Want to Increase Social Engagement? Get Real.

23 Feb 2016 | Marketing, Social Media

Creating engaging, appealing content for social platforms is not easy. Creating a Facebook page, and filling it with boring content (or worse - condescending content), will do little to build a good relationship with your customers.

At worse it will actively drive them away. With 50% of people trusting a company’s Facebook page over their website, your page has to be the ultimate multitasker; raising awareness, helping to drive ticket sales and build a long lasting relationship with your customers. When they say content is king, they aren’t lying. Here are our top tips on getting real with social engagement.


Capture the Magic Behind the Scenes

Every culture and entertainment organisation has a great “behind the scenes” story to tell. Sharing these stories and pictures gives your audience an opportunity to get to know your brand better. Backstage pics, get-in videos, funny things that happen in the office - all add to your brand personality. Your audiences will love the the opportunity to get to know you better, and allows you to create a buzz around the venue or event. You might question the conversion value of a “like” on a “behind the scenes post,” and you are right. It is more likely that “likers” will turn into paying customers, but more importantly, those “likers” extend your brand’s exposure, validate you to a wider audience and builds communication and loyalty with your customers. Leicester Square Theatre is a great example of using a behind the scenes pic to promote a show, while showing off great personality.



Show Different Personalities

The key to any successful venue, festival or arts centre is to create a long lasting relationship with your customers. Sometimes it can be hard for customers to build a relationship with bricks and mortar, especially when it is a brand they may not encounter everyday (e.g., people have strong feelings about their favourite coffee company, because it is something they engage with everyday).  

This is where you can use your most valuable asset - your people. Let your customers build a relationship with the people behind your festival or theatre. Allowing staff to post stories to your wall of what they do at the venue, gives your event a personal, human feel that your customers can connect with. Be sure to include all departments from accounts to technical.

Content, such as get-in photos, rigging, sound checks, even “hard at work at the desk” pics, are great for showing the more personal side of your organisation. As your audience starts to know the different personalities in your organisation, when they visit you, you will have already built that a great relationship. 

Komedia posted a great picture after they launched their new website. Not only did they post a picture of the staff, but also ensured they tied in a promo about their newly launched website - clever. 




Start Conversations

Facebook is really about conversations and community building. Posting stories that require no engagement from your audience is effectively just talking to yourself. While it might be an ego boost for you, it gives nothing to your customers. That is one of the most critical things about successful content marketing: “what is in it for the customer?” is what you need to think about before you post.

Whenever you post something to your page, try and post something that will generate a response or an interaction. Likes and shares are good, but comments and conversation are much better. Encourage your audience to share stories and feedback about your venue or show.

Don’t forget that if you get a comment or response from somebody - respond quickly! The Ffwrnes do this well, after a busy performance they post something a couple of days after the event to spark conversation from their customers. 




Schedule Your Posts

Considering that the average number of channels used for content marketing is 6 trying to stay on top of Facebook and Twitter alone would take your whole day. Tools such as Hootsuite and Buffer allow you to manage multiple social media platforms, schedule all your posts and analyse your traffic and engagement. Scheduling your posts automatically will not only free up time, but also allow you to engage your audience at times that maximises your exposure.

The quality of your posts should also increase as you have more time to think about them and craft them appropriately. Beware the schedule though. Posting everyday at 9am, 12pm and 3pm is sure fire way to get your audience to turn off. Change the times of your scheduled posts, and allow for more impromptu, timely posts as well.  


Don’t Sell, Sell, Sell

You may have noticed we haven’t once mentioned posting about discounts or actively trying to sell on Facebook. We know it’s important to sell tickets, but is a post urging your customers to buy really going to get them to buy. Likely not. It might influence them to buy, but not buy outright. There are obvious exceptions to this - a progress tour by Lee Evans, then yes, that would get customers buying tickets.

Direct Facebook selling (like through Ticketsolve’s Facebook feature), is another way to sell through Facebook, but a direct post will not likely get you sales. Engaging content on the other hand will certainly make an impact on purchase decision - a post featuring an interview with the director, actors or even a time-lapse video of the set-getting in. Not only is this good engaging content, but it promotes the show going live - building up the onsale. 

The Royal Court in Liverpool posted a great video of the crowds reaction after ‘Mam I'm Ere’. The video was posted with another three weeks to run, to give people a taste of what the show was about. No where in the post was a mention of “book now.” 




Review your Posts

Once you have posted to your page, take a look at your Facebook Insights to see what posts are working and which ones aren't. Analysing your posts allows you to improve your content in line with what engages your audiences best. 

There is no science behind good engaging content, just put yourself in your customers shoes and think ‘what would I like to see from my venue’. You have a great story to tell; share those moments with your audiences, and happy posting (and remember not to make these mistakes with your content).  


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