It would be an understatement to say social media is essential to today’s world. Social media platforms help people stay informed about world issues, dictate and disseminate trends, delve into pop culture analysis, and feel more connected. In short, they’re integral to the fabric of our lifestyle.

As a theatre company, you can harness this power for various efforts to strengthen your brand identity. 

Exploring the Power of Social Media

While many of us use social media as a way to stay, well, social, it can help your theatre with: 

  • Marketing efforts: Along with your website or show site, social media is an excellent way to spread the word—not only about your theatre at large but also about specific events and programming. Social media can also help you target specific demographics you want to hit, utilizing data analytics to see just who your audience is and who you need to pay more attention to. Strengthening your marketing efforts via social media also leads to higher ticket sales. Cha-ching! 
  • Patron engagement: Your patrons should be excited about your theatre and its offerings not only right before shows but all year round. Social media helps you engage your audiences during slower periods via dynamic content, videos, polls, and contests. 
  • Communications: If the only time your patrons hear from you is during show season, you’re doing something wrong. You should be consistently accessible to your patron base, and this is where social media can make a major impact. You can communicate directly with your audience via social media pages, answer questions, gain valuable feedback, and share good news and updates. 
  • Fundraising: Perhaps the most important of social media’s powers – and the crux of this article – is how it can help to increase your fundraising efforts. But we’ll explore this one in more depth next! 

How to Leverage Social Media for Theatre Fundraising

If you’re trying to increase those fundraising dollars and expand your budget, word-of-mouth efforts may not be cutting it. That’s why utilizing your social media platforms for fundraising is an excellent avenue to travel down this summer and beyond. We offer a few tips to get started: 

Harness Social Media Best Practices

Before you start your fundraising efforts, it’s important to understand social media best practices. These are foundational to your entire online presence – and using them will likely increase your success on social media, whether through more engagement, higher follower counters, or more dollars raised. A few rules of thumb include: 

1. Tailoring your platform to target audience preferences

If you’re attempting to attract more Millennials or Gen Z, your content should be much different than if you’re trying to attract Gen X or Baby Boomers. Why? Because the way we consume content – and where we consume it – varies by generation. Ensure that you’re creating content for the demographic you want to attract and communicating your brand identity in a way that resonates with that age group. 

2. Varying the content you post

The beauty of social media is that you have a variety of avenues to try. Ensure your content is dynamic and that no two consecutive posts are exactly the same. This means utilizing video content, long-form content, short-form content, photos, stories, polls, contests, and whatever other strategies you think will work or trends you want to hop on. In short, people can get bored of a creator quickly; if things get repetitive, it could lead to an unfollow. This means you constantly need to reinvent the wheel – or at least switch things up – on social media. 

3. Engaging with your audience

Your social media pages are not platforms to dump content and leave. No – you should use your platforms to talk with your patrons, learn their likes and dislikes, and learn what they’d like to see from you next. Engaging with your audiences on social media can lead to a goldmine of inspiration for future showcases, ensuring you create the type of content your followers want to see. So, once you post, ensure you respond to comments, answer your direct messages, and answer any pressing questions. Don’t forget to run polls and host contests, too!

4. Tracking your metrics

Another excellent component of social media is how succinctly it can present data to you. You can see, in real-time, how posts are performing, who is most resonating with your content, and your specific follower demographics. These data components directly influence your bottom line and how you plan your content, so make sure you’re studying these elements. 

Create a Relevant Wish List

Now that we’ve covered the social media basics, it’s time to get creative about what you can do on these platforms to raise money.

The first is promoting a wish list, which you can link to on social platforms to get greater engagement. Wish lists don’t need to include superfluous items but important gear, lighting and sound technology, and costumes that will elevate your showcases and your theatre at large. 

The key here is to explain why you need these items and what they will be used for. Patrons are often more likely to donate if they know exactly where their money is going, and a wish list is an excellent way to guarantee that they are making a concrete difference. 

Drive Traffic To Your Website

You have very little time on social media to grab a follower’s attention. That said, if you can hook a follower long enough to redirect them to your website, you have a greater chance of getting some of those much-needed donation dollars. 

In short, social media is a great channel to encourage followers to peruse your website, where they can learn more about your mission, engage with your content, and learn more about the donation process. 

Thank Existing Donors

Followers who have never donated to your cause may be persuaded to do so if they see the fanfare and appreciation you give your existing donors via social platforms. Whether it’s a simple shout-out post or something more in-depth, ensure followers know you treat your donors with the utmost respect and gratitude. 

Include a Call to Action

People are more likely to act when a social media post motivates and directs them. That said, ensure your fundraising posts on social media include a call to action (CTA) to donate or to visit your website to learn more about your mission.

Add urgency – whether manufactured or real – to your posts, which can also help incentivize donations. Let your followers know you need these donations as soon as possible, and give them the reasons why. Motivating and urging your followers to donate often helps them jump on the effort.

Create Different Content for Different Platforms

As we’ve discussed, social media is not a one-size-fits-all effort. Every social media platform you’re using should produce different content that maximizes its impact on that specific platform. Plan far enough ahead during your fundraising efforts to create different content for all the channels you use most.

How On The Stage Can Help

No matter the social media strategies you’re trying to engage, partnering with On The Stage (OTS) will ensure they go off without a hitch. 

Alongside a full marketing suite that can help you generate awareness, increase conversions, and sell more tickets, OTS also offers social media integrations, which can increase your efficiency and audience engagement by connecting your marketing tools and social platforms.

With the OTS marketing suite, you can:

  • Utilize marketing automation, targeted email campaigns, SMS marketing, and more.
  • Eliminate the need for manual exports and imports, saving you time and increasing efficiency.
  • Harness the power of automated patron tagging to better target your emails and marketing efforts based on patron behavior.
  • Track your audience’s engagement and better understand their purchase journey.
  • Reach a wider audience and grow your marketable contact list by marketing across multiple platforms.
  • Create hyper-targeted marketing campaigns built to resonate with specific audiences and convert.
  • Integrate with Mailchimp to provide robust email marketing and automation tools that maximize ROI.

As it relates to social media, these integrations help you seamlessly connect to the platforms you most utilize – including Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and X – and automate a series of engaging content with a few clicks. A few perks of the social components include: 

  • The ability to customize the branding and imagery for each post – meaning no “one-size-fits-all” marketing strategies for all platforms 
  • The ability to upload videos to Facebook, Instagram, X, and TikTok simultaneously, saving you time and energy to focus on creating more theatre 
  • The ability to edit the body copy for every platform, allowing you to tailor the rhetoric to the specific demographic you want to target 
  • Access to important data, like total impressions, likes, sales numbers, and total sales on a per-post basis
  • Total autonomy to turn scheduled posts on and off as needed

So, if you’re ready to empower your social media strategies with best-in-class marketing and social tools, partner with On the Stage and book a demo today.

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