Facebook & Culture: The Challenges of Doing Social Media Posts for Cultural Events & Groups

Managing the Lixnaw Heritage and Historical Facebook page has been an intriguing, interesting and inspiring experience.

Although, be warned, managing social media pages for historical and cultural groups and events have their own unique challenges, difficulties and novelties. It can be uncharted waters for many, so prepare well before setting sail.

Find below three helpful tips of anyone in the process of undertaking this challenge. As always, if I can assist in anyway let me know.

For those of you interested, find below that again information on what this Lixnaw Heritage and Historical page is actually about, which, as a true cultural social media marketer, I am particularly passionate about!!

Taken at recent Lixnaw Heritage and Historical Event. Pictured (r-l) historian author and expert of FitzMaurice dynasty. Kay Caball, Patrick J Gillbert, chairperson of Lixnaw Heritage and Historical, and Jeremy Murphy, communications.

Tip 1: For social media posts, the tone and style of delivery is paramount. Marketing through social media channels is starkly different from traditional adverting mediums. The tone is ambient, informal, natural and engaging.

Adopt the tone of an enthusiastic friend, not a fake and false marketing professional. For cultural pages, be friendly, enthusiastic and warm, but not too frivolous. For cultural pages, your market will be mostly people with a serious interest in the topic, who have a serious interest in history and culture.

You want to engage them, so yes, be warm and friendly, but also show you are genuinely passionate about the subject and that you take it seriously. It is sometimes difficult to strike this balance, but it certainly can be struck.

Tip 2: A golden rule for social media posts is: don’t be repetitive. Ensure your posts are varied and diverse, don’t focus slavishly on one theme or topic. Be fresh, varied and interesting. Keep the audience engaged with new, fresh and original content.

Be surprising and ironic. This is as true for historical and cultural pages as it is for any other type of page. There is a real danger that cultural pages get overly focused on a niche area of history, culture or the arts, and concentrate on that area monotonously and obsessively. Don’t! Surprise your audience, don’t always do what is expected of you.

Tip 3: The Elizabethan poet John Donne famously said (converted to modern diction) ‘no man is an island in the entirety of himself’. That adage is especially fitting for the strange undiscovered country (to quote another Elizabethan!) of social media marketing.

Your page is not an island, detached from the outside world. One of the purposes of social media channels is to provide opportunities to embed yourself in a wide web of connections, networks and associations. So, reach out to people; tag share and link; make connections; comment, like and love.

Don’t forget the concept of ‘cross-pollenation’ - this is where several social channels mutually benefit each other, link to each, derive from each other and play collectively as part of a social media orchestra for the benefit of the product.

I think this is especially true for pages dedicated to cultural and historical topics. The arts is a tough world, and it is a tough market out there. To survive, you need to connect, you need to network, and you need to forge lasting, mutually benefiting alliances and associations.

Beautiful landscape painting by Cornelius Varley, dated 1842. Depicted is rural Lixnaw in the mid 19th century, with the ruins of 'Lixnaw castle' the court of the FitzMaurices, Lords of Kerry and Barons of Lixnaw, in the background.

So, now for what Lixnaw Heritage and Historical is all about!

The FitzMaurices, Lords of Kerry and Barons of Lixnaw, were descendants of the Norman warriors who invaded the country in the 12th century.

Eventually adopting Gaelic customs, and becoming ‘more Irish than the Irish themselves’, the extensive gardens, castle and court the FitzMaurices’ established in Lixnaw, have been described by historian John Knightly as ‘the finest baroque garden of its kind in all of Ireland’.

Researching and studying this decadent dynasty has been a fascinating journey through historical discovery and self-discovery. One philosophical point I drew from the process: The FitzMaurices were the dominant Norman noble family in Kerry for centuries.

They left their imprint on everything, shaped and moulded the social, economic and cultural structures and features of the area. By studying the FitzMaurices, we not only study the past, we study ourselves, because as they shaped Kerry they shaped the people who would live in Kerry for centuries.

What do you think? Perhaps too redolent of ‘great man' theories of history, or an insight into how we are all part of a collective, historical dialectic? Any thoughts or comments, do let me know.

Great photo of a Norman crypt, where, among others, John Fitzgerald, 12th Knight of Kerry, or Green Knight, is buried.

Well, there you have it. Just three short tips for anyone about to embark on that journey. If you do manage a cultural page, or are considering doing one, then do it. It is such a worthwhile and valuable thing to do.

To take a cultural topic, and spread it to the world. Persuade thousands and millions that this is topic is of vital human concern, and that it is something that should interest, engage and inspire millions. I can feel the passion running already, so get going.

As always, if help is needed, I am here. I love managing cultural social media pages, so let me know HERE.

Good luck on that voyage, it can be a fascinating, if occasionally challenging, one!

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