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Special Reports

Tips, Tricks & Best Practices

August 30, 2012

This list of social media tips, tricks, and best practices is incomplete. It has to be. A comprehensive list would be hundreds of items long—and outdated by the time you finished implementing half of it. That’s how fast social media marketing is changing. Still, even as you need to stay on top of new tools and methods, there are constants to success in social media. Here are many of them:

Integrate social media with your live events
Ticket discounts for “liking” on Facebook, backstage passes for being the first 10 to re-tweet a special link, wonderful seats for active social media participants, special moments during a live performance when the audience is encouraged to take pictures and post comments. The possibilities are numerous and the benefits to you and your audience go on and on. Pay continual attention to what others in and out of the performing arts are doing.

Identify your social influencers…
The social “influencers” of your brand are a small percentage of your social media audience, meaning others read and respond to them, link to their posts, and redistribute their content. It’s the 80/20 rule: 20 percent of the people influence the rest. Use tools such as Twitalyzer, Vocus, and Radian6 to find out who they are. And remember: Your most important influencers are not necessarily the ones who advocate specifically for your brand; they are the ones who influence the whole realm of conversation about you.

…then get involved with your social influencers
Influencing the influencers has a multiplier effect. But influencing those folks is a subtle thing and is not to be done directly (you don’t want the influencers using their pulpits against you). Give them advanced looks at what you’re doing, invite them backstage, send them sample recordings—and let them go and create their own content and reactions.

Finish (continue, actually…) what you start. Develop an editorial calendar and plan
You’ve probably heard it: Don’t create a Facebook page or Twitter presence, use it for a while, and then let it go dormant. That’s worse than not doing it at all. Create an editorial plan and calendar; decide which platforms to use, what you’re going to post, how much you’re going to post, when you’re going to post . . . and stick with it. By the way, make sure part of your plan is to set aside time each day to look at your competitors and others outside the industry to see what they’re doing. There’s too much going on to be able to think of everything on your own.

Include graphics, pictures, and videos
Content with graphics, pictures, and videos gets a better response. It makes common sense and multiple analysis reports bear it out on Facebook, Twitter, and elsewhere. Facebook’s own reports show that posts containing graphics, pictures, and videos are far more likely to be Liked and referenced than posts with only text. This is the performing arts, after all, so be sure to include something visual and/or aural as often as possible.

Understand the customs of the channel
Different platforms, different voices, different content. Social media is relatively young but there are traditions and they’re worth studying. Twitter followers are looking for direct contact with the
leading personality, such as a conductor or the organization’s director. Facebookers look for a general representative and more than one person is OK. An irreverent usher at your venue could
create YouTube videos of his daily adventures among the notables.

Develop a social media scorecard
Is a video play worth the same as a clicked hyperlink? Is a contest entry worth as much as a blog comment? What actions do you want your audiences to take? One organization’s social media
disappointment is another’s gold. Develop a scorecard and weight the actions your audiences can take. As a result of your social media strategy and plan, you can develop a weekly target goal and track and adjust your efforts.


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