“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women are merely players, they have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts…”― William Shakespeare, As You Like It
The theatre is where we can see reflected the “this is what I think it would look like” of the writer from the director’s perspective. But, unlike the movies, the viewer has a more close interaction with the characters being portrayed on stage. You can empathize with a character in a movie but, when it comes to theatre, the emotions that a person can radiate on stage are way more powerful and are received immediately by the viewer.
These days, a group of individuals that are increasing their numbers each day is trying to create, promote and maintain spaces where you can consume art produced mostly by their minds and hands. We can watch some classics or give it a try with a new play or act.
“Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.”― Stephen King
Nowadays everyone has something to share, something they’ve created. Unfortunately what we lack today is people willing to share a space where these new creations can be shown. It is understandable that not everything will be good, but if you don’t give them a chance with the feedback it needs to be better and polish the flaws, maybe the talent hiding under the dirt won’t be able to shine that golden shine that was always underneath it.
The creation of these Performance Art Theatres, made by teachers and students willing to share their work and give others the opportunity to share theirs, is what’s boosting the work of new talents. These spaces act as a way for the writer and/or performer to be seen by, maybe, a smaller audience. But, with the impact, social media has nowadays, even if the actual audience was small the first time, the second time could be bigger and keep growing.
We need to point out as well that a site like this is used not only for performance arts. It can also be used as a cultural forum, a gallery or a place to run courses or workshops about topics concerning the artistic field (theater for children, clown theater, workshops about lighting for stage, photography workshops, theater for beginners, masterclasses, and so on).
To be, or not to be… Seen? That’s the question
Act One: “The basics”
Scene 01: “The audience”
To target your content faster and better, you always have to know your audience. All that we create needs an audience to see it, to engage and to empathize with the author of such creation, even if it is a negative reaction. Positive reactions directly promote what we do, negative reactions help polish our work and become better for next time (at least, that’s how we should take negative reactions).
A place like a Performance Arts Theatre can gather all kinds of audience. Courses and plays can be for children, teens, or adults. So, what we need to do in these cases is, we need to promote our play, course, or workshop to our targeted audience, always promoting the space where it will be happening as well.
It is important for our audience to see (in posts) that the place they are going to attend is likable in their eyes and, due to COVID-19, has the sanitary and security measures to keep everyone safe. Although, there are other ways to present plays or courses.
Since these sites are quite local and what they’re looking for is to be known and to promote the work of others, is better not to see the other theatres as competition but as partners, if it’s just small to medium forums (we won’t consider theatres run by the government because they have their own funds). This will create a network of work where they can support each other when one of them lacks space, time, dates, or even hands to work with.
In order to know how to target content, we must measure the type of audience that usually consumes our content. Ages, genders, if we’re being seen just locally, within our state, within our country, or if we have someone watching us across the globe, thus we know how to focus on what we are promoting.
Once we know to who we’ll promote, we can let our regular visitors find us faster and reach others within that specific group of our overall audience. And the way we can track this is by checking our analytics on every social media we have. Currently Facebook My Business allows you to check your analytics for both Facebook and Instagram, but you can always find the one that suits you the most.
Having Google My Business can also help you measure your audience and this one has the singularity of letting you know in real-time what’s going on with your business, it shows you ages, genders, region, etc. Also allows you to personalize the address of your business so the name can appear when searching by name or address on Maps.
Scene 02: “The brand”
Branding can be difficult sometimes, even for creative minds. Remember to come up with a catchy name that’s easy to remember yet not hard to do so. It can come with a backstory, a specific meaning, or just because. Always keep in mind that you need to be remembered for this name as well as for your work.
A logo is a must too. When your audience sees your logo somewhere else, they’ll know immediately who collaborates there, or that you are promoting that event. Something not too complicated nor flat. Memorable and unique.
Check out the basics on logo design in our article.
If you’re going just for theatre, select elements that make people associate you with that. Hosting courses and workshops as well? Have space to have a gallery too?. Just remember not to saturate the logo with elements, it can make it too overwhelming for the eye and that makes the audience lose interest.
The services you provide, or the main service you provide, has to be visible to your audience in your brand. Either by the name you choose to appear with on social media and in the searching engines or by adding those elements to your logo. Usernames must have at least one word that shows your business provides that service.
Google My Business is a great tool for branding as well. It can provide your business with the visibility you’re looking for. This way you’ll be able to be seen faster on searching engines and, as mentioned before, it allows you to customize your address so viewers can easily locate your place.
Scene 03: “Striving for it”
Goals are important in all we do. Long, short or medium-term goals help us target the reach we’re striving to get, and measure if and how are we going to get there. It’s a must to establish, at least, long and short-term goals.
Consider that short and medium-term goals go from 1 to 6 months, long-term goals go from 6 months onwards. Planning this can help you visualize better ways to strategize the way you’re going to publicize upcoming events to achieve your desired results.
As an example:
“You’ve been having just 10 to 15 people in a space where you can have up to 80 (with respective distance and COVID measures) for plays and the number of participants in your courses and workshops is barely enough to cover the rent of the space. The posts that you’re publishing for your events have a few reactions, almost no shares, and aren’t engaging enough.
You want to increase your public, have sold outs, host enough people in your courses and workshops to afford the rent of the space, and have an income for the teacher as well.
Short to medium-term goals:
- In two months: Increase the attendance from 15 to 30 people for the upcoming plays. Have a bigger group of participants for each course and workshop offered.
- In six months: Get at least two sold outs. Have a full group for courses and workshops.
- Within a year: Host enough plays to have a full busy schedule. Have more than one group per course.
- Within 16 months: Be able to host local festivals. Have a busy schedule for courses and workshops.
- Within 20 months: Create a festival including the other small theatres. Collaborate with foreign theatre companies. Host an art exhibition.
Scene 04: “Content”
When creating the content to promote the services or plays be sure to write the captions and hashtags (when using Facebook and/or Instagram) to accurately promote that specific service. Also, take note, create an image or video that will be engaging for that specific audience. Ist for kids? Remember to use bright colours, and try to maintain the essence of the play or course, something relatable to it.
Even if what you are promoting is not specifically for kids, try and have some elements that you know have worked before to engage the attention of your audience (you can check this when looking at the analytics of your posts). Consider the next elements when you create your posts:
- Colours: Popping colors relatable to the topic you’re promoting.
- Shapes: In various editing programs, you can have the images, photos or videos molded into any shape, choose those that allow visibility of your media, and feel dynamic with the design.
- Image quality: For all the types of media you create (Illustrations, photos, videos).
- Harmony: The post must feel balanced in terms of colour, shapes, and graphics. Choose a good colour palette to target some points of interest in the content. If you’re molding a graphic into a shape, use a shape that makes the most of the graphic, non-geometrical shapes are shapes as well.
Once you know what and how to post, use the analytics tool to review the times when your posts had the most reaction and engagement. Thus, you can upload your posts when it suits your brand the most.
According to a study made by Sprout Social, the best time to post content on weekdays is:
|Monday||9 a.m. – 7 p.m.||Engagement peaks: 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.|
|Tuesday||9 a.m. – 8 p.m.||Engagement peaks: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. & 7 p.m.|
|Wednesday||7 a.m. – 7 p.m.||Best day to post on average|
|Thursday||8 a.m. – 8 p.m.||Engagement peaks: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.|
|Friday||7 a.m. – 4 p.m.||Engagement peaks: 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.|
Of course, these hours can vary as well depending on your targeted audience. In this case, we could check out the times for the industries of Media, Education, and Nonprofit. Sprout Social also included in its case study the times to post per industry.
It must be pointed out that the scheduling for posts is very important as well, especially in case only one person is creating and posting content. The content must follow, of course, a specific format according to your own guidelines. Must be consistent as well, you can schedule one type of content for one day and another type for some other days, alternate as well.
There are various platforms for scheduling posts and can be adapted to your needs, most of the platforms have a paying plan. Facebook My Business has an option to schedule posts and, if you’re just using FB and IG, Buffer has a free version. Check the one that suits your needs the most and the one that adjusts your budget.
Since we want to engage with our audience, we must also create strategies to make the audience a more active participant with our brand, but how?. Easy!
What we can do to engage our audience is to make them interact with you, with your brand. Create polls, create promotions, discounts, tickets won by a raffle. This type of action will encourage the audience to tag you by sharing your post, tagging friends on your posts or mention on stories (this last one can be both ways, by mentioning the winners on your stories or highlights).
Streaming can also attract our audience, especially with the way we’re living today. You can have an offer of online courses and (check out if your Facebook page is eligible for it) stream the plays and spectacles you’re hosting.
Another way to expand the reach of our content is making sure we are applying our SEO correctly. For social media, this can be a little tricky but not impossible.
For Instagram: Applying SEO strategies on Instagram can be confusing at first, so let’s make it as simple as possible. The way SEO is implemented on IG is primarily by the use of hashtags, so:
- Consider hashtags as if they were keywords: Keywords work the same way when you search for something on Google.
- Keep it on topic: Try not to use hashtags that have no connection with the services or activities you’re promoting on your post.
- More could be OK: You’re able to use up to 30 hashtags on your post, but it’s important not to saturate the whole description with just hashtags if you’re adding some info about the event you’re promoting. Narrow it to event-related keywords: #theatre #instatheatre #puppetshow #puppets #clown #art #artgallery, are some examples.
- Trendy: Attempt the use of trending hashtags on your topic, this can also impulse your reach and visibility for users that follow or search post with that specific hashtag.
- Description: Add some keywords to your description as well, you can use synonyms or words related to the main topic of the post, ex: In a post about a play, “We are so excited to invite you to the presentation of the play called (something)! This set on-stage is about (description). Can’t wait to see you all here at (name of business). DM us for more details about this performance or other doubts you may have.”
- Tag me!: Getting tagged allows you to detect your account as a very active one and this may help you to appear on the first results when searching for something related to what you offer.
- @theatre: As mentioned before, try to add to your name and username a word about the services you provide. This way it’ll be easier for current and new users to find you even if they just write that word in the search field. Ex: @newage.theatre – The New Age Theatre & Cultural Forum.
- I am…: In the “about” or “description” field of your profile, use some of the keywords mentioned before. This method is not that effective but keep in mind you want people to know what your business is all about so it’s still important.
- Alt text: The newest option on IG. This option allows you to add a descriptive and more detailed description of what’s going on in your media, this way you can be creative with the keywords for the text.
For the Alt text options, follow these steps:
For Facebook: Hashtags on FB are not that relevant, not many people search a topic or a specific something by a hashtag. Still, the importance of the points 4 to 7 for Instagram SEO is on for Facebook SEO, and you can do this additionally:
- URL: Try to get your personal URL asap. This facilitates users to find you and recognize your page and it looks more professional.
- Customize: Add the tabs you believe will make interaction with users and content easier. Offered courses, art hosted in your gallery (old and new displays), etc.
- Answer me: You can set an automatic response when users have the first interaction with you via Messenger. Make it polite, interested in solving doubts, and engaging, in case you cannot answer right away. Try not to take too long to answer.
Long story short: Be concise, specific (topics), use keywords (literal and synonyms), be engaging, set the right time to post, be creative!
“A talent for drama is not a talent for writing, but is an ability to articulate human relationships.”― Gore Vidal
Act Two: “The Strategy”
Scene 01: “Performing Arts, Teaching and one Art Gallery”
El Venero. Foro – Teatro – Galería
Currently, the result #24 in Google search when typing “Teatro” (theatre). Has a Facebook Page Reach of 13.1K users with 3.39K Page Likes and an Instagram reach of 813 users with 971 followers.
We’re looking forward to increasing IG engagement and followers, increase attendance to plays, courses, and workshops (try to measure it with “going’s” on Facebook Events), schedule art exhibitions and performances.
Current top Facebook audience:
|Women (57.7%)||Ages 25-34 (22.6% of 57.7%)|
|Men (42.3%)||Ages 25-34 (16% of 42.3%)|
Top 3 cities: Guadalajara (55%), Zapopan (13.9%), CDMX (3.8%)
Current top Instagram audience:
|Women (54.4%)||Ages 25-34 (27% of 54.4%)|
|Men (45.6%)||Ages 25-34 (19.4% of 45.6%)|
Top 3 cities: Guadalajara (37.7%), Zapopan (13.5%), CDMX (2.1%)
- Short to medium-term:
- Achieve the minimum number of participants for the upcoming courses and workshops.
- Increase attendance in upcoming plays.
- Schedule art exhibitions for the gallery.
- Reach a bigger audience.
- Host successfully upcoming festivals.
- Have a full agenda of plays.
- Being able to bring foreign theatre companies to present plays.
- Enlarge the number of members working on site.
- Be economically sustainable.
- Function as a theatre company as well.
Scene 02: “Strategize”
- Reorganize IG profile:
- Add a more detailed description using keywords and point out services provided and other contact information.
- Reorder current “highlights”. There are too many stories that are no longer relevant as content.
- Add a direct link to where users can purchase tickets for plays.
- Add a hashtag in the description so users can use it to tag posts related to this account when they attend the physical place.
- Polish Facebook page:
- Write a description of the place as a cultural forum in the “about” tab.
- Promote content within Facebook Groups that targets theatre locally).
- Set everything needed to host Online Events via Facebook Live.
- Create a personalized and uniform format for posts: Make a series of templates that can be used for media posts with the option to edit the colour palettes, so both the one of the brand and a colour palette related to the event can be used.
- Create a WhatsApp Business account for better communication with the audience: Customizing as well a direct first message of response when a message is received.
- Review budget so we’ll be able to boost some upcoming posts: Investing in this could be a little bit hard due to the current situation, but a boost for a week (is not that expensive) for a specific post could make the difference.
- Use concise hashtags and keywords to be more visible in both FB and IG: Try to describe the event with the larger quantity of keywords possible, but keeping it to the point. Research top hashtags used for those specific activities.
- Create giveaways for tickets: Creating polls, raffles so users can be encouraged to tag us, tag friends, and win prizes.
*Topics on this list will be removed, changed or new ones will be added when and if needed*
“The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work.”― Émile Zola
Act Three: “The Conclusion”
Scene 0: “The Beginning”
Standing out in this digital world may seem way too hard, but nothing gets done without some hard work. The purpose that space like a Cultural Forum can give to the community is spectacular. It promotes art and culture by promoting emergent talents, the new generations.
These sites give a space for the new talents to show what they got, provides a place to learn the basics on many artistic subjects, consume art, promote it, and appreciate it. Museums do so as well, but a museum is reserved for the high circles in the art society (a very closed and snobbish world).
In order for people to consume and promote art, it must be available for and to anyone. No prejudice, no restrictions. Art is for the world, as the world is the biggest and free yet overrated museum.
“I’ve always longed for the theatre and acting to be popular. No actor wants to play to an empty house. We only do it for an audience…”― Ian McKellen
References and useful links:
- Keyhole – When is The Best Time to Post on Instagram?
- SproutSocial – The best times to post on social media in 2021
- Later – Instagram SEO: 6 Ways to Increase Your Discoverability
- HubSpot – 8 Little-Known Instagram SEO Techniques for Increasing Reach
- Socialbakers – 10 Actionable Tips to Improve Your Facebook Page’s SEO
- Emplify – How chatbots help businesses to improve customer experience in 2021
- Keyhole – Instagram SEO: 7 Tips to Boost Your Visibility
- Restream – 10 best ways brands are using live streaming videos
- Socialbakers – 6 Easy Ways to Win More Social Media Backlinks Instantly
Written by: César Pio
Content Market Analyst at the International Institute of Digital Marketing ™