Culturehive.co.uk: How to use Social Media

Finding help and advice in marketing your amateur theatre company can be difficult.

Here at HJ1act, we’ve discovered what looks to be a reliable source!

www.culturehive.co.uk is a website of useful information, put together by the Arts Marketing Association.

As part of an occasional series, we’re highlighting some of their useful ‘Toolkits’.

The following article is from the website: CultureHive.co.uk and can be found here.

It was published in 2012.

Keep it personal

Following someone on Twitter or keeping up with the Facebook posts is all well and good. But understanding your audience and reaching out and making a real connection can make the difference – the virtual equivalent of a quick call or stopping by for a cup of coffee.
With your students there are well – established regular touch points – when they come in for a class or see a performance they interact with you, your staff and their peers and feel welcome and part of a community; when they receive an email with the latest news or offering them a discount they feel special and wanted. But how else can your social networking help to solidify that communication?
With so many followers on Twitter and fans on Facebook it can feel impossible to make your contact personal. But here are some ideas on how you can move towards a more constant relationship with your students and fellow teachers.
Make it easy
Most of us are using many different types of social engagement, but not all will have the same technical abilities. Make it easy for people to find you, get started and keep interacting.
Keep it interesting
The more often you add content, post new blogs or reply to comments, the more engaged your patrons will be. Rather than just passively consuming content, people will became more active participants on your pages.
Look at the individuals
Understand your audience and tailor the experience to them. Take advantage of their links and posts, check out where el
se they are adding content and tailor your own information accordingly.
Be consistent
Social networking is about more than just setting up a Facebook page and hoping people become fans. Follow up on news items and competition results, reply to messages and show that you’re listening to what people have to say. If you’re resource-constrained, it’sbetter to be consistent and participate in fewer outlets than to spread yourself too thin.
Make it part of everyone’s job to get involved –a few minutes spent regularly every week, enriches your social networking point of view and adds up to a wealth of customer touch points.

Appreciate your friends

People who lend you their time – by following your posts, passing on your emails or blogging about a performance – they all deserve a thank you. Everyone likes to feel noticed and appreciated.
The value of engagement
Despite the increasing proliferation of social media, one of the most difficult things to determine has been: what is the monetary value of all those Facebook fans?
According to Adweek, the Value of a ‘Fan’ on social media is $3.60* but even the big industry players such as Microsoft and Starbucks haven’t quite worked out just how to leverage news updates and “likes” into dollars.
But the effort that you, as a dance studio, will put into acquiring a fan base on sites such as Facebook, can more appropriately be measured in terms of engagement –the captive audience you are building can then be informed  quickly and easily about new classes, services and promotions. And you can also watch what they’re saying about you.
Keep track of your chatter
If you’re particularly active on a variety of social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook and want to track the online “chatter” about your dance studio, there are lots of free tools you can use:
Trackur, Surchur, BackTweets and SiteMention are just a few.
But the easiest and most straightforward –and the one that’s been around for ages – is Google Alerts. Just register once, type in your name or studio name and then you will receive a daily or weekly email which compiles all of the online Listings and mentions found about you. It’s free and very effective!
Sarah Clarke
Head of Marketing & Membership Support Services, ISTD
© Sarah Clarke 2012
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