When we started MamaDrama less than a year ago, we knew we were on to something. We set out to merge our common interests, Social Media and Theatre, and it’s been an incredible ride. Just one year later, we see these two worlds colliding more and more as the theatre industry has embraced the new medium with open arms.
Proof that the door has officially opened came in the form of “tweet seats” which were offered during a recent production of Godspell (one of our first clients) in the past year when we saw actual live tweeting. Other productions have taken on Social Media with zest. The Book of Mormon is always sold out and tickets are hard to get yet it maintains its own You Tube channel, as well as active accounts on Twitter and Facebook. Over the last few years, we’ve seen big social media presences help drive ticket sales for Memphis, Wicked, Chicago, The Lion King,and Mary Poppins and Next to Normal, and more recently Nice Work If You Can Get It, Venus in Fur, Rated P, Rock of Ages, Freckleface the Musical and Once the Musical.
It has been recognized, and the industry has taken notice, although the space is still moving slower than others. The first step in bringing social media and theater together to make marketing magic is believing in the power of the medium. Social media is still relatively new, and while there are metrics and tools to monitor a campaign’s success, there is always risk involved. But with the skyrocketing cost of print advertisements and online advertising, the low cost of a social media campaign and its potential rewards are becoming more and more appealing to marketers and producers alike.
Social media is all about building relationships. At MamaDrama, we’ve seen the real value and benefit of what we do as a result of our connections. They are valuable, they are human and they are real. It’s important to work with companies like ours to utilize our contacts and really connect with the right kind of writer, the right kind of consumers you want to attract to your show.
Here are a few of the strategies we use when conceptualizing a Social Media campaign for a show:
Building Effective Social Media Campaigns: Every show should make use of Twitter and Facebook, and use them as a way that enhances the experience of a show. We’ve recently seen successful campaigns with Seminar on Broadway, and Annie is about to seize the streams with a wave of nostalgia. Next to Normal was one of the first shows to really utilize Twitter to drive ticket sales. They smartly engaged members of the cast with Twitter followers, using individual accounts for each actor. Their account reached nearly million users. All thanks to the power of Social Media. When a show enhances the experience via one of these social media tools by offering trivia, giveaways and interaction, they are bringing the experience into the fan’s living room and are building a buzz that could be long-lasting.
Twitter Parties: We’re not big on live blogging and tweeting. No one wants to see a lit phone during a performance. It’s best to set up a designated time and let people know about your conversation in advance. When a bunch of fans (ticket buyers) come together to celebrate and discuss a show, it’s called a Twitter Party. One twitter party can drive millions of impressions, catching the attention of thousands of new eyeballs. When you’re promoting a show, figure out who the audience is and go where they go. There is niche social networking on every tool out there. It just takes gumption and know-how to find the right audience. Twitter is a great way to find them and connect.
Blogging: It’s important to find and use your voice and share thoughts and opinions with your readership. Not only does our network share their opinions via their blogs but we also maintain our own blog as an extension of who we are and an outlet for our thoughts on theatre and social media.
Visuals: We’re big believers in the power of the visual, and with new tools like Instagram, Pinterest and the continued use of You Tube, excitement about a show can start building during previews and keep going during and after a show.
It’s exciting to see things change so quickly and for the better. As theatre fans and marketers, it’s a thrill to be a part of this new era of theater marketing, and know that every show is excited to connect with their fans on a more personal and instant level using the power of Social Media. We can’t wait to see what happens next!