I receive many telephone calls from artists asking me for help in reference to their social media marketing; the chief concern is usually that their platforms have not yielded any kind of results. This happens due to a lack of consistency in updating content, as well as interaction. Many artists only post when they are working on a project, and while social media can serve as a great promotional outlet, most importantly it’s about building a community and creating a voice and brand.
I strongly encourage all of my clients (and other artists who ask for my advice) to make daily posts on their platforms. “I don’t have something to post about every day,” is a general comment I receive. Sure, you do. Social media updates are about engaging others and the content does not always have to be about your show/product. Recommend theater productions and cultural events, museums, restaurants, share about advocacy groups you support, and news corresponding to different performing arts genres. How does this help me create a following, sell tickets for my show, etc? You’re beginning a conversation with other human beings and establishing a foundation for long lasting relationships.
I referenced the word conversation, meaning just that. If someone leaves a comment on one of your online platforms, reply. Develop a thread of communication with as many people as possible who are part of your following. Two years ago, I was profoundly touched by an Off Broadway solo play and expressed through Twitter how much the show impacted me. The actor/playwright began interacting with me and later invited me to be a part of his public relations team. It was my first Off Broadway project and led to three other artists contracting me for their shows.
Another common reason as to why social media may not generate as many tangible goals is when artists begin to create an online presence only after securing high-profile work, such as national commercials or feature films. Yes, mediums of this caliber will obtain attention, however, it may be short lived. You want to develop strong and loyal networks, and the key is to demonstrate who you are as a person and artist pre-, during, and post- televisions shows and other notoriety. Community building is not automatic and should happen gradually and steadily, so that your brand and career have a long, flourishing life.