Social Media and Theatre: it’s ROE not ROI that matters!

It’s return on engagement and not return on investment that Devon Smith‘s research shows is possibly the best way of considering social media and its current use by theatres in the United States.  I’m betting it’s much the same here.

Building audiences – which for many marketing managers equates to selling tickets – is really a mid to long-term strategy, and that’s about building relationships – building loyalty and long-term engagement between the organisation and individuals (near and far).  And for those hungry marketing managers/producers, Smith notes that you are going to sell tickets at your website, and it’s social media will assist in driving the traffic there.

Theatres in Brisbane and some further afield in regional Queensland are getting the social media message, albeit slowly.  Their websites invite visitors to follow via their Facebook pages,  Twitter feeds, and YouTube channels – to name the big three in social media.  Few yet have gone the way of the blog, which is a pity, as it’s a great way for a company to engage in conversation.  As Smith says in this smart slide presentation (below) given this week at the TCG (Theatre Communications Group) Conference in the US, a company blog linked to your website is a surefire way of managing conversation, whether or not they are saying good or bad things about you.  She notes that, of course, they will say bad things anyway, so why not manage it at a central point.  It’s archived too when it’s on your own site.

Check the last couple of slides for further resources on social media and theatre.

And here’s Leon Cain who is currently in rehearsal for La Boite Theatre’s next production I Love You Bro’! Leon will be posting an entry in the company’s YouTube Channel every day – this is the first.  Given the ubiquity of  YouTube – again see Smith’s facts and figures in the slide show – this is a clever strategy to engage with potential audiences and to spread the word about just what does go on backstage.  And, of course, the video blog (aka vlog) is another, perhaps even more engaging and personal way of  managing the conversation.  Good job La Boite!

View more presentations from Devon Smith.

Devon Smith’s blog: 24 Usable Hours – where numbers meet art

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