Social Media Fail

In the rush to engage and reach out to new audiences, it can be all too easy to forget that one of the overriding goals is to get people to concerts; which means all of the followers, fans, likes and shares in the world aren’t worth much if they don’t help sell tickets. The last thing an arts group needs is to fall victim to the metrics syndrome where you spend more time compiling stats than tracking conversion and performance. And nothing drives this home quite as well as humor.

So remember, engage away but don’t forget that it’s all for naught if you only get eight people to show up for the concert.

Are you following Who’s Minding The Score?, the weekly orchestra comic strip by Paul Dixon that’s part of the Adaptistration Network?

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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0 thoughts on “Social Media Fail”

  1. Hi Drew,
    This stuff is hard to measure, as I’ve discovered with my own chamber music series. We have a much broader social media presence now, which has given us much more visibility in general. And it’s amazing how many people get virtually all their information from a group’s Facebook page rather than the institution’s website.
    I can’t say it’s directly resulted in a huge ticket increase for us, but we were doing pretty well anyway. What I do value is the increased presence and overall profile, and the opportunity for people to interact with us more directly. It’s always nice to remind people why they should care about what you’re doing rather than just put up concert dates and press reviews.
    It seems these sites are really a necessary tool for audience development, but they have to be part of a much larger strategy, and used intelligently.

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