Social Media Strategy

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  • Why SM?How I think Yale Rep could be using SMWhat other LORTs are doingHow to use that researchQuestions from the peanut gallery
  • A lot of people use itThose people use it a lotThey expect companies to interact with them
  • Facebook: ½ of US population. Status updatesYouTube: videoTwitter: news. Uniques are under-repp’edMySpace: precursor to Facebook. Now for musicWordpress: blogs over repp’edFlickr: photosWhat I take away: LORT theatres are predictably following the audience
  • 1. Listening: Success: YRT’s responsiveness to audience research; # of fan’s positive and constructive interactions2. Empowering: Success: # reached in second order impact, increased awareness via word of mouth3. Deepening: Success: increased loyalty, increased positive perception of YRT4. Attracting: Success: increased acquisitions, increased ticket sales5. Leading: Success: conferences, awareness among TCG & prospective students
  • Facebook: keeping in touch with our friendsTwitter: carrying on a conversation among a crowd of peopleYouTube: discovering new/interesting things via video
  • ¼ of CT’s populationSlightly more femaleAge skews youngest of the three, but 1/3 still over 35User spends 1hr/day (same as LORT!) Those 130 friends are key value to us
  • 76 LORTs,3 not on Facebook. No “founding dates,” so unclear how long theatres have been using FB3 comments per post on average
  • I created an index of FB users, KCRT scored #2 (top 10 for effort, 2 for engagement)Should be generalizeable to other theatres (?)
  • Example: mentions production, has personality, asks a questionThe friends of these 10 people were exposed to this comment via newsfeed. Based on 130 average friends, = 1300 impressions for 1 minute effort
  • Make fans into advocatesExtend our relationship with them *between* performancesImportance of social media measurement
  • This is what success would look like 1 year from now
  • 15% of CT’s populationNearly half over 35 (oldest of the three, because professionals)Average user = LORT!One of most important features of twitter is conversation (to or about another user/brand)
  • 14 not yet on TwitterThey’ve been at it nearly a yearUnlike FB, asymmetric relationship@mention = to or about1:11 relationship is higher than Facebook’s 3:12 relationship (especially given time)
  • People like to talk about themsevles!Beware of inflating follower countsThere could be all sorts of reasons someone is interested in following a theatre (extends to FB and YouTube)Users are talking about you as well as to youAlso customer service, fundraising, collaboration
  • Explain Twitter language:RT = retweet = response to an earlier post@reply = directed to another and tinyurl and are link shorteners to fit within 140 characterHashtagDirect MessageDesktop Application
  • This is valuable market research every day (what they think about us, who they are, what they do, where they go)Helping introduce us to their friendsNumerous (free!) tools out there to measure how we’re doing
  • 30 tweets about Pop! in opening week = 30 lost opportunities
  • Fewer fans but more engagement
  • 20% of CT population (smaller than FB, bigger than Twitter)Highest over 50 demoA whole lot of user generated content
  • Only 9 not on YouTubeThey’ve been at this for 2 yearsUpload about once/monthTake away: more video views than channel views
  • Of the nearly 2,000 LORT videos uploaded, I looked at the top 20 w/ highest viewsWhy are men 45-54 largest demo? This is older and less female than YT average. Could it be wives?Ways to find YouTube: embed on your site, go to your channel, search by key word, recommended by YouTubeYT builds brand value more than production ticketsExample of wide range of top 20
  • ART has intro on channel by artistic director to the theatre (equivalent to AD’s intro in the program)ART took 5 of the top 20 spots (range of programming) Donkey Show is a 30 second ad spot Sleep No More is a slideshow of still photos Oliver Twist is an actor interview Mike Daisey is production footage Aurelia’s Oratorio is a 2 minute production reel
  • Empower via tagsAttract via referral sources
  • Very few “regular” customers. Instead, focus on breadth of reach
  • MySpace: everyone has abandoned. Flickr: no one’s found a good use yet. Blogs: no engagement, but SOM has found useful
  • Right now average theatre is spending just under 1 FT staff member on SMYale Rep is now spending just about 6.5?
  • Common concerns I’ve heardOur fans will defend usPeople really want to see the man/woman behind the curtain (ie, not marketing speak)Very cost effective though!This is the most important one I think
  • 4 areas where I see a lot of potential growth in the next 3 yearsBlogs: if we can become an expert curator of somethingProfessional networking for students (artists and administrators)Foursquare is being test cased right now!Mobile apps—how customers want to interact with us, what kind of info they want/need
  • This is the technical definitionI would say: Sharing content with users that they have the easy ability to share with friends


  • 1. Yale Rep & Social Media
    A recommended strategy for 2010
  • 2. Agenda
  • 3. Why is Social Media Important?
    Because 3 out of 4 Americans use social technology.
    Forrester, The Growth Of Social Technology Adoption, 2008
    Visiting social sites is now the 4th most popular online activity—ahead of personal email.
    Nielsen, Global Faces & Networked Places, 2009
    85% of social media users believe that a company should go further than just having a presence on social sites and should also interact with its customers.
    Cone, Business in Social Media Study, September 2008
    *Thanks to Brand Espresso for statistics on Social Media
  • 4. Social Media Adoption among Theatres
  • 5. Yale Rep’s Social Media Goals
    Listening to what audiences are saying about us
    Empowering audiences to promote us
    Deepening our relationship with current audience
    Attracting new audience members to us
    Leading theatres in the social media field
  • 6. The Key 3
  • 7. Facebook Demographics
    *approximately ¼ of CT’s population
  • 8. 96% of LORT theatres are on Facebook. On average they have:
  • 9. Important Research Findings onFacebook
    Based on a study of Kansas City Repertory Theatre:
  • 10. Example
    Reference production, add personal commentary, ask a question
    10 comments x
    130 friends each = 1300 reached
  • 11. YRT Goals for utilizingFacebook
    Empower fans
    Every time they post a comment to Yale Rep’s fan page, we get exposure to their friends via News Feed
    Deepen Yale Rep’s relationship
    Extend our relationship with the audience outside of the theatre
    Use Facebook Insights to measure results
    Look to Kansas City Rep, Actors Theatre Louisville, and Denver Center for the Performing Arts as examples
  • 12. Tactics for engaging fans on Facebook
    Acquire more friends by
    Linking YRT fan page to YSD and Yale Cabaret’s fan pages
    Promoting fan page on print & online marketing materials
    Friending YSD students, staff and faculty
    Advertising on Facebook
    Post new content at least once per day (wall comments, links, photos, video) about artistic & administrative life at YRT
    + respond to fan’s comments
    Long term:
    Consider if/how to unify fan pages and alumni groups across YRT & YSD
    Implement Facebook Connect on
    Expand FB contributors beyond marketing office
  • 13. Success Metrics onFacebook
  • 14. Twitter Demographics
    *based on Facebook’s penetration of area
  • 15. 82% of LORT theatres are on Twitter. On average they:
  • 16. Important Research Findings onTwitter
    Based on a study of American Repertory Theatre:
  • 17. Connect with other local businesses
    Update on admin news
    Reaching out to a fan who has expressed interest
    Show personality; not a “marketing voice”
    Notice ratio of direct production reference to all other tweets
    Reaching out to a potential audience
  • 18. YRT Goals for utilizingTwitter
    Listen to our audience
    They’ve already begun the online conversation—this is an opportunity to gather audience insights and an informal method of customer service
    Empower them to spread the word
    In the longer term, consider if/how to adjust the marketing expense budget to reflect this “free” word of mouth buzz
    Use Twitalyzer and Hootsuite to measure results
    Look to ACT Theatre, Portland Center Stage, and ART as examples
    Long term
    Expand use of twitter to customer service, market research, fundraising, etc.
  • 19. Tactics for engaging followers on Twitter
    Consider using Hootsuite Twitter desktop client
    Create a Twitter username that’s easy to search for (@yalerep)
    Find followers by
    Searching for who’s already talking about YRT
    Promoting YRT’s Twitter username on print & online marketing materials
    Following other Yale & theatre organizations
    Post new content every day
    Use an authentic voice
    Respond to and retweet every @mention
    Comment on other user’s tweets
    Ask questions to followers
  • 20. Success Metrics onTwitter
  • 21. YouTube Demographics
    *based on Facebook’s penetration of area
  • 22. 88% of LORT theatres are on YouTube. On average they:
  • 23. Important Research Findings onYouTube
    Based on a study of top 20 viewed LORT theatre videos:
  • 24. Example
  • 25. YRT Goals for utilizingYouTube
    Empower the viral video
    YouTube has proven to be the most cost effective way to reach tens of thousands of people interested in your product
    Attract new audiences
    This is the best opportunity prospective audience members have to preview high quality Yale Rep productions
    Use YouTube Statistics to measure results
    Look to ART, Center Theatre Group, and Portland Center Stage as examples
  • 26. Tactics for engaging viewers on YouTube
    Upload a new video to YRT’s YouTube channel every month
    LORT average = every 10 weeks, but 34 theatres average 1+/month
    Don’t assume that only a certain “type” of video will attract high viewership.
    Understand current viewership demographics of YouTube
    Make videos easy to find
    Embed videos on Facebook and
    Link to videos on Twitter
    Use keyword tags
    Put videos into playlists
    Monitor and moderate comments
  • 27. Success Metrics onYouTube
  • 28. Don’t Waste Time On
    Except maybe for YSD
  • 29. How much time will it take?
    ~10 more hours/wk
  • 30. 2010 Implementation Timeline
  • 31. But what if…
  • 32. In the future
    Professional networking
    Location-based games
    Mobile apps
  • 33. Questions?
    *From Espresso’s “What the F**k is Social Media: One Year Later
  • 34. Created by Devon Smith, Director of Research & AnalysisYale Repertory TheatreCommissioned by Anne Trites, Director of Marketing and Communications
    Follow: @devonvsmith