Case Study –

Social Media Communication Plan

Black Belt Treasures

This was a case study communication plan project for a graduate-level Thesis course at the University of West Alabama. This is a communication plan for Black Belt Treasures, a non-profit cultural arts center located in the black belt region of Alabama.

This communication plan contains three phases:

Phase 1 – Gallery Interior Redesign

Phase 2 – Social Media Plan

Phase 3 – Shop Local- Art, Heart, & Market Plan

Read through the communication plan below!

Organization Overview

Black Belt Treasures Cultural Arts Center is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization based in Camden, Alabama. The organization was started with the objective to stimulate the economy in Alabama’s Black Belt region through the sale and promotion of fine arts and heritage crafts, as well as the provision of arts education opportunities. It was developed as an outgrowth of a tourism initiative launched by the Alabama Tombigbee Regional Commission, Ala-Tom RC& D, and the University of Alabama Center for Economic Development.

Since opening in 2005, Black Belt Treasures has grown from representing 75 artists to over 450. These artists are comprised of talented painters, sculptors, potters, basket-weavers, quilters, woodworkers, plus more.

The BBTCAC service area includes the traditional Black Belt counties of Bullock, Choctaw, Dallas, Greene, Hale, Lowndes, Macon, Marengo, Perry, Pickens, Sumter, and Wilcox, along with Bibb, Butler, Clarke, Conecuh, Monroe, Montgomery, and Washington, with a total population of 541,489. Each of these counties has high levels of unemployment and poverty.

Strategically located in Wilcox County, the heart of Alabama’s Black Belt, BBTCAC serves as the centerpiece of an arts economy revitalization involving artist development and arts education – encouraging residents and visitors to experience arts, culture and place.

Through partnerships with arts organizations, other non-profits, schools, and community organizations, BBTCAC presents arts and cultural programs to educate a broader sector of the population on the artistic culture and heritage of Alabama’s Black Belt. Staff and volunteers of BBTCAC frequently have the opportunity to make presentations to school groups, civic organizations, meet with community arts organizations, and provide artist demonstrations and workshops. Additionally, BBTCAC partners with art galleries and organizations with events and initiatives.


SWOT Analysis

  • Represent over 450 artists
  • Numerous home goods and décor
  • Satellite location in Butler County – greater exposure
  • Artists are a part of niche home décor items
  • Positive and 5 star reviews on Facebook and Google
  • Featured in multiple publications
  • No immediate cultural arts centers in the area, most are in Montgomery area
  • Low # of followers on Instagram and Facebook
  • Not currently part of the interior design or home goods market
  • Only local exposure, not known in greater Alabama
  • Space seems cluttered and disorganized
  • Unique, cultural goods
  • Tourist Attraction
  • Redesign/rearrangement of interior of space
  • Social Media engagement
  • Shop Local Events
  • Little social media engagement
  • Other options to purchase home goods
  • Larger, more known décor competitors

Plan Overview

To introduce and establish Black Belt Treasures as not only a museum and gallery, but as a curator for unique home décor, a three-part plan will be put into effect.  These phases include a Gallery Interior Redesign Plan, a Social Media Plan, and a Shop Local Plan. 

Market Analysis

Target Audience and General Summary: The market consists of the local population and residents from the surrounding areas interested in home décor.  The target audience is the Camden and surrounding area’s adults and local artists looking for or selling unique home décor.

Competitive Analysis

The cities of Montgomery and Prattville boast a plethora of art galleries and centers, much more in the collective area than anything in the immediate area of Camden. While this can prove daunting, Black Belt Treasures can use this to their advantage, marketing toward locals that do not want to drive hours away to those cities to purchase unique and artistic décor for their homes.

Gallery Interior Redesign Plan

The first step in introducing Black Belt Treasures as an interior design hub and competitor in the home décor sector is to rearrange the interior of the shop to emulate common spaces in a home. The current layout of the space appears disorganized and cluttered to the eye, which can become overwhelming for buyers because they do not know where to look or shop first.  The purpose for this interior redesign is based on shoppers’ buying patterns when it comes to home décor.  Many people do not purchase items because they cannot visualize what it will look like in their home.  By staging common area tableaus, customers will be able to see and visualize how a piece can be used in their home, rather than sifting through the current layout and leaving empty-handed. Depending on the pieces available and their ultimate function, this can include, but is not limited to:

  • Kitchen/Pantry Space
  • Dining Space
  • Living Space
  • Porch/Outdoor Space
  • Bedroom Space
  • Bathroom Space
  • Kids/Toys Space
  • Office Space

This would be at no additional cost to Black Belt Treasures save for the time it takes to rearrange items.  All existing furniture and art pieces will be used.

Below are samples of items that can be displayed to create each tableau.

  • Use either existing tables in space or one an artist has made
  • Use existing chairs or ones artists have made
  • Make table settings using works from the artists, such as
    • Pottery
    • Cutlery
    • Dishes/bowls/cups/glasses
    • Linens/napkins
    • Centerpieces
    • Candles
    • Chargers
    • Table runners
    • Treats or “goodie bags”
  • Iron/wood works for headboards/footboards
  • Chairs
  • Quilts and Blankets
  • Linens
  • Clothing
  • Jewelry
  • Vases or pottery
  • Books and bookshelves
  • Small décor items
  • Wall art
  • Soaps
  • Lotions
  • Cleansers
  • Perfumes
  • Makeup
  • Towels
  • Chairs, sofas
  • End tables or coffee tables
  • Lamps
  • Wall art
  • Shelving
    • Books
    • Small art pieces
    • Pottery/Vases
  • Quilts and Blankets
  • Pillows
  • Greenery
  • Candles
  • Rugs

Current Space

Space ideas in terms of arranging furniture and goods.

Social Media Engagement Plan

After the interior rearrangement has occurred, social media engagement will need to be increased.  Black Belt Treasures will sync their Instagram and Facebook accounts so that all posts will be shared on both platforms.

Black Belt Treasures will create a free Canva account to create and edit additional post options, and will use the designs listed in Exhibit A.

As such, Black Belt Treasures will need to dedicate their time to posting 3 times a week:

  • Tuesday Post: #hometiptuesday
    • A short video or image showcasing how to use a few artists pieces in their homes
      • “Want to spruce up your coffee area? Create a charming space by using one of our hand woven baskets by X artist, add some greenery, a tea towel by X artist, and these adorable mugs by X artist. You’ll love your dedicated coffee caddy, and so will your family!”
    • Thursday Post: #tbt
      • Highlighting past events or teachings, what was made, and how it can be displayed or used in the home now.
        • #tbt to our Kids Pottery Class, taught by X artist. Swipe to see the amazing creations the kids did!
        • #tbt to our amazing quilting event taught by X artist. We love our quilts, and know you’ll love them in your own home!
      • Saturday Post: #shoplocalsaturday
        • A video or photo of a tableau in the space, inviting customers to come in, shop local, and take something “treasured” home with them
        • This can also include videos or photos of past Art, Heart, and Market events, and/or promotion for upcoming Art, Heart, and Market events (see Shop Local Plan for details)

    Shop Local Plan

    After the redesign plan, and in tandem with the social media plan, Black Belt Treasures will partner with local business owners that could benefit from more exposure with the deal that each business recommends the others for more exposure for each organization.  Local businesses include organizations from Wilcox county and the immediate neighboring counties (Dallas, Marengo, Clarke, Monroe, Butler, and Lowndes).  Black Belt Treasures will create flyers to be hung in the windows or displayed in the other businesses, and Black Belt Treasures will also offer to display marketing materials for other organizations as well (Exhibit A).

    On the 2nd Saturday of every month, Black Belt Treasures will also host an “Art, Heart, and Market” function in their warehouse, where local vendors and other small businesses will be able to purchase a booth and sell their wares. The idea is to put the “heart” back in supporting local business. Promotion for this ongoing event will be promoted on social media every month, and will be documented on Facebook and Instagram stories to encourage patrons to come and support local businesses.

    Advertising for vendors for the first “Art, Heart, and Market” function will consist of an email campaign to local businesses and vendors to encourage them to purchase a booth, which will include a Google Form for Vendor Inquires (Exhibit A).  Acceptance as a vendor for the event will be determined after review of the Google Form. This campaign will begin 2 months prior to the event in order to pull enough traction to fill all booths.  The first function will have the capacity for 10 booths, and booths will cost $30. Booths consist of a 6ft folding table. These funds will go toward the Black Belt Treasures Teaching Program, and to purchasing more booths if need be.  Vendors will keep all funds made by sales. After the first event, Black Belt Treasures can determine if they want to increase or decrease booth capacity, but should maintain relationships with the vendors. Once a vendor is accepted, Black Belt Treasures will coordinate with them which months they can attend the market to sell their wares. Black Belt Treasures should aim to have a variety of vendors each month, and continue to promote and include new vendors.  The inquiry form will be posted on Black Belt Treasure’s website. Black Belt Treasures will create a social media image for all vendors to continuously share on their social media to drawn attention to the event (Exhibit A).

    Advertising for the event will be done on Social Media to reduce costs. Facebook Events will be used, and people will be encouraged to share the event with others (Exhibit A).

    Target market is Wilcox county residents, with pull for neighboring counties as well.

    Total Budget

    Shop Local Flyers: 8×8 Flyers, 500 for $98.50– Vistaprint

    Art, Heart, and Market Folding Tables: 11 Tables @ $45.98/each = $505.78

    Total: $604.28

    Target Measures

    • Black Belt Treasures will fully rearrange their gallery interior in 4 weeks, aiming to create 2 tableaus a week.
      • Begin July 1st
      • Goal: Grand “Redesign Opening” = August 1st
        • Post on Social Media!
    • Begin August 1st
    • Current Facebook followers: 3,097
    • Current Instagram followers: 943
    • Goal: Increase followers by 10% by end of Q4, per platform.
    • Month of August= Begin connections with local business owners to promote each other
      • Goal: Have list of 10 local businesses to share marketing materials with by August 31st.
      • Encourage businesses to take part in Art, Heart, and Market events (1st event to take place Saturday, November 13th)
    • September-October= Begin to promote Art, Heart, and Market event and accept vendors for the event
      • Goal: Have 10 vendors accepted and set for first event.
    • Saturday, November 13th– first Art, Heart, and Market event (just in time for the Holidays!)
      • Goal: Black Belt Treasures to achieve ROI of $604.28 at first event to offset costs of tables and marketing materials.

    Exhibit A

    Social Media Deliverables

    Shop Local Deliverables

    To view the entire plan, view the PDF below.

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