6 Ways Twitter Can Help Sell Tickets (Part 2)
Part 2: Learn from music venues to remember your followers are more than walking wallets
When it comes to social media, the consensus among arts nonprofit marketers is: engagement first, ticket sales second. In an Americans for the Arts blog post, theater marketing manager Jeff Scott spells it out: “Social media is not about selling tickets” — rather, it’s about connecting and communicating with fans, inspiring them to make their own purchasing decisions. “Your followers want to know when you have an event, but they aren’t looking for a hard sell.”
Music venues are in on this idea, too. In a post on music and social ROI, Social Media Today emphasizes that “labels and musicians must leverage social channels to build fan communities and increase loyalty first,” before unleashing the sales offers. In Philly’s concert venue world, box-office results come when hard-sell posts are in the mix without overpowering the overall Twitter presence.
Our last post covered the real benefits of linking your Twitter audience directly to a sale, but don’t forget that snagging a last-minute ticket isn’t the only reason consumers follow you. Here are three more tips on maintaining a healthy, non-transactional relationship with your followers:
4. Make sure “buy your tickets today!” isn’t the only tweet your followers hear from you — or you won’t have any followers. A February 2013 Chicago Times op-ed on arts organizations and social media quoted ArtsJournal editor Douglas McLennan, who said, “One of the biggest mistakes arts groups make is treating social media as just another way to blast information on their activities — essentially a vehicle for free advertising.” Throw in exclusive info, behind-the-scenes content or nearby dining recommendations.
5. If you’re going to use Twitter, do it right. A 2011 social media audit of the arts and culture sector commissioned by Theatre Bay Area found that organizations that tweet more than four times per day and do not replicate Facebook content on their Twitter feed have more followers and a higher rate of engagement. Look at @worldcafelive for a feed of a whole lot of personal back-and-forth conversation (followed by more than 13,000 people).
6. The 2013 Pew report touted the power of social media as a word-of-mouth marketing tool for arts organizations. Encourage audience members to tweet about the show to increase your visibility with their peer groups by putting your hashtag out there, featuring select tweets in a program insert, or displaying a “Twitter wall” at your event. Philadelphia’s Mann Center has its promoter @TheArtsinPhilly ask followers for a tweet of an exact phrase to enter to win a pair of tickets. The results? Even better than a retweet, the @MannCenter and its advertising source sit back and collect Twitter mentions.
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