Social Media for Your Performing Arts Marketing Plan – Part Three: Twitter

Here’s Part Three of the “Social Media for Your Performing Arts Marketing Plan” series! If you’re just joining us, you might also want to check out Part One: An Intro to the Realm of Social Media and Part Two: Facebook.

CC Image by mkhmarketing
CC Image by HowToStartABlogOnline.net

What’s a “Tweet”?

This is usually the first question that surfaces when I chat with people whom are unfamiliar with Twitter and are thinking of including it in their performing arts marketing plan.  The term “Tweet” refers to a posting made on Twitter. Tweets are limited to 140 characters and can include links, pictures, videos and hashtags. The best Tweets resonate with your followers – try to create a unique tone that will connect with your audience.

Why should I use #Hashtags?

CC Image by Esther Vargas
CC Image by Esther Vargas

#Hashtags began on Twitter, but have since extended to other social media platforms such as Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram.  On Twitter, hashtags are used to indicate specific topics of conversation and provide a direct way to search, track and weigh in on topics that you care about. Hashtags can be either short or long, contain a mixture of capitalization and numbers, but cannot include spaces and punctuation.

Here are three best practice tips for using hashtags in your tweets:

  1. #TakeItEasy – Use a maximum of three hashtags per post.
  2. #CallToAction –Try creating a hashtag that is specific to your event, then have it included in your press releases and promotional materials AND invite people to use it when they purchase tickets or have feedback after the event.
  3. #BeSpecific – Specific, made-by-you hashtags have the ability to act as a targeted ad campaign. Your existing followers and audiences can deliver organization-specific content to their own networks (i.e. your future fans and potential audience members).

How can I grow my following?

So now you’ve set up your organization’s Twitter account, know what a Tweet is and why you should use hashtags in your Tweets. Big deal. None of this information is any good to you if you don’t have followers. Followers are your online community of people that have chosen your posts to show up in their Tweet-feed. You need these people!

Here are a few proven strategies to increase your following:

  • Tweet often. Aim for three to five tweets per day.
  • Follow Twitter accounts that you 1) know personally and/or professionally or 2) recognize as leaders/colleagues in your organization’s industry. This is the most common way to gain followers, because these people will often follow you back.
  • Publish your organization’s Twitter ID in other media and promotional materials. This lets people know you’re on Twitter and helps them find you.
  • “Favorite” posts that match your organization’s interests and targeted keywords. These people will then discover your Twitter account and follow you.
  • Offer something to new followers. It can be information, an eBook, a coupon, even an entry in a contest!
CC Image by Garrett Heath
CC Image by Garrett Heath

The bottom line is this: Twitter is a great platform to include in your performing arts social media marketing plan because it will help you effectively engage your growing community of followers. By using hashtags and encouraging an industry-specific following, you will build audience loyalty and increase your organization’s visibility.

To cap this post off, here is an excellent Tweet from the San Francisco Symphony. It promotes an upcoming concert but is primarily informative and conversational.

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SanFranSymphony Tweet