Ask A Cabaret Question Wednesday At McElrath Cabaret–What Have You Found To Be The Most Effective Form Of Social Media To Use For Promoting Your Cabaret Act? Join the Conversation!

 

Welcome to McElrath Cabaret!  We hope you enjoy our cabaret blog.

 

This is a funny Noel Coward song that would be wonderful for use in a cabaret act–”Why Must The Show Go On?”  The lyrics are great!  (You might remember it from the opening of the film In The Bleak Midwinter directed by Kenneth Branagh.)  You can learn more about Sir Noel Coward at his official website, his Wikipedia entry, as well as a listing on IBDB.  There is also a Noel Coward Society–enjoy!

 

Hello everyone!  Hope everything is coming up roses for you and for me today.  Our gig last weekend went very well.  The audience started out small, but as visitors to the park heard the music, they began congregating at the gazebo where we were playing, so we had a full house by the end of the show!  Everyone seemed to enjoy it, and we had nice feedback afterward, so it was fun. KJ is back playing piano with a “boogie band” in a couple of weeks at the same location, so if you’re in the area, stop on by and say hi!

 

Wednesday is the day of the week when we at McElrath Cabaret post a cabaret question for the consideration of our readers.  The questions have something to do with cabaret, in all its many aspects.

 

We encourage you to send us any cabaret question that you have that you would like us to pose to the group! You can leave a question in the comments section below, or you can email it to us at kjandathenacabaret [at]gmail.com. Just fill in the [at] with the @ symbol—we need to foil the spam bots, don’cha know.

  

This week’s question is:  What is your most effective form of social media to use for promoting your cabaret act?

 

I spend a lot of time online each day, and at points throughout the day find myself at several of the social media outlets.  For me, they count as social media if you can communicate with your audience back-and-forth through it–they can leave you a comment in some manner, and you can get back in touch with them.  They include, at least for me:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Google+

I don’t know that I have any definitive answers to this question.  In terms of what we use to get butts in the seats at our shows, it’s a combination of all of these, but really it boils down to word-of-mouth promotion to people we know here in the local area.  Facebook helps a little bit in this regard, and the others not at all.  The McElrath Cabaret blog is also a way that we announce our shows and let people know about our upcoming performances.  In addition, we have an email list that interested people can opt into, and I send out an email blast to everyone a couple of times before a performance.  I always try to call everyone on that list on the phone and give them the information as well, and stay in touch with them, so they feel welcomed and want to come see us perform.  We also try to get out wherever there are open mics prior to our performance dates and do a few songs to entice people to come see our show as well, as much as we can with limited opportunities in this regard in our particular locale.  All of this helps.

In looking at our Google Analytics results for the McElrath Cabaret blog, I can tell you this:  most of our visitors find us organically.  In other words, they type in the name of the blog, our names or a search keyword having to do with cabaret, and they find us through search engines.  However, the top 2 ways they find the blog through social media is through Facebook and LinkedIn, much more so than by Twitter and Google +.   So what that means is if I have limited time to spend on social media, I will tend to spend it on Facebook and LinkedIn, because more people will see it there and respond to it than the other social outlets, at least at this point in time.

So why is that?

Facebook is where many of the regional cabaret associations and organizations have an online presence, (Cabaret West, Pacific Northwest Cabaret Association, MAC, etc.).  In this way, cabaret folks have a place to go online to find the latest cabaret news for their region of the country, and are interested in reading what other cabaret performers have to say.  We also set up a fan page on Facebook, and I daily post cabaret posts and information there as well, so it’s another way that people who have “liked” us can find out more about cabaret and what we are up to.

LinkedIn has a Cabaret group, which is small but seems to be growing.  I get the impression that a lot more people read that cabaret group’s posts than actually normally leave comments, and you never know who might read your new “discussion” topic, but that’s just my gut feeling–not sure that I have a lot of hard evidence to back that up.  (One time we had a well-known booker to a high-profile cabaret entertainer leave a comment to one of our discussions there, and I had no idea this person was in the group or reading the discussions, so that was cool!)  It seems to me to be underutilized, and it offers an easy way to give yourself some national and worldwide exposure of your cabaret news and shows.  I wish that more people in the cabaret world would join the group and add discussions to the LinkedIn Cabaret group, and I wish someone would post some real cabaret jobs there as well (it tends to be a little spammy when it comes to the job listings there, in my opinion.)

I am really new to Google+, so haven’t had time to develop an online presence there fully yet, but it could grow.  It’s easy to use, and at this point kind of feels like a duplicate of Facebook to me, except without the “likes.”

div>Twitter is very quick and easy to use, and that’s the beauty of it.  The problem is that there are so many tweets coming in, it tends to be overwhelming.  If I’m overwhelmed and short on time, I just won’t read it all, and that’s the downside of Twitter, I think.  In order to be effective on Twitter, you pretty much need to repost your tweet several times throughout the day.  Most people are not sitting online all day long, and they will completely miss a tweet that you put up at 9am if they check in with Twitter after work, for example.  And all that repetition adds up to a heck of a lot of tweets to weed your way through–if time is short, most people won’t do it.  It is helpful when others who like your tweet retweet it, because they your message goes out to people you would never reach otherwise, so it is helpful in creating a larger audience awareness of who you are and what you have to offer in terms of your cabaret act.  (And thank you to those readers who have done just that for us–we appreciate it very much, and do our best to retweet you as well!)  Humor seems to work really well on Twitter–if you want to get noticed there, if you can be funny in an inclusive and not mean way, you’ll get people to click on your links.

Another one that I am going to try to start using for cabaret is Pinterest.  (I use it a lot for my gardening/home decorating blog.)  If you have something to sell, like an album or maybe a show, you can pin it on Pinterest on your own boards, and then others can repin it from there.  I think it might work better with something available to sell that you can hold in your hands, like an album or sheet music, arrangements, something like that, but again, that is just my opinion at this point in my experience with Pinterest.   And like with all the social media, you can include your website/blog information on your pins that you post, so that helps to refer people to your home page for more information about what you have to offer.  I think if you had a great flyer for your show with a wonderful publicity picture on it, go and pin it on Pinterest–it’s all about the pictures, so why not?

I also think that social media is a two-way street.  If every time you go to these outlets and ask people for something each time (ie. come pay a cover and minimum to see my show), they are going to get a little burned out on the experience.  If you can sometimes also offer them some fun things, like a cool cabaret video, or some interesting cabaret information, maybe a giveaway of a few copies of your latest album, or even if you are giving a free performance somewhere, I think that goes a long way toward building a relationship with your audience.  If you were mingling with people at a party, and really this social media phenomenon is a bit like one big online party, you’ve probably noticed that nobody likes a constant taker, so try to be a giver as well.


I can’t wait to hear what your responses are to today’s question, and what your experience is with social media and promoting your cabaret act, so let me know down in the comments here.  If we get a good response, I’ll do a follow-up post to put all your responses together for you.

 

You can also leave a comment on LinkedInGoogle+Facebook or Twitter.  And you can always feel free to drop us a line, either in the comments below or send us a direct email, and let us know a cabaret question that you would like us to ask, and we’ll do our best to include it in an upcoming Wednesday post.

 

I truly look forward to your joining the conversation with your comments! We value each of our readers very much, and hope to entertain you and give you a place to come and learn more about cabaret.

 

 If you like this post, Like us on FacebookFollow us on Twitter, and subscribe to our blog via email or RSS–thank you!  

 

We are now also on LinkedIn–which has a Cabaret group you should join (!)–and Google+.  You can connect with us there as well.

 

We appreciate your support!


Till next time, 


ps–The Cabaret Soiree Link Party is still going strong–you can visit anytime to click on the links and see what others have posted, or you can share your own recent cabaret blog or cabaret website link from now through Thursday.  Link is below.

 

Weekly Post Lineup At McElrath Cabaret:

Mondays:  Cabaret Soiree Cabaret Blog Link Party

Tuesdays:  Cabaret Tip Tuesday

Wednesdays:  Ask A Cabaret Question

Thursdays:  Featured Cabaret Blog, Website, Performer

Fridays:  Cabaret Through Time

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About Athena at McElrath Cabaret

Athena McElrath is an entertainer with a love for theatre and singing. She enjoys delving in the area of historical cabaret, researching the singers and clubs that were in business from before 1920 to the present, in New York and beyond.
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