The Art of the Business

A blog dedicated to artists who are serious about their business.

The Social Network October 6, 2010

I went to see The Social Network last night. Why not, right? It’s a movie about how Facebook got its start, and Facebook is a huge part of my life these days.

But this post is not a movie review. Nor is it a discussion about how much of the film was fact and how much was fiction.

For me, the story begins on Friday night, when Aaron Sorkin, the film’s writer and director, appeared on The Colbert Report. Sorkin confessed that he doesn’t use Facebook, and then said I think socializing on the Internet is to socializing what reality TV is to reality.

Click on the screenshot for the link to take you to the video

I get it. Facebook has certainly changed the way we interact with each other. The question is, is it for the worst?

Certainly, there have been tons of stuff in the news that might support this. Here in BC, there was a recent incident where photos of a young girl who was being sexually assaulted were posted on Facebook. The question that needs to be asked is, how did the person who posted those possibly come to the conclusion that that was cool?

Are we exchanging quality relationships for quantity? Is it better to have 2,000 friends on Facebook, or 200 with whom you are able to adequately interact with?

I have been really vocal on my position on this. As a single parent, and someone who works alone, Social Networking is a life-saver. I love to interact with people, I need it, in fact. But because of the nature of my work and life, the folks I get to see the most are my son and my cats. I get to “check in” with my friends in a virtual way.

This week I had a very powerful expereince. I got to meet Kate Foy in person. I’ve know Kate for two years, and we met via Twitter. We have worked together (virtually) on the World Theatre Day Blog, and had many, many conversations via email, Twitter, and Facebook about theatre and the life of an artist. On Saturday afternoon, Kate and I, along with Lois Dawson, had that conversation around my dining room table with coffee and cupcakes.

That is a meeting that, without Twitter, and without me being on Twitter, would have never been able to happen, and it was an amazing experience.

So, what do you think? Do you think that social networking is making our relationships more superficial? Or is it exactly the opposite? I look forward to continuing the discussion with you in comments below.

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Facebook Contests for Artists–Course October 2, 2010

Filed under: Marketing with Facebook,Workshops — Rebecca Coleman @ 7:22 am
Tags: ,

I got this email from Maryann Devine the other day, and I thought I’d share it with you, because it was very intriguing!

Hi Rebecca – hope you’re having an excellent fall thus far.

I want to let you know about some things my friend Jacquelyn Kittredge, of e-bakery social media, and I are doing this fall.

If you would pass on this info to people you know who might benefit — especially info about the free class — I would really appreciate it.

We just taught a short, free teleclass called “Engage Your People with Facebook,” and the response was so big that we’re doing it again, on October 14.

On October 19, we’re teaching a 90-minute webinar called “Make the Most of Your Facebook Page,” for the Technology in the Arts Program.

And we have a new, do-at-your-own-pace online course called “Facebook Contests for Arts Organizations.”

The details are below, if you’d like to take a look yourself.

Thanks so much,

Maryann

————————-

The details!

Free teleclass:
Engage Your People with Facebook
Thursday, Oct. 14, 1 PM Eastern Time
1 hour including Q&A
Maryann Devine (smArts & Culture) and Jacquelyn Kittredge (e-bakery)
Find out more here: http://bit.ly/bintqo

Webinar:
Make the Most of Your Facebook Page
Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2 PM Eastern Time
90 minutes including Q&A
Maryann Devine (smArts & Culture) and Jacquelyn Kittredge (e-bakery)
Sponsored by the Technology in the Arts Program
$25 (participants get a coupon code for $25 off “Facebook Contests for Arts Organizations”)
Find out more here: http://bit.ly/aXkg5E

Online course:
Facebook Contests for Arts Organizations
PDF and video lessons that you do at your own pace
Jacquelyn Kittredge (e-bakery)
$97 (introductory price until October 28)
Find out more here: http://bit.ly/dtfjPl

 

Creating Young Ambassadors September 24, 2010

The topic of creating an audience for the future is one of keen interest to me. And is to a lot of folks who know that they will eventually rely upon the youth of today to fill our theatres tomorrow.

I came across this great article from The Miami Herald that talks about a new teen ambassador program that allows teens to attend one performance per month for free, in exchange for the teens writing reviews of the show and sharing them through their social networks.

It’s brilliant on many levels. I’ll be very interested to read the follow-up story.

Read the entire story here.

 

Are Facebook Invites Dead? September 15, 2010

Okay, so I consider myself to be a social media enthusiast. I love it, I love talking about it, and learning new things.

So it hurts me to say this, but I am afraid that the Facebook invitation may be dead.

Here’s the thing: I get tons and tons of invitations. I have over 700 friends, and I like 250+ pages. All of that adds up to many, many events that I get “invited” to. And I’m really terrible at going through them and responding. It’s just a time thing–it’s a pretty low priority in my world, especially seeing as my theatre viewing is mostly limited to shows I am doing publicity for.

There’s one more thing: I have had producers in the past have hundreds of people RSVP “yes” to their Facebook invites and then be dismayed when less than half of them actually showed up at the box office.

Facebook invites, it goes without saying, are a bit lame. Because it’s easy to check the yes box when you don’t have to fork over any cash.

In my experience, only about 40% of the yesses on your RSVP list will actually translate into sales.

Applications to sell tickets directly through Facebook are currently happening, although these are not yet accessible to the little folks (read: us) just yet.

What do you think? Is the FB invite dead?

 

Fringe Marketing for Dummies Pt 2 July 26, 2010

Today, we continue our series on how to market your Fringe show! As ever, feel free to share your best Fringe marketing tips in the comments below!

Publicity and PR: Deb Pickman recently offered a workshop on this topic here in Vancouver, and it was well attended. If you couldn’t make it, you can download her notes. The Fringe supplies participants with a media list. Again, the number one thing to keep in mind while crafting your pitch or your media release is to think about what your USP is.

Event Listings: Create a short PSA and send it to the local papers for their event listings, and find event listing websites to upload your listing to. The Fringe does this for “The Fringe,” so it’s possible that event listings editors will see that you are part of the fringe and not print your listing, but it’s worth a shot.

Here’s an example of a listing:

SENSATION OF MAGIC: Vitaly Beckman performs seventy minutes of jaw-dropping, mind-bending magic and illusions. August 17-21, 8 pm. Havana Theatre on 1212 Commercial Drive. $15 (advance) $20 (door), Tix at Highlife Records, 1317 Commercial Dr, Vancouver. Info/Tix: 778.228.5291, http://www.SensationOfMagic.com

Websites and Social Media:

You need to have a website. If you can afford it, get one professionally done, but if you can’t, I offer some tips on how to build a website in Word Press here. Deb put it so well in her notes that I’m going to quote her on this one, because I couldn’t possibly say it better: Your front-page right hand side should contain buttons for all online social media streams: FaceBook, Twitter, Blog, YouTube, Flicker. A journalist should get everything they need to tell your story without picking up the phone, by reading your website because it includes everything that’s in your press kit.

Social Media: This method of marketing is exploding–fully 500 Million people are on Facebook, and YouTube gets one million hits a day. Here are the top 5 Social Media sites, and how to use them:

Email: If you don’t already have this, get started now building an email list of people that are interested in your work. You can either use an e-newsletter program, or your own, html-formatted email. Send three emails: one about a month before the show, one a week before the show, and one after the show is opened, but before it closes (which incorporates your positive reviews). Include photos and links to make it interesting.

Facebook: if you haven’t already, create a fan page for your company. Then work your butt off to get as many fans as possible. Create an event page off of your fan page for your Fringe Show. Now, populate the page with updates every couple of days: how things are going in rehearsals, media coverage, photos, etc. Connect your page to the Fringe’s page.

Blog: Blogs are all about what goes on behind the scenes, so write about your rehearsal process, your tour, that crazy conversation you had with an audience member after the show. don’t feel like you have to depend upon writing–photos, video or audio are also fun and acceptable. A great example is Jeremy Bank’s Fringetastic blog. I’ll be doing an interview with him in a future post.

YouTube: create videos of yourself in rehearsal, of you talking about your show, etc. Post them on YouTube, then cross-post them on FB, Twitter, your blog, and email. Post them on the Fringe’s YouTube Channel.

Flickr: Get a Flickr account to post photos: not just production photos (ie: your professional ones) but also casual photos from rehearsals. Also connect your account to the Fringe Flickr account.

Twitter: If you are not yet on Twitter, quite honestly now may not be the best time to jump in. Learning how to Twitter is easy, but mastering it takes time. It is, however, a very powerful tool. The Fringe, by the way, is @VancouverFringe, and the hashtag, if you are Twittering, is #VanFringe. Anything that you twitter with that hashtag will likely be ReTweeted by the Fringe Social Media dude, Earl.

The Fringe, by the way, will also have an IPhone app this year.

Guerrilla Marketing/PR Stunts: There are great opportunities for guerrilla marketing at the Fringe. Granville Island is pretty densely populated all the time, so walking around in costume, handing out flyers, or flyering lines is pretty successful. After all, if people are there to see the Fringe, they are your target market, you’re doing them a service by telling them about your show. You can also draw/make signs on the sidewalk and road with chalk, or talk to the Fringe about doing a mini-performance in the bar.

Using other Fringes for marketing collateral: If you have been to other fringes, and have gotten star-ratings or good reviews, it’s important to use that info as much as possible on all of your marketing materials. Here in Vancouver, the way to get a much-coveted preview is to have someone from The Straight see your show in Victoria (which is right before ours) and highlight it in a Fringe preview.

Good luck! Have fun! Share any additional comments or tips below.

 

Fewer clicks=more sales June 21, 2010

Let’s face it, we’re busy. Even more busy than ever, it seems, these days. Just when I think I can’t get any busier, I surprise myself.

What that means, is, if I am able to do something quickly and efficiently, I’m going to do that. When Simon and I give workshops, we call this making it stupid easy. Please don’t misunderstand: I’m not saying that people are dumb. In fact, they are just busy. And you know as well as I do that if you have tried to do something online, and it took more time than you thought, or was more difficult than you thought, you likely gave up in a short amount of time.

For me, the power of social media, and the argument for having multiple social media streams (ie: a blog, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube), is that you meet people where they are. If my favorite social medium is Facebook, I should be able to access your company there. If it’s Twitter, ditto. It’s easy.

It therefore makes sense to me, that if we can make buying tickets really, really easy, that we may sell more of them. Which is why most theatre companies these days have multiple ways of buying tickets: by phone, on line, or in person. Folks can pick the method that works best for them.

Some companies are now developing applications to make tickets available though social media applications. For example, when Disney recently released Toy Story 3, you could buy them directly through Facebook.

Cosmetics giant Avon recently introduced a Facebook-based store for thier “younger” brand, Mark. They did this through a new app that is being developed by a San Fransisco-based company called Payvment.

As of this moment, I can’t find any theatre companies that are selling tickets through their Facebook page, but I’m thinking it’s not far away.

add to del.icio.us : Add to Blinkslist : add to furl : Digg it : add to ma.gnolia : Stumble It! : add to simpy : seed the vine : : : TailRank : post to facebook

 

An overview of Facebook: Mashable June 11, 2010

Filed under: Marketing with Facebook,social media — Rebecca Coleman @ 12:26 am
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No doubt one of the greatest sources of information on social media on the internet comes from Mashable. In case you haven’t seen it yet, this is a graphic that they had put together for Facebook’s 6th birthday in February. Mark Zuckerberg, by the way, who owns Facebook, is only 20 years older than that.

It’s a really interesting overview of the biggest social media phenomenon going:

add to del.icio.us : Add to Blinkslist : add to furl : Digg it : add to ma.gnolia : Stumble It! : add to simpy : seed the vine : : : TailRank : post to facebook