This is my 199th post in a row, but it’s going to be a lame one because I’m already at work, waiting for a meeting rental group to show up and ask, individually, “What, no popcorn?” in thousands of new and irritating ways.
Anyway, the cinema is at a crossroads: Business is (mostly) fine, but we have been using the same outlets for publicity for a long time (our printed programme) and circulation is way the hell down. We have a Facebook group, a Twitter feed, and an email list, as well as a website, and yet, all that crap doesn’t seem to be enough to replace a printed guide somehow. People don’t find the information they need and/or think we aren’t clear enough about things. It’s infuriating and confusing – reading comprehension has gone out the window with the rise of social media-related attention deficiencies.
Our customer base skews older, generally, and some (though fewer than before) don’t even have the internet, so our printed guide will not be disappearing (yet), but social media strategy for this kind of business, where we don’t want to step on the toes of distributors or annoy people by nagging them to death online, is tricky. Anyone have any tips, or websites to recommend, to help us develop a better system and adjust (at last) to the 20th century?
3 thoughts on “This internet thing.”
Circulation down? in what way, lots of left over guides?, guides not being picked up?
The internet is great but if your costs are low for the guide (off set by ads) I would keep the guide. It gets you out on the street and neighbourhood that the internet and social media will never do.
Leftover guides and much lower mailing list sign-ups. It’s still our best tool, though, so we will continue for years to come.
On the social media front, some of the independent theaters in the Boston area do a very good job with this. You might want to look at the Somerville Theatre, the Brattle Theatre, and the Coolidge Corner Theatre on Facebook. They are all locally owned and independent (in fact, the Coolidge and the Brattle are nonprofits). I’ve even seen the owner or manager (I can’t remember which) of the Somerville Theatre answering questions on a local LJ community.