Social Media Marketing for Community Theaters: Revolutionize Your Supporters Program

CC Image by Jamie Pichora

It’s quite likely that your community theater already has a traditional supporters program in practice. You might have a section in your programme that recognizes these patrons that help make your season of performances possible. Whether it’s a financial contribution or a mutual partnership that helps your organization with marketing, printing, advertising, or costume requirements (and the list goes on!), these supporters help keep the wheels turning for your organization and make it a little easier to focus on the production aspects of your performances.

Today we’re going to take a closer look at an idea we introduced a few weeks ago in 5 Pro Strategies to Encourage Engagement With Your Community Theater’s Twitter Channel: a twist on the classic theatre “Supporters Program.”
Let’s dive in!

Have you ever considered the impact that great social media supporters can have on your ticket sales and overall visibility in your community (and beyond)? Perhaps not. This is an often-overlooked aspect in your network of supporters, but they should be recognized. After all, they are supporting you and your community theater in a different, yet equally important, way!

CC Image by Sean MacEntee

We absolutely love what theatre producer and arts consultant, Lou Spisto, has to say about the power of connections through social media:
“The most empowering thing about the prevailing use of social media is that it places the artist at the center of the message, and brings a community of users together with what may have been an inaccessible world. The art, the art making, and the artist, are now in the palm of your hand. Literally and figuratively.”
A recent article by Technorati.com got us thinking about new ways to approach the traditional “Supporters Program” with their own examples for a ballet company using ballet terminology. They suggested that this type of theatre supporters program would combine the best of both worlds for your supporters and organization because this approach allows you to combine your quest for social proof of your reach and visibility with real, tangible benefits for your supporters.

CC Image by Martin Gysler

We’ve come up with a few ideas to get your creative wheels turning:

The “Lead” – This goes out to the fan with the most re-tweets of your tweets during a set amount of time. This fan receives a special shout out from one of your leading actors.
The “Supporting Actor” – This goes out to the fan that engages with your Twitter channel through your conversation initiatives. This fan receives a special meet-and-great invite to use during their next performance attendance.
“Front and Center” – This goes out to the fan that shares an exceptional personal experience or review of one of your performances. This fan receives a social media mention, as well as a complimentary “front and center” ticket to one of your upcoming shows.

While these ideas are tailored towards a community theater organization and their Twitter channel, there’s a world of possibilities just waiting to be thought up and employed in your brand new, revolutionary social media supporters program!

CC Image by Stijn Bokhove

Have you found social media success through a similar method of online supporter recognition? Tell us about it in the comments below, we’d love to hear about it!

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