A couple weeks back, I had a lovely conversation with Jared Hughes (@LegacyPlanning) who found me on Twitter as I am the head tweeter at Palm Beach Opera. He included my comments in his most recent blog post:
TWITTER HACKS AND FLACKS
Palm Beach Opera
In seeking other examples of fundraising success for this article, I turned to my own 521 followers (which seems to grow every time I post to the AFP listserve with my handle @LegacyPlanning). First I just tweeted it to all my followers. A few wrote back. I followed Beth’s advice and targeted ten NPOs that I especially wanted to interview and direct messaged them – ALL responded almost immediately in the affirmative. I also posted my question on Linkedin and heard from still more people.
Ceci Dadisman, Group Sales and Marketing Manager at the Palm Beach Opera says, “We use Twitter to have a communication vehicle that allows us to tell our patrons what we are doing in a more immediate way. It gives us an edge and corners the market since not many other arts organizations in our area are on it.”
When I asked her to tell me her Twitter success story, she told of a hocky-stick spike in ticket sales of $12 student seats to evening performances and condensed kid-friendly, mini-versions when @TimeandMoney, a reporter from the Sun-Sentinel, re-tweeted an announcement, ran it in the next days’ 605,600 papers and posted it on-line as part of her her well-read “Time and Money” column.
Journalists looking for fresh material and new patrons aren’t the only one’s following @palmbeachopera. Dozens of other opera companies from all over the world are sharing ideas and collaborating with Ceci via their tweets.
I know all of you out there are piggybacking on your arts .org’s general marketing message. You use the same marketing verbiage for each show, get your group discount prices based on the regular ticket prices, and use the same graphics and artwork on your brochure. Don’t forget that you are not only trying to get people to by tickets; you are trying to form a relationship with a group leader. This isn’t some one off ticket purchase. You are going to be communicating with your group leader for weeks and perhaps months until their performance date. Don’t be afraid to soften your image a bit in your collateral and on your page of the website. Speak in plain English and use fun vernacular speech. Why not even include a photo of yourself? Make your pitch not only compelling but also accessible and friendly. It will pay off in the long run.