Love it or hate it, social media is part of the daily fabric of our lives. While debates rage on about potential regulation, de-centralization, or controlling misinformation, social media is showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, 57% of the world's population (4.48 billion people, up more than double from 2.07 billion users in 2015) use some form of social media every day.
So what should your chorus be doing to effectively leverage social media? Whether you’re still relatively new to social media marketing or just looking for a refresher, here are 10 ways to make your chorus’ social media more effective:
1. Understand Your Audience
One of the first steps in building and growing a social footprint is to understand who you’re talking to. Whether you have 20 followers or 20,000, it’s crucial to understand who they are, where they are, and what they want to see. The good news here is that platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram offer a variety of tools to analyze your audience, including demographic breakdowns of age, gender, and geography. Simply check out the Insights section of your Facebook page to see for yourself.
2. Make It Easy To Find You
Another often-overlooked element of a solid social media strategy is making it easy for people to find you. It starts with developing a straightforward, simple username or handle and ensuring it’s the same across all channels whenever possible. Make sure you’re also promoting your social channels on your website, show programs, and really any other opportunity you get.
3. Define Your Voice & Brand
Another important facet of building a successful social media strategy is to develop a unique and authentic brand voice for your chorus. How do you want your followers to perceive you? Are you more whimsical and quirky, or informative and polished? There is no right or wrong answer here -- it really comes down to your chorus brand. We are constantly assessing our brand voice on social, and often try to strike a balance between a casual/fun tone while also positioning ourselves as a leader within the industry with especially serviceable content. Feel free to experiment with different voices and styles to find a mix that’s right for you.
4. Focus on Quality, Not Quantity
Here’s something of a hot take: I think follower counts are overrated. All too often, people tend to focus on growing their follower counts as quickly as possible, believing that with more followers comes greater success. But let me tell you bluntly: that’s not necessarily true. You may have even considered buying followers to boost your clout, but this strategy often backfires. Usually, these accounts are simply idle bots who will actually bring down your engagement numbers. In addition, most social platforms tend to actively go after these types of bot accounts and may even suspend your account if you have an influx of bot followers. Your best bet to grow your following organically is: produce and post high-quality content; post on a consistent basis; leverage hashtags or keywords to make your content more discoverable; run giveaway campaigns or contests to drive people to your feed; and collaborate with other choruses, organizations, or professionals for things like Instagram Live.
5. Invest in Video
Speaking of high-quality content, there’s one content type that has been proven to consistently deliver better results across all platforms: video. This can be a daunting element for choruses to consider, as there is the impression that you need five-figure production budgets in order to produce quality video content, but that’s not true! Some of the most effective video content I’ve seen choruses share on social was filmed on an iPhone. It may require some creative brainstorming, but video content has the potential to bring your channel to life in a truly unique way. If you’re looking for some free, easy-to-use video editing apps, try inShot, iMovie, or Videoshop.
I’m consistently surprised by how many organizations and brands don’t seem to value this important attribute. Social media is designed to be conversational. Whenever someone comments or replies to you, make sure you’re engaging with them. Even a “favorite” or a “like” goes a long way to foster digital relationships, whether it be with potential donors, audiences, or members. If followers feel that the conversation is one-sided, they’re less likely to engage in the future. Depending on how many platforms you’re on and the frequency of your engagements, it can be difficult to monitor this on an ongoing basis. This brings me to my next best practice...
7. Utilize Tools To Streamline & Save Time
Not every chorus has a specific team dedicated to social media. I totally get it. If that’s the case, there are a host of tools that will allow you to streamline your social channels into one cohesive dashboard. This kind of dashboard allows you to monitor all incoming messages and replies, track hashtags or keywords, and post content directly to your channels. Platforms like HubSpot, Hootsuite, or Buffer offer free or low-cost solutions to help you stay on top of all things social.
8. Monitor Your Performance
You may have heard that social media is a “transactional” entity. That doesn’t always mean actual e-commerce sales, but rather a metaphorical phrase to describe the symbiotic relationship between publishers/brands and their audiences. In other words, if you post something that your followers enjoy, the numbers (Likes, Comments, Shares, etc) will indicate that. Tracking this data will allow you to identify trends that may increase your overall engagement and follower numbers. I can tell you for certain that here at Chorus Connection, our followers love a good choir meme. Once we identified this trend, we were able to build funny/topical meme content into our overall posting strategy with great success.
9. Share More Than Promotions
Many choruses tend to only leverage social media when they have something to actively promote (i.e. concert, fundraiser, etc.) While you should absolutely be leveraging social media to promote, I recommend going a step further and injecting frequent and regular non-promotional content into your strategy. Whether it’s memes, social spotlight profiles of your members, or relevant news/press, having a well-rounded posting cadence will ultimately lead to further engagement and growth.
10. Treat Members as Your Greatest Asset
Finally, no one is a better ambassador for your chorus than your singers and staff. Encourage them to promote your chorus’ social handles on their personal social networks in order to drive increased follower and engagement growth. One of my favorites is the “rehearsal selfie,” which gives people a behind-the-scenes look at the rehearsal process. It truly doesn’t have to be anything more complicated than that in order to be effective.
At the end of the day, social media should be an essential part of your chorus’ overall marketing strategy. Especially in the uncertainty of a COVID world, a solid social media strategy can keep your followers and patrons engaged and connected, even if they’re not on stage or in the audience.
Have some more best practices to share? Drop them in the comments below. Thank you!
Nick Deyo is Social Media Manager at Chorus Connection. As a former singing member and Board Chair of the NYC Gay Men's Chorus, Nick is a performer and avid lover of the arts. He firmly believes that music allows for meaningful expression, and is passionate about sharing his expertise with performing arts organizations. When not singing, Nick enjoys cooking, traveling, being active, and exploring new things.