Thursday, May 30, 2013

Twitter for a show? Consider saying no

Hey there,

This is a bit of a personal rant, but here it goes.

It stemmed from a recommendation for friends thinking about creating a Twitter account for a theatre show (like for a Fringe Festival):

Please don't.

Especially if you already have a handle for yourself or your production company.

And if you don't, then make your own, make it personal.

If anything, create a hashtag campaign, and use actual event pages, and be strategic. Unless you're expecting and preparing to produce the show indefinitely, dedicating a Twitter account might ultimately end up being a waste of time and digital space.

I say this because far too often, as I do some seasonal cleaning, I come across Twitter accounts that have not been active since the show closed, with no obvious sign of continued or future engagement. This ends up just becoming more work for me, to go through and prune, so to speak.

I know, it's selfish, but that's because my Twitter account is about me on bad days, and about "us" on good days.

And, to my original issue, most of the time a twitter account has been created for a show, it's had little to in terms of engaging with me and ends up simply being another means for broadcasting content at me.

So I suppose in the end, my point is not necessarily don't do it. But it is not to do it just to do it, just because everyone else is doing it. If you're going to set up a twitter account for a show, be intentional about it, be consistent, and make sure it will be sustainable after the festival is over. And treat it as another aspect of the performance experience, which might occasionally mention ticket sales and show times, but most of the time will have the kind of content that will inform and entertain your audience, along with prompts that will help get the conversation going.

Obviously this is a much more complicated issue, and this is only scratching the surface. And ultimately, i you aren't able or willing to put the additional time or effort into a solid social media campaign and strategy, if you think that it's just as simple as automating and sync-ing posts between platforms (which I blogged about on my personal blog), then you probably shouldn't create a Twitter account just for this one show.

But that's just my two cents. What do you think?