It's no secret that word-of-mouth advertising is the best way to draw in new people. 90% of people make “buy-in” decisions based on what they hear from friends and family about products, services, events, etc. It’s easy to draw the connection to choruses focusing on new singer recruitment. Whether it’s due to pandemic-related member turnover, the need to diversify the age of your membership, or your organization working on equity and inclusion goals, the reasons for wanting to grow your chorus can vary. Therefore, your existing chorus members are the best first-person storytellers when explaining to friends and family why your choir is so excellent and why they should join!
However, in today’s digital age, it’s also well known that social media is the next best recruitment tool for identifying your ideal singers and attracting them to a first rehearsal. Most choirs use at least one form of social media to connect with singers and audience members.
Did you know that there are some best practices for using social media to improve new singer recruitment? If you’re looking to increase the list of potential new members for your choir this year, here are helpful tips to help you achieve your goals:
Tip #1: Plan for Your Target Audience
If your goal is singer recruitment, it’s important to think about who you are trying to recruit. Do you have a goal of bringing in a certain number of members? Has your chorus adopted diversity and inclusion goals, and do you want to recruit new members accordingly? Does your choir accept members only within a specific age range?
It’s essential to think about these questions because your target potential new members may not be found on every social media platform. According to the Pew Research Center, the average age of Facebook users is 40+, while people ages 14-29 are more likely to use platforms like TikTok, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Currently, Instagram is the preferred social media platform for most users.
While any social media platform can be an excellent way to engage your audience and potential new members, knowing your goals for singer recruitment and adding additional social media platforms could be an important step towards success.
One additional tip for finding your target audience is to follow other relevant accounts. Are there other choruses that you want to support? Do you partner with local organizations that use social media for advertising each year? Follow their social media accounts to make your own organization more visible.
Tip #2: Post Regularly
The best way to create traction on any social media platform is to post new content regularly and consistently. This could be monthly, bi-monthly, or even weekly. The more regularly you post new content, the more likely your organization will be seen by potential new members.
Additionally, create posts your current members want to share. If your existing membership is excited about your social media posts, they can share themselves, which will, in turn, reach their friends and family, and so on. Remember, this is the ultimate form of digital word-of-mouth advertising, which improves the visibility of your chorus’ social media content.
An easy way to create posts your members will want to share is to post press and publicity related to your chorus. Did your director recently interview with the local paper? Has your chorus been recognized with an award? Did you do a joint fundraiser with another local organization? These are perfect opportunities to share on social media with a picture and a call to action for others to get involved.
Another little trick for posting regularly is to schedule your posts in advance. Creating content and scheduling it to post on a future day and time each week, for example, will free your publicity person or marketing team to do other pressing items rather than worry over every post to the chorus social media account.
Tip #3: Include URLs With Every Message
Sending a monthly newsletter? Doing a fundraising email campaign? Working on building your social media following? For a cross-marketing strategy, include your website URL in your social posts and your social links in your emails and newsletters. This way, anyone who is interested in getting in touch will have easy access to your website and any other pertinent information related to your choral group’s membership drive or upcoming events. This will also make it easier for potential new members to “follow” your chorus, so they continue to receive future updates.
Tip #4: Use Images
Did you know that social media posts with images and videos are more likely to be viewed than posts with no pictures? Some options might be pictures from a chorus rehearsal night, a recent performance, or a special occasion that you recently held (i.e., a potluck, coordinated dress night, social event, etc.). You might also choose appropriate gifs or short videos that make sense for the content of your post.
If you don’t have any current images that you want to use, that’s ok! There are many places to find free, high-quality stock images that you can download and include in your post. This article explains how to use free images you find on the internet and a list of 24 different sites you can use to find great photos for your social media posts. Some common ones include Canva, Flickr, Getty Images, and iStock. You can also use the free built-in backgrounds and filters available on various social media platforms. But remember: keep whatever images, backgrounds, or filters you use relevant to your posting content.
Tip #5: Keep Your Content Focused and to the Point
If you’ve ever seen a social media post that asks viewers to “click here to read more” or “look at the comments below for more information,” you may have already lost your audience’s interest. This article about the effects of social media on attention span explains that the average desktop user on Facebook only spends 2.5 seconds looking at a post, while mobile users only spend 1.7 seconds per post.
Why does it seem our attention span is suffering? It’s due in part to information overload from multiple online platforms (plus all of our other daily distractions). So, how do you combat this on your chorus’s social media platforms? With engaging content that is short and focused.
- Include a compelling headline.
- Have only one main idea (i.e., “Join us for a rehearsal”).
- Include colorful visuals that draw the eye.
- Content should be “bite-size” for easy reading.
- Use bullet points or subheadings to make content scannable.
Ultimately, you should know your chorus identity and let it shine in each post. What do you want potential new members to see and get excited about so they are interested in attending? Content that is concise, on-brand, and to the point will draw readers’ attention, and they will be more likely to remember and engage with your posts.
Tip #6: Always Include a Call-to-Action
If the goal is singer recruitment, you don’t want to create social media posts that get a like or two and are then forgotten in the internet atmosphere. Including an exciting “call to action” will help potential new members invest in your posts.
A call to action is a short directive causing your target audience members to engage with your post, RSVP to an event, or provide information that allows your membership team to reach out about a visit. A great call to action is simple but includes a specific action with a sense of urgency. Some examples of this include:
- Leave a music emoji below if you love to sing!
- RSVP to our guest night using the link below!
- Click here to get your ticket to our upcoming show!
- Email us to learn more about joining!
- Don’t wait! Sign up for our guest night now!
Tip #7: Follow Up with Your Social Media Leads
Let’s say you have a very effective post that gets a lot of responses. (Woohoo!) It’s essential to follow up on leads for potential new members to ensure they know where to go and what to expect when they arrive at a guest night or first rehearsal. This could be your membership chairperson, someone from your publicity team, or another designated marketing person who can gather pertinent details about potential new singers and keep the person excited about attending the first time. The more you connect with them before their first night, the better their experience will be, and there is an increased likelihood that they will want to join. (And that’s the goal, right?)
More Practical Tips
Sometimes it can be difficult to create posts with all the information you want to include while still keeping it concise. Here are a couple of ways to impart excitement and information without making long-form posts that might get skipped over.
Include the traditional “What, When, and Where.”
Think of this like a Save the Date invitation you might put in the mail.
WHAT: [Chorus Name] Open House
WHEN: Thursday, August 28, 2022
WHERE: [Rehearsal Venue}
TIME: 6:45 pm Check-In, 7:00 pm Rehearsal
DETAILS: Mark your calendar and join us for a FUN guest night. Click here to RSVP!
Make “30 words or less” work for you.
Before Twitter changed its word limit, a complete tweet was 30 words or less. While this can be challenging, it’s also a great way to get information across without losing your audience’s attention.
Be Our Guest on Thurs, August 28! Check-in @ 6:45 and sing @ 7:00. You don’t want to miss it! Click here to RSVP!
Looking for a chorus family? Let us welcome you! Comment below if you’d like to hear more about visiting a rehearsal. Let’s sing together!
Repurpose existing marketing content.
Does your chorus have a beautiful flyer that was created for marketing purposes? Turning this into a digital copy and using it as a social media post could do all the work for you. No additional typing is required!
Remember to include a link to your website as part of the post to ensure that potential recruits have easy access to an RSVP, email, or messaging system.
Create an event on your social platforms.
You can create events that allow interested folks to RSVP or mark their interest directly on platforms like Facebook. You can include all pertinent information and an image on the event page while directly engaging your target audience. Many of these events will automatically pop up reminders if someone has marked their interest, so you’ll be able to connect digitally and in person before the event date.
Social media is an excellent tool for singer recruitment and chorus and audience member engagement. What are some of your chorus’s methods to recruit singers and build your membership? What is the most effective way you’ve found to use social media for recruitment and outreach? Let us know in the comments!
Amanda Carroll is a former middle school chorus and general music teacher in North Carolina. She is a member of Carolina Style Chorus and Sweet Adelines International and is a non-performing member of Womansong of Asheville. She has Master of Music and Master of Public Administration degrees from Appalachian State University. Her background includes singing with large and small ensembles, as well as solo work and teaching private lessons. Amanda is passionate about creating meaningful concerts and connecting with the community through performance.