TicketPrinting Blog

Entertainment

Top Eight Social Networking Sites for Theaters

By Lance Trebesch and Dustin Stoltz April 28, 2009

Social networking is a fun and exciting way to gain contacts and increase recognition for your theater. There are many networking sites to work with, each of which should be used for different purposes. Before we begin discussing the top networking sites, there are some basic techniques you should apply when socializing on the internet.

  • Be yourself: Show your (or the characters’) personality. Make your page unique to your persona.  The more someone can relate to you the more likely they will be interested in the theater.
  • Cross link: Create a link from your website to your social networking sites and vise versa.  If you have more than one networking site, link those together too.
  • Join Groups: Join as many relevant groups as you can. This will help get your name out there.
  • Find Friends: But, don’t add everybody!  Only keep the ones that are related.  Other theaters, fans, and connected characters are great.
  • TALK! Get your name out there by leaving purposeful and genuine comments on other profiles and blogs whenever possible. Aways respond back in a timely manner.

Now that you have the basics in socializing skills, let’s take a look at these sites to determine how to use them to their fullest abilities.

theatre-communications-group1

This not-for-profit group “Increases the organizational efficiency of member theatres”.  The site is dedicated to the more professional side of theater.  They offer many benefits including:

  • Grants for theaters, directors, writers, and actors every year.
  • Professional development programs for management, as well as career workshops for artists.
  • Advocacy guides to allow the most recent information of “federal legislation regulations and other significant government opportunities and issues” that deal with the theater industry.
  • Job postings where theaters can advertise openings for various positions.
  • Publications in the American Theatre magazine where many articles and advertisements for individual theaters can be promoted.

linkedin1

This professional networking site facilitates interaction within industries.  Here, your theater can search for cast members, stay in touch with other industry professionals, and:

  • Research job applicants and get “recommendations” from past employers, colleges, and interviewers.
  • Cross reference your web site onto LinkedIn so other members can view important information like performance and casting call dates.

ning2

Ning has custom social networks for nearly any topic, and almost 100 networks for theater related groups.  Here you can create your own network and join many others.

  • When you have a custom network you can add videos, pictures, blogs, and forums for members of your network to comment on.
  • Place your own advertisements on your page. This is a cheep ($20/month) way to promote upcoming events that many members will see.

youtube-and-flickr2

These sites are ideal to promote your theaters performances through videos and pictures.  If you have an extremely good video, it will gain quick popularity or become viral.  This in turn will promote your theater.

  • Also consider submitting material to other social bookmarking sites such as Digg, StumbleUpon, Technorati, and Del.ico.us to get your name out in the digital world.  Consider a video blog or podcast at these sites. Include behind the scenes material. Give viewers a taste of what it is like to be a part of the theater production.
  • At the end of your videos/albums make sure to give them information on how to get tickets and more information (most likely linking them back to your website).

facebook-myspace1

These networking sites are less formal and are open to everyone. A great way to promote your theater and its well-known productions is to make a networking profile for the characters as well as the theater itself. These two sites are great for promotion because they can really let your personality shine Consider using these sites for your popular characters too. Here are some techniques for individualizing your pages:

  • Add a backgroundthat relates to the profile you are promoting. Have a picture of the character for their profile picture if you are on the character’s page, and of the theater, or its logo, on your theater’s page.
  • Remember to cross reference! Link your website to your MySpace and vise versa. Some other add-ins can be photo albums, blogs, notes, quizzes (for the character’s page) and personalized layouts. Definitely write a blog for your theater’s page. A good blog will create interesting conversation and do it’s own advertising for the theater. The more interactive the better!
  • Add music and videos. These clips will serve as a preview for performances, intriguing the listener to come to your theater to see the rest of the show. They can be easily embedded into your page through MySpace with MySpace TV or YouTube. There are many applications for Facebook, like YouTube Video Box, AdGabber, and iLike.
  • Use a calendar. This updates everyone on performance dates and other fundraisers or parties. MySpace comes with a calendar application and Facebook has many you can use, such as Jotlet or My Google Calendar
  • Join groups, or create your own. This will allow people in your local area to join and discuss various theater topics.

twitter1

This is an ideal social network for any character or cast member who has a blog to join because it allows a person to share what they are doing and see what other people are doing at any moment through cell phones, blogs, and instant messaging.

  • Update your account through your cell phone. Here you can tell your friends what you are doing through your phone and receive updates about your friends instantly.
  • Provide a link of your Twitter blog to you other networking sites. Because Twitter uses widgets , it will allow all your other pages that allow widgets to be updated simultaneously.
  • This is an ideal social network for any character or cast member who has a blog to join because it allows a person to share what they are doing and see what other people are doing at any moment through cell phones, blogs, and instant messaging.
  • Update your account through your cell phone. Here you can tell your friends what you are doing through your phone and receive updates about your friends instantly.
  • Provide a link of your Twitter blog to you other networking sites. Because Twitter uses widgets, it will allow all your other pages that allow widgets to be updated simultaneously.