Effectively Using Social Media to Improve Your Outreach to Fans beyond your current base

Classical Music Organizations need to find new audiences, to reach out to people who aren't currently attending their concerts

Social Media is a great way to connect to people outside your current circle of influence. Facebook and Twitter are especially effective at this because tweets can be re-tweeted, reaching into areas of exposure you never imagined. However, in order to get the most of these "tools" effective use is important.

Most arts organizations have a facebook page and many a twitter account. Unfortunately, if the orchestra has any budget for social media at all, it's generally pretty small, which means they end up getting a newly graduated college student in as an intern. These students may have their own twitter and/or facebook account, but the chances of them really knowing what to do to market an arts organization is slim. But, what they don't know they can learn. So, I've created a few touch points that might help.

    FACEBOOK
  • 1 - post something to facebook every day!
    This doesn't have to be breaking news, but it should be something of interest to your fans.
    It would be great if your musicians that have facebook could provide commentary or updates as well.
  • 2 - reply to every response you get.
    This creates dialog and gives your fans the feeling you are listening, connecting with them.
  • 3 - Comment on all of your musician's facebook pages at least once a week. More is better.
    Get involved in their conversations.
    TWITTER
  • 1 - post something to twitter at least 5 times a day (throughout the day)
    Don't just copy what you have on Facebook. It should be original and of interest to your fans.
    It doesn't have to be links to your press releases, but can include links to press releases from artists coming to perform with you, even if the release is about them performing somewhere else. By leveraging that artists fans, you engage with more than just your own followers.
  • 2 - Re-Tweet (RT) EVERY tweet that mentions you in a positive light.
    This is probably the biggest place where orchestras fall down. By RTing these tweets you connect with people who are sharing your message. This will encourage them to do it more often.
  • 3 - Comment on as many conversations you can regarding fans who have tweeted about you before, artists who are coming to perform with you, or other orchestras.
    Make connections. If someone is a fan of another orchestra, they may be a fan for you too.
  • 4 - follow your fans!!!
    If someone follows you, look at their tweets. Are they tweeting about music, you or other related topics? If so, follow them. Don't just limit the people you follow to a small select list. You WANT to encourage followers, but returning a follow is a great way to do it.
  • 5 - don't just link Facebook and Twitter.
    They should be separate feeds. You can occasionally share one with the other, but they are unique entities. If every tweet you make is on Facebook, you're commenting too much on Facebook. If your comments are Facebook are your only tweets, you're not tweeting enough.

For some of the organizations out there, these simple tips may seem obvious. However, it's surprising how many are not doing any of these.

They do take time, but not a huge amount - maybe 30 mins to an hour a day. Even if your organization is a small community ensemble, it's worth it when you consider how much you can get people talking about your organization. And the more they talk about your organization, the more you'll be to the forefront of their minds when it comes time to thinking about what they want to do with their evenings out.

Effectively use Social Media and start connecting with fans other than those you already have!

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