist or curator in a more intimate way. It also markets the event to a wider audience.
‘Join the Club’
Join Clubhouse Art clubs such as ‘into the Artworld’ (44.5k members), ‘The Contemporary Art Club’ (with 38.9k members), or ‘Art’ (7,9k members). There are many specialised and genre-based clubs to join. Connect, interact and network with people from the artworld. All you need to do is download the app and begin by following clubs and people you would like to connect with.
Lead the Conversation
Create your own live audio conversations using a social audio platform or app of your choice and start leading conversations with invited guests. This is the perfect way to create meaningful associations and collaborations with thought leaders from the artworld.
Create a Spotlight on Artists
Create a weekly audio room slot and highlight a particular artist’s story by asking various interesting and thought-provoking questions. For a list of questions to pose to artists, read here. Use this as an opportunity to invite potential buyers and collectors who will find it interesting to hear the artist’s story.
For more ideas on how to grow your art business, read 5 things all galleries should be doing and probably aren’t!
As we move into the uncertainty of what 2022 will hold, it is extremely important for art businesses to seek connection and engagement with existing and potential markets - and social audio is the perfect platform, so start the conversation...