Social media can be a huge part of theatre marketing and PR campaigns whether that’s creating an audience, making sure people have heard of your company and new projects or selling tickets. As an agency, Mobius include this form of digital communication in most of our clients' projects, working across the different platforms and making use of all the functions on offer, but there are also some really simple things you can do yourself which will make a big difference.
Maybe you like a 3 minute trailer video, but remember that some people rely on written reviews posts to learn about a new theatre show. A podcast is a fantastic way to build greater interest with commuters but they’re no good to the follower who has 2minutes to spare in the Pret queue. You need a varied output to appeal to everyone so mix it up with different types of content. Consider videos, interview pieces, captioning, images, slideshows, gifs, IGTV, music, memes and the 1001 other options now available to create attractive and intriguing posts.
Working on our clients’ content is one of the things we really enjoy. We often collaborate with amazing artistic freelancers to create captivating storytelling pieces for the various channels, but there’s also lots of free online software for content creation which need nothing more than a phone camera. Worth exploring!
Congratulations, you’re engaged!
Building and engaging with audiences is a huge part of successful social media. You want to be thought of as a trustworthy source of interest, not just a sales platform. So consider how to make it fun and interesting for your followers to get involved; ask questions in captions, include polls on Twitter posts, create Instagram story quizzes and make your followers feel part of the conversation.
And like all good conversations, you need to listen and respond. If someone tags a friend in a comment, say thanks, if someone asks a question be sure to answer and when people mention you in their own posts show that you value them by like or sharing.
Think like a Spice Girl and choose the best platforms
The number of social media platforms seem to be growing by the minute but you don’t necessarily need a profile on every one. Consider your target audience and their needs and habits - for some companies visual formats like Instagram stories and TikTok are perfect for showcasing their work in fast and attractive ways, and a punchy Tweet can let people know a sold out show has more tickets on sale, but if you’re wanting to convey detailed information to an already engaged follower or link to reviews you need to rely on the longer read platforms like Facebook or LinkedIn.
Similar to different types of content, it’s good to use a range of platforms in combination so you can talk about the same theatre show or performance in different ways to different audiences, it’s just a case of understanding what you’re saying and who is listening.
Geotags, Hashtags and Handles oh my
Tagging is the language of social media. To maximise the number of people seeing what you’re saying you need to make the most of it. Although there are many different options available, the key three are Handles (to mention the account of a person, venue, company, publication etc), Geotags (for showing your location) and Hashtags (the keyword searches for socials, to bring your posts up along with everyone else using the same terms).
Including tags immediately makes your posts more searchable, more available to a wider audience and more sharable by those involved.
Be insightful, not an insights-fool
So we know which audiences we want to reach and that engaging with them and choosing the correct platform and creative content is the way to do it, but is our marketing working? Reviewing and analysing can teach you so many things about who your audiences actually are, what time they like to hear from you, which content they prefer and what’s making them click and book tickets! Be sure to look at the free insights tools on your own social accounts (they can be really fascinating and not what you expect) or if you’re looking for deeper detail a lot of PR and marketing agencies can offer you access to paid packages as well as deciphering the barrage of terminology and data you can be faced with which can help inform your next campaign.
Remember to also look at the posts that perform worst; Was it the wrong time of day? Did you forget to tag the artists? Were the hashtags not popular? It’s not just the successful posts that can be useful to inform your future activity.
Anne Dillow is the Marketing and Digital Account Manager at Mobius Industries.