Social media for theatre

 

Theatres, like music venues, have a social media advantage over most businesses. For more prosaic activities like real estate it can be a challenge to dream up content that attracts a loyal reader-, listener- or viewership. Theatre land has content a-go-go, or put in more technical terms, content and then some!

Before beginning to list some of the varied content a theatre group or company might blog, put up on Facebook, Youtube or Twitter let’s just think about the audiences

  • Theatre-goers – people interested in drama, song, dance and music, school groups, kids, educators, parents, students of theatre, amateur dramatists/ theatre groups
  • People working directly in theatre – Play writers, actors, dancers, musicians, stage managers, directors, producers, musical directors, costume designers, make-up artist, scene builders, technical staff
  • People connected to the industry – PR, theatre agents, publishers, reviewers
  • Aspirants – unemployed actors, theatre study students, writing workshop attendees

Here’s a non-exhaustive list of content for what should become a dynamic, exciting and useful hub of information to all the above!

There’s going to be a lot of overlap of social media content that interests each of the audiences listed above. The reason I make this point is to excuse myself from the chore of dividing lists of content for each. Using the basic social media mix of blog, Twitter, Facebook and Youtube mentioned in all my other “Social media for X” I want to make the following division.

Social media to…

  1. entertain and inform
  2. involve
  3. sell

Entertain and inform

  • Post Youtube clips of the recent or present production/s (The Traverse in Edinburgh have the right idea here)
  • Blog post synopsis/background to the new production/s
  • Get each actor to write a blog entry and/or record a Youtube clip on his or her part
  • Tweet updates from the rehearsal room on funny events
  • Have every significant individual in the theatre record a Youtube clip about his or her job
  • Tweet good reviews
  • Share pictures on Facebook of rehearsals, behind the scenes
  • Connect to third party online media e.g. television or radio interviews of the play writer, actors or production crew, Wikipedia pages etc
  • Post text/Youtube/podcast reviews from professional reviewers and audience members
  • Blog on involvement with local community, schools and other groups

Involve

  • Invite audience members to record a review – text, audio or film
  • Set up competition for posters, advertising copy from designers and other creatives – (pay the winner!)
  • Set up competition to audition spear carriers/extras from local groups/schools etc
  • Invite actors to audition by Youtube and publish the best
  • Invite writers to submit script synopses – blog, Youtube, Facebook and Tweet development process
  • Set up Facebook poll on productions for future season
  • Facebook invite audience to preview shows
  • Appeal for props
  • Tweet and Facebook vacancies
  • Invite social media freaks along to rehearsals (not my idea – found it on Traverse twitter feed! Very clever! )

Sell

  • Tweet special offers/preview tickets
  • Appeal for sponsors on the blog outlining benefits of different schemes e.g. sponsor a seat
  • Promote synergies with other local businesses – restaurants, hotels through mutual
  • Facebook/Twitter alerts on vouchers/ discounts
  • Tweet links to good reviews
  • Boast of successes that may lead to productions being toured/purchased for West End

That should be just about enough to get any theatre company or group going. If you have any other better ideas then why not tell us in comments. If you want help then get in touch with me at www.jonhartley.com – jon@jonhartley.com

A great article on using social media for theatre here. I especially like the live blogging idea and niche social networks for specific shows. Here Minter Dial has spotted a smart bit of soc med marketing for a Broadway show

 

If you want further advice on effective social media in your industry and you live in the UK  you might consider looking at my social media solutions or workshops


 

About jonhartl

Jon Hartley is a former manager in international online and traditional publishing. He has over 20 years experience in marketing, training, editing, copywriting and translation.Jon Hartley Internet Marketing is a collective of professionals expert in all aspects of internet including design and IT

One Comment

  1. Sound advice on a vertical. I also think that getting the cast involved in the entertain / inform stage can be very powerful.

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