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Social Media Strategy For The Helix

19 December 2014  

The Helix Dublin is one of Ireland’s most impressive multi-purpose venues. Though it is relatively new on the theatre scene, this is one hard-working player. A big space with some big ideas, it seemed obvious to team up with Brightspark to make the next step for Social Media Theatre Strategy.

In late 2014, The Helix hired Brightspark to come up with a social media strategy and deliver it to them to manage in-house.

We feel we have really got to grips with social media and targeting our correct audience. Brightspark gave us the tools and knowledge to put us in the right direction and we feel we can continue this and grow our social engagement. Since starting our social media campaign, internet sales have increased through social media promotion – so it’s definitely something we’ll be continuing to use.

Michael Brady, General Manager @ The Helix

1. The first thing we did was an international competitor analysis.

Why look to our local neighbours when we can look further afield to find examples of theatres truly rocking it in their use of social media? We were surprised at some of the big global names who were really quite poor in their use of social media (and we concluded that these ones are probably being managed by an agency who just doesn’t care).  We were actively seeking great examples of consistent targeted content on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook that made us excited about going to a show – and not in a salesy way.

You can view the results here, some little gems included!

A look at the social media practices of large and small theatres in UK, Australia, and US as of Sept/Oct 2014. The key message: just because you’re big doesn’t mean you’re good! Although we love what The Australian Ballet and The Met Opera are doing

We presented the results of this research to The Helix team and this formed the basis of the discussion that followed.

2. Getting To Know “Ann & Bill”

Brightspark facilitated a social media strategy session in which all stakeholders in The Helix shared their wealth of information about the types of people who regularly pass through the doors, and those they’d like to see more of.

Persona workshops are a very important part of our social media strategy as they guide all future content planning and design thinking.

Four complex personas were created for The Helix, but it was decided to only focus on two with the social media activity:

  • Ann, a working mum
  • Bill, a DCU lecturer

On Facebook, it’s all about Ann

She wants good value for tickets, with occasional promotions that she can enter. If she sees a really valuable prize, she will probably be happy to enter her email. The goal is to get Ann to engage with The Helix through likes, comments and shares, which will be seen by her peers who are also likely to be interested in shows for kids or a night out with hassle free parking.  If Ann is interacting regularly with the theatre, when she’s next planning a night out or a treat for the kids, it’s likely that The Helix will be in front of her mind.

AnnFB

On Twitter, Bill is the King!

Bill’s world is all about deals, cakes, and a decent mid-morning coffee with free WiFi. So The Helix makes sure to post these things to Bill around about mid morning and lunchtime.

Bill TW

These personas, together with the insights from our competitor analysis, and the overall goals for the social media activity formed the basis of the social media strategy document which was delivered to the team at The Helix.

3. Content Planning

During the first month (Oct/Nov 2014), Brightspark planned, wrote, designed and executed all content for The Helix’s Facebook and Twitter. We ran tests to see what type of themes, times, and ads worked best. We showed the team at The Helix how to plan content to fit the 80:20 ratio, the desired social media mix of 80% interesting/fun material for the customer, and 20% salesy for the client.

In month two of our social media strategy engagement, The Helix team took over on the content planning, while Brightspark provided advice and edits. We continued to test and share results with the client.

After that, it was trainer wheels off for The Helix as they took full responsibility for managing all their own social media activity, with frequent well planned posts on Facebook, and offers and chat on Twitter.

Brightspark’s work was done.

We had created an insights-based social media strategy for the Northside Dublin theatre, with hands-on training and testing to know what works.

 

Social Media Theatre Strategy Results:

Facebook

Prior to Brightspark’s involvement, the activity on Facebook was low (apart from one day in September). As you can see, from 3 November engagement increased significantly with Brightspark content that delights and inspires Ann and her buddies to share, chat, and engage.

Helix FB results

Total reach increased in the period being managed by Brightspark. More people saw the great content originating from The Helix.

Helix FB results 2

Twitter

Social Media Theatre Strategy Results

Over on Twitter there were similar figures. During the period under management by Brightspark, total impressions increased significantly. Some tweets were promoted which contributed to this, but overall there was an increase in the number of people seeing content on Twitter from The Helix.

Helix TW Engagement Social Media Theatre Strategy Twitter

Helix TW Retwets

Engagement also improved. More people were interacting with the Helix due to carefully planned follow + RT promotions and general chat.

 

We feel we have really got to grips with social media and targeting our correct audience. Brightspark gave us the tools and knowledge to put us in the right direction and we feel we can continue this and grow our social engagement. Since starting our social media campaign, internet sales have increased through social media promotion – so it’s definitely something we’ll be continuing to use.

Michael Brady, General Manager @ The Helix

Want a social media strategy that will get you noticed, with the added bonus of having it delivered as a process so you can manage it yourself? We come up with the ideas, test them, then hand over the results to you for implementation.

 

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