Special Reports

A Week in the Social Media Life of Le Poisson Rouge

September 3, 2013 | By usan Elliott

“Social media is HUGE for us” says the Club’s marketing exec

Le Poisson Rouge has become THE place to perform in New York since it first opened in 2008. The intimate venue (seats 250 plus 140 in the bar area) has hosted everything from a four-night run of the Coronation of Poppea and an Elliott Carter Memorial to Japanese sludge metal titans Boris and a punk-rock marching band, marching between the tables. Its very mission is to “bring different genres to different ears” and it has sparked a huge number of similar clubs around the city.

Just as LPR, as it is affectionately known, curates its music programs with care, so does it curate its social media content, explains Dustin Nelson, director of marketing and membership. “Social media is HUGE for us,” he says, adding that it accounts for about 60% of his marketing budget in staff time. “It is integrated into everything we do. Every campaign, every show. We’re constantly creating content,” he says, putting artist interviews on their YouTube Channel, running photo contests on Instagram, tweeting newly confirmed shows. (LPR streams its shows live on
the web.)

LPR’s graphics and social media posts are all pretty zany in tone, and that’s no accident. Here’s a section of their web site known as “Our Favorite Flyers” whose components show up on all of their social media platforms as they’re posted.

Because of its size, LPR doesn’t have to jump through multiple bureaucratic hoops for content approvals. That enables spontaneity (especially on Twitter), but otherwise Nelson and his twoperson team (plus one half-timer for Tumblr) adhere to a regular schedule, “so that our followers know when to look for what kind of information.”

LPR on Facebook

Monday: Post week’s concert schedule
Tuesday: Post list of free shows for members.
Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday: Specific posts about upcoming shows, highlighting their uniqueness.
Friday: Post list of shows announced since the previous Friday.

“All events get their own event page,” says Nelson, “and we usually throw up a couple of photo galleries each week.”

On Tuesdays, LPR lists weekly shows that are free to members on its Facebook page.

LPR on Google Plus
Google Plus tends to be the same as Facebook, says Nelson, who adds that LPR has been experimenting with different communities. “We’re administrating one right now on live streaming concerts from around the world. I’m not sure where this will go, but we’re interested to see.”

LPR on Tumblr
Tumblr gets updated daily with news about upcoming shows, usually in the form of a video or fun photo. Nelson says he pulled money from his ad budget to hire a part-timer, who spends most of his time on Tumblr.

LPR on Instagram
LPR takes advantage of Throwback Thursdays and on other days invites fans to posts show photos they’ve taken. “We also have a monthly contest on Instagram, where people can take any photo they’ve shot during a show and tag it #LiveAtLPR.” It automatically gets entered into the contest. “Every month we do a roundup of the photos on our blog, post them on Instagram and Tumblr, and give the winner a membership or a free T-shirt.”

LPR on Twitter
LPR’s Twitter account is open pretty much 24/7, although noon to one is the regular daily time slot. Nelson runs a weekly ticket giveaway and posts a “flash discount” across several platforms for four or five hours before a particular show. “It’s more about rewarding people who follow us than selling tickets.

LPR posts its “flash discounts” across several of its social media platforms.

While Nelson assigns each staff member to monitor a specific platform (with some cross pollination); he handles Twitter personally. “I like to monitor that stuff very closely,” he says. “In the last hour I’ve had six people send over questions on Twitter that I’ve responded to,” most of them about the evening’s show. “If you aren’t responding to folks, you aren’t using social media for what it’s for. It’s social! Otherwise, you’re just yelling into the ether.”

Nelson estimates he spends about 90 minutes a day responding to Tweets, much of it on his smartphone and on his own time. He’s a fan of HootSuite for tracking and scheduling posts.

There’s never a dull moment on LPR’s Twitter feed; it’s chock full of news, promotions, and links to its other social media sites.




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