Twitter Tips for Dance Organizations

Earlier this week, Dance Magazine tweeted a link to an article from its February 2008 2011 issue titled “Dancing in the Twittersphere” by Nancy Wozny. Wozny talked about how dancers from So You Think You Can Dance? and dance companies like Houston Ballet have embraced the micro-blogging tool to connect with their communities. The story got me thinking about dance organizations in the DC Metro area; and how even after three years since the article came out, many have yet to effectively utilize this social networking tool.

I am no Twitter expert, but I like to think that I’ve attended enough professional development events, spoke with enough social media enthusiasts and read enough articles to learn a thing or two. If you need some additional reassurance, Klout – the standard for influence – considers me an ‘activist.’ I have a cause I want to share (dance in DC) and my audience counts on me to champion this cause. After thinking about my interactions with and reading the Twitter feeds of various dance organizations, I came up with suggestions on how these groups can improve their social media outreach:

Dance Place1) EngagementMany of the dance organizations I follow on Twitter have never acknowledged my direct messages or mentions. I don’t expect a response to every tweet, but at least answer questions. To improve engagement with followers, listen to what your followers are saying and seek out opportunities to communicate. Use search.twitter.com to monitor conversations about your organization and respond with a personal touch. A great example is this tweet from Dance Place.

2) ConsistencyYou don’t have to tweet every hour to be consistent. Decide what works best for your organization and stick with it. There are too many feeds out there that have been created and have no tweets. Or even worse, the last time they tweeted was May 21st, 2010! I’m talking about you, @Velocity_DC (also your background and bio information says 2009!). If you don’t have the resources to manage your feed, get rid of it.

3) Tools – Finally, there are a lot of simple tools out there to help make the most out of your 140 characters. URLs can be long, but there’s bit.ly to shorten your links. Social media dashboards like Hootsuite also have this function and allow you to schedule tweets in advance so you can focus on other tasks. I also learned about What the Hashtag?! from Amanda Miller Littlejohn and Alex Priest at their DC Power Twitter workshop last August. This site allows you to find out what hashtags have been used so you can create a unique one for your event.

I could go on and on about Twitter, but hopefully this is a good starting point. There are tons of articles and websites that provide Twitter tips, but I really like this list from Chris Brogan. You can also check out the upcoming PR and Social Media Bootcamp: Kicking Up Your Social Media workshop presented by C. Fox Communications and the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County Friday, February 25th.

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About Cecile
Cecile Oreste is an arts marketing and public relations professional living in New York City. Follow her on Twitter @cecileoreste.

9 Responses to Twitter Tips for Dance Organizations

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Twitter Tips for Dance Organizations « danceDC -- Topsy.com

  2. Rachel Bell says:

    Great insight, Cecile – thanks for sharing!

  3. It is like you read my mind. Someone recently talked me into registering my company, alight dance theater, for a Twitter account. I can see its potential, but, honestly, I feel Twitter-impaired! 🙂 Thanks for your helpful hints. Hopefully, I will improve my Twitter skills in the future.

  4. Sarah Lokitis says:

    I think as a brand or organization you should own your domain, facebook page (not a normal friend account), and a twitter account even if you don’t plan on using it right away. Once someone takes those names from you, it may be hard to get them back.

    I agree that using HootSuite or Tweetdeck to monitor your important keywords and mentions is vital to following up on conversations with your audience. With the NEA facing major cuts, it is important to create or maintain solid connections with your audience, so they will be there to support you if the time comes.

    Thanks for this article! It is really useful for dance organizations using social media.

  5. This is a fantastic resource! Great advice. I seriously heart hootsuite. It’s good to know that Dancewave can be represented in the twittersphere everyday! Twitter is such a great tool, but often gets neglected.

  6. Hi Cecile,
    I really enjoyed this article. You had some great tips! I think even though there are tons of people on Twitter, there are still alot of noobs out there, and we can never share enough information on Twitterverse!

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