Monday, November 09, 2015

Only connect – a brief introduction to social media for choirs

In case you haven’t noticed: this is the modern world.

social media

If you’re not promoting your choir on social media, then you’re missing a trick. Here’s a handy introduction.

internet and social media

There are people who spend all day on Facebook, and there are those who only read their emails each spring.

Most of us live somewhere between these two extremes. Pretty much everyone these days connects to the internet and world wide web on a regular basis whether it’s at work or home.

The great benefit of using the internet as a marketing tool for your choir recruitment, concert promotions and singing workshop advertising is that it’s free.

There are so many different kinds of social media out there these days that it’s easy to get overwhelmed. My advice is to pick a maximum of two and focus on those.

Each medium has a particular angle. For example, LinkedIn is for professionals to network (not somewhere to promote a choir really), Instagram and Pinterest are all about images and photos and Twitter is mainly about text and just 140 characters at that.

Each medium also has a particular demographic. For instance, if you’re after youngsters then you’ll choose things like Snapchat, Instagram or Tumblr. Young people don’t use Facebook any more, they spend most of their time texting instead.

Most social media use ‘streams’ or ‘timelines’ which are rather like live conveyor belts of everybody’s stuff that slowly passes by your eyes. If you miss it, it’s gone. The only way of finding something from a few hours ago is to scroll down endlessly through loads of other stuff until you find what you’re looking for.

Facebook and Twitter

The two most common platforms for promoting choirs and singing are Facebook and Twitter. Most choirs have accounts on both of these and this is what I’ll focus on in this post.

Here are some things you need to consider, whatever platform you use:

  • claim your unique URL – it’s not much good having a page on Facebook that looks like: or people won’t find your choir. Make sure you claim your personalised URL so you can be or, etc.
  • schedule your posts – because things pass by on timelines, make sure you post regularly and at different times. Either do this by hand or use an app such as Buffer or Hootsuite to schedule posts.
  • don’t post too often – or in bursts of activity or your followers will get overwhelmed and probably stop following you.
  • promote your social media presence – put links to your social media accounts on your website, in your email signature and on your printed publicity. Choose a variety of media so you can reach people in a variety of ways.
  • Facebook page or group? – Facebook allows you to set up a ‘page’ which you can invite people to follow, or a ‘group’ which people ask to join. The Facebook algorithm means that even if someone is following you page, they only get to see a very small percentage of the things you post. If you set up a group then group members will tend to see most things. Groups are good for choir members – you can make it closed or public.
  • timing is everything – different people look as different social media at different times. Some check when the working day starts, whilst others only look at weekends. Make sure you post at optimum times for people who follow you. Don’t ignore overseas people in different time zones if you want to promote internationally.
  • automatic re-posting sucks – some people set up their Facebook or YouTube account to automatically share their posts to Twitter.The trouble is they are very different mediums. If you’ve written a finely crafted Facebook post longer than 140 characters what appears on Twitter will just be something like “First few sentences cut off in the mid ... .
  • use images and sounds – don’t just limit your posts to text but post plenty of photos and sounds too (see One recording is worth a thousand photos – use sound to promote your choir). You can live tweet from your concert or workshop, then post a recording from your SoundCloud account the following day.
  • promote others too – people who relentlessly promote their own choirs get boring very quickly. Provide a service to those who follow you by sharing posts and information from other sources too.
  • don’t rely on any one source – use social media alongside other means of promotion and make sure they connect to each other. A printed poster won’t work on it’s own, but will remind people of something they’ve read in the local paper. A Facebook event won’t guarantee people come to your concert, but will remind people of a flier they picked up recently.

email still rules

One final thing. Don’t get too obsessive about social media, it’s just one tool in your promotional toolbox. The fact is that email still rules. Make sure you build and maintain your email mailing list.

Do let me know about your own experiences with social media. What works for you?

In the meantime, you can connect with me here:

Chris Rowbury



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Chris Rowbury


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