A Social Festival For All.

Repost from my blog entry on http://www.nationalimprovnetwork.com/a-social-festival-for-all/

So you have a Facebook and Twitter for your improv festival. You may even have a Google+ page. Sweet. Awesome. Now what? Many festival organizers and improv groups know they need a Facebook, Twitter, and all the things because everyone else has it. But most of the time those pages just sits their unused which can be your biggest mistake. By leaving your social untouched and unloved, you are missing out on one of your festival’s biggest assets to help not only promote, but also build your festival’s presence. Here are a few tips to help you get started make your Social Media well social.

1. Make it a part of your marketing plan.

Along with your website, interviews, and flyers, your Social Media should be considered in your marketing plan. As Ariel said, go where the people are. With nearly 30% of Americans getting their news via Social Media, it is a force that can not be ignored when it comes to promoting. Just posting everyone once in a while is cool, but it doesn’t get the word out. You get the word out by coming up with a plan for before, during, and after the festival. This can range from what you are posting, Facebook advertising, and hashtags for the event.
On anything you use for marketing, make sure it connects with your Social Media. For example, on flyers make sure you have your Facebook and Twitter handle. Connect your website with your social platforms. The main purpose of Social Media isn’t to sell sell sell, but think of it as a television commercial or radio spot, but online. While you can’t always connect directly to ticket sales, the proof will be in how well the word got out.

2. It’s Personal

Let your festival reflect the offline atmosphere online. That means all your posts shouldn’t be come to our show! Come to our workshops! Buy tickets! Some of your posts (which should maybe be 5-7 a week leading up to the festival) should be about the groups, some of the planning, fundraisers, or anything personal towards the festival. One of the 13th Phoenix Improv Festival’s most popular posts were photos of the performers as teenagers. Another was images from past festivals that built up nostalgia and got users excited for the upcoming festival. People in general relate to things more on a personal level. As a result, they are more likely to invest in seeing your festival, and are less likely to ignore your buy tickets posts when they do happen.

3. Get the performers involved

Piggy backing off point two, if your performers are having fun it will reflect in their shows. This can be done before the festival by featuring them in your social media, emailing asking for any of their promotion, or as the Phoenix Improv Festival likes to do, treat them like rockstars. Be creative in how you post or get them involved, and know they may not want to and that is alright. You may want to start with local groups and build from there. Those groups that are invested personally will your biggest advocates for your current festival and beyond.

4. Your audience isn’t just improvisors.

While the performers of the festival may be your biggest advocates, they aren’t the ones buying tickets. Sure their family and friends may purchase some, however you should try to appeal to the general public of your city. With your Social Media, make sure some of your posts are directed at people who love watching improv to those who have not seen it before. This can range from videos, photos, and getting the venue and local businesses involved. For example, any Tweet we were sure to mention the Herberger Theater and mention our Family Friendly shows. Also connect with your local audience because who knows your city better than you?

5. Have Fun!

At the end of the day, improv is adults playing make believe on stage. While we can have grounded moments, your social media shouldn’t be your Office Space type of job. Your Social Media should reflect the fun and beauty that is improv. Whether it is pictures from the event, quotes from the show, or what is going on backstage, let your audience, performers, and online community know the fun you are having. Don’t be an asshole.

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Reflection #100HappyDays Day 40ish

I’ve been asked by several people why am I doing the #100happydays challenge. I appear to already be happy all the time my friend Brandon has repeated, and while I want to argue…I can’t.I am happy, but there is always the thought of missing. Missing a moment, someone, or something. I think a part of the reason I did this challenge to answer what is missing.

I am getting there. What I can say is at this point in the challenge, I have started to smell the roses more. I am one of those go until the wheels fall off and then some more. It’s almost like I can’t be by myself and enjoy my surroundings mainly out of fear. Fear of being left to my own thoughts and questioning them. ‘What will make me happy and are you?’ is one I repeat a lot. For the most part yes, but something is missing. And as corny as it sounds, the more I do this challenge, the more I am getting a clearer answer of I can’t plan my happiness.

My best friend Karli (if she is reading this) is probably say uh duh as I am a planner. At one point I had my whole life planned of getting married and having kids after college in a job that requires a suit. I would say I often ignored the little part of me that said that’s a dumb idea, but my actions of travel, bad breakups said otherwise. You need to do more, and while it maybe for others, it isn’t for you now.  Don’t get me wrong, I would love to have all that one day (well maybe not the suit portion), but it took life and my mind and body agreeing that planning was silly including my happiness.

I’ve found by doing so, a lot more positive energy has come my way and my Type A personality has calmed down…kind of. 🙂

Here’s to 60ish more days of happy to lead to a lifetime. You can follow the adventure at http://www.instagram.com/mariakonopken