Social Media Performance of Selected European Theaters and Companies
Cultural institutions have already recognized the importance of social media. During the pandemic, these channels were often the only possibility that allowed direct communication with the audience. Naturally they also function as content platforms, allowing theaters, opera houses and ballet companies and their artists to present a digital version of their artistic work, whether through livestreaming on Facebook or with the help of short Instagram videos showing artists practicing at home.
We took a look at a few selected theaters’ social media success, based on their followers, subscribers and likes (as of April 2022).
Although the audience of the more “conservative” channels like YouTube or Facebook can no longer show the same growth as before, they still represent an important pillar of any social media strategy. Since YouTube not only serves as a video platform, but also offers its own ad-free subscription services, with Google behind its back, it is likely to retain its dominance for a long time to come. Especially when it comes to long-form video content, which still has difficulties to establish itself on other channels.
Facebook followers and likes
Facebook pages, on the other hand, are often seen as a source of up-to-date information, which playes an important role in communicating the current situation to the public, for instance about the ever-changing corona restrictions.
While the younger generation is ditching Facebook (if they ever used…), as photo and video content continues to grow on social media, Instagram is taking up an increasingly large portion of the audiences` media consumption time.
TikTok followers and likes
It is no secret, that TikTok swept away everyone with its past years’ growth.
Although with more than a billion monthly active users, it is no exaggeration to say that the channel has established itself as a serious competitor to Meta, most theaters only recently started to post on Tiktok.
As with any social media channel, it is also true here, that it is easier to produce growth when you start to use the channel early, while the later you arrive, the longer it takes to build up an audience.
And the winner is...
It is clear that the absolute winner of this group is the Royal Opera House. Their social media strategy seem to tick all the boxes with high quality, original, regular, platform native content, focusing on interaction, using new possibilities, whether its Reels on Instagram or TikTok videos. Their highly successful World Ballet Day 2021 training has been watched by 640K+ on YouTube (…calculating marketing ROI on that…).
As the Royal Opera House TIkTok channel already collected more than half a million follower (220X the capacity of their auditorium!) one might argue, that today’s real audience of physical theater is online. With TikTok’s demography (60% age btw. 16-24) future’s audience definitely is!
Other institutions were slower to recognise the potential and marketing value of these channels, which naturally require strategic planning and resources in order to produce results.
While these channels are very visual, as the example of ROH also shows, ballet content seem to perform excellent on them!