Social Media for Your Performing Arts Marketing Plan: The Ultimate Backstage Pass – Part 1

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Picture this: you, an avid fan of the musical Wicked, have received an exclusive backstage pass to one of their touring shows. You make your way backstage as the company scurries off stage after the final curtain call. A quick check backstage and you are meeting chorus members, dancers, and (can you believe it?!?) leads. You also receive a tour of the sets and orchestra pit. You can almost smell the blood, sweat and tears that have gone into this amazing show.

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Sounds fantastic doesn’t it? We think so too. A backstage pass probably ranks at the top of every fan’s wish list. It offers a special glimpse into the inner-workings of the show and a chance to view an event from the eyes of the artists and production personnel. Even better, backstage passes provide the rare opportunity to get up close and personal with featured artists. Imagine the benefits of providing this type of special and exclusive experience to a much wider audience, not just the select few that will fit in the back wings of your theatre.

But it’s impossible, you say? There’s absolutely no way you can squeeze even one more person into the side-wings of your theater. We say you’re wrong! You can give this type of personalized, highly engaging real-time backstage passes to a wide audience through social media streams.

CC Image by Jason Howie

Lou Spisto, Theatre Producer and Consultant, has sounded off on the great potential in this social media sharing approach.

“It’s no secret that direct personal access to artists has always been key to generating and maintaining support for the performing arts – it’s typically been reserved for the most generous donors and involved volunteers. I think a ‘virtual backstage pass’ is pretty genius. It gives a much larger audience of fans an intimate connection to the artist and what he or she does to create art. This engagement has always encouraged action and participations: buying the tickets and attending the performance.”

CC Image by Ryan Johnson

The best thing about a backstage livestream is that it really capitalizes on performing arts organizations’ strengths; their business is based in producing highly visual, engaging performances, which consequently provides ample opportunities for fabulous social media sharing – videos of rehearsals, photos of sets mid-construction, sound clips of rehearsals and interviews with artists. The possibilities are practically endless.

This “insider” view of the performing arts, rather than just the final “product” (i.e. the performance), adds a completely different dimension to the performance and enriches the entire experience. By cultivating these types of connections you will help with the growth of appreciation for your organization and encourage the development of your fans as brand ambassadors. What could be better?

Stay tuned for our next article, where we will take a closer look at a few performing arts organizations that are putting this idea of “Social Media as an Exclusive Backstage Pass” into practice.

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