T’other week I attended the Manchester (just one of many taking place across the region) Arts Marketing Association Tweet Meet at the Royal Exchange Theatre. As well as being a good opportunity to catch-up with colleagues from across the region it was a chance for attendees learnt about the Exchange’s Twitic campaign.

The focus of the Twitic project was the theatre’s production of Edward II, that was staged earlier this year. It involved:

  • Posting requests for folks to get involved onto Twitter via the @rxtheatre account – asking wannabe ‘theatre critics’ to tweet back to the Royal Exchange about why they should be picked
  • Seeking out key influential tweeters and targeting them directly with tweets to participate
  • The offer for the Twitics: free hospitality at the venue pre-show and a ticket to see the production on a set night
  • In return: get them to tweet about the show – before, after and during the interval – no tweeting seats in this house > “More theaters reserve seats for Tweeters”

The campaign resulted in some interesting outputs which included the influential local tweeters being less receptive to initiative than Followers or people who came across the messages via their own networks. Also on the night of the event it was noted how much people engaged with it as a social event with attendees meeting for the first and chatting like old friends.

Following on from learning about the Twitic campaign the group discussed a number of other pressing topics/concerns for arts organistions surrounding Twitter, such as crisis management, evaluation and measuring ROI, organisational development and customer service. The AMA also directed us to this video featuring Vicki Allpress Hill from The Audience Connection, who provide strategic marketing services for the arts sector. Vicki presents a matrix outlining the ways in which Twitter can be used in the arts. However I do question whether an arts organisation can be on Twitter, or any other social network site for that matter, with low organisational commitment if they want to see real impact?

Engaging Art Audiences via Twitter

Image c/o Scott Beale / Laughing Squid licensed under Creative Commons.