Now more than ever, social media plays a major part in the world we live in and how we go about our daily lives. Integrating these tools and using them to your advantage can be the best way to support any business, person, idea, and in this case, I’ll share examples of how Apples and Oranges accomplished this while managing the social media accounts for the Broadway show An American in Paris.

Good social media focuses on the audience, what they want, and how to engage with them.  Keeping on top of current trends and emerging applications plays a large part in using social media effectively.

A great example of this is the video live streaming app, Periscope, which became popular around the time An American in Paris opened on Broadway. AAIP used the app to live stream all of the opening night festivities so that people could feel like they were right in the middle of the action. Cast member Brandon Uranowitz also used Periscope to live stream video on opening night, and was able to capture unique moments like the opening night curtain call from the stage looking out on the audience. Apps like these create opportunities for an audience to feel like they are on the “inside.”

Through our different social channels, the AAIP audience essentially had VIP access to the AAIP cast, backstage at The Palace Theatre, Broadway events, parties, special traditions and more. It’s this type of exclusive access that builds lasting relationships between a show and its audience.

Another wonderful social media opportunity AAIP took advantage of was the first-ever Snapchat Live Story for Broadway.  In October 2015, Snapchat (a picture and video messaging application) launched the first “Live Story” for Broadway. Shows like The Lion King, Wicked, Phantom of the Opera and Jersey Boys all participated. The story featured many short, ten-second videos submitted by the respective shows. AAIP opened the story with a series of fun, behind-the-scenes videos showing life on a two-show day at The Palace Theatre. The Broadway Live Story received millions of views worldwide. Just think, a few years ago, a show never would have had access to an audience that size, especially not on a mobile device!

Facebook, still a popular platform for most Broadway shows, serves as a major social platform for AAIP. On average, Facebook users skew a bit older than most of the users on other platforms like Snapchat, Periscope, Instagram or Twitter. Two types of content that typically perform well on Facebook are YouTube videos (i.e. the show’s official trailer) and photo albums from special events and performances.

Instagram serves as a visual-based platform and a great place to conduct contests, sweepstakes and giveaways. AAIP utilized Instagram to conduct ticket giveaways for Valentine’s Day and Halloween in 2015. Contests and giveaways incentivize the action of sharing a photo or a hashtag. When one follower shares the show’s official hashtag, or tags AAIP in a photo, they are spreading the word about that show to their entire audience of followers (and the idea that they support it/endorse it). Visually, this would look like a great big family tree branching out – the more shares and tags, the more the tree grows. Think about the last time you followed an account on Instagram. Was it through a hashtag you searched? A friend who posted a photo and tagged that account? Something you saw your friends recently “liked”? In general, people trust word of mouth or a recommendation from a friend.

Determining your brand keeps content specific and consistent. For instance, AAIP has a friendly, conversational tone, while maintaining a high-class and elegant feel. Since Paris is such a big part of the show, the AAIP social media team adopted the idea of saying “Merci!” instead of “Thank you!” along with other ideas like “French Word of the Week,” and fun facts about Paris. Whenever possible, incorporate what is unique to your brand. AAIP used #themanilove and #igotmygal as the tags for a Valentine’s Day giveaway (both are lyrics from songs in the show). Find your voice as a brand and stick to it. Your audience will appreciate a consistent tone and style.

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