3 Ways Social Media Will Change After the Pandemic with the Citadel Theatre
Written by Rachel Gibeau
As we begin to dust ourselves off and imagine a world beyond COVID-19, there’s no looking back: Social media has changed forever.
Thanks to 2020, technology has evolved at a breakneck pace. But, most of all, the way we connect has altered, too. Consumers expect brands to create fresh and immersive online experiences that live up to their lifestyles and values.
Our client the Citadel Theatre has more than risen to the occasion. As the mothership of modern theatre in Edmonton, their entire social media experience has shifted during COVID-19. With that, the Citadel has found new ways to connect with their passionate patrons and artists.
Explore their top tips to adapt your social media as we emerge from the pandemic.
#1: Stay True to Your Purpose
Selling for the sake of making money just won’t cut it anymore. Today’s consumers will see straight through that. Endless options are only a Google search away, so your brand has to embody a purpose that your audience can believe in.
The Citadel has done exactly that. Even before the pandemic, they had begun to shape a brand position of inclusive, innovative, and internationally renowned theatre. They also started to target the next generation of theatregoers. This involved modernizing the Citadel’s brand aesthetic, messaging, and programming to appeal to younger audiences.
COVID-19 launched these efforts into hyperspeed, moving all their performances—and marketing—online. So, how can you stay true to your purpose like the Citadel did?
- Evolve your visuals and messaging. The Citadel’s iconic logo and orange colours are present across their profile picture and social graphics. Their social media captions also capture their bold, thought-provoking, and playful brand voice.
- Post content with your purpose in mind. Themes help centre your social media around your brand and business goals. In the Citadel’s case, their content topics align with the organization’s rich history, promotional content for productions, stories from artists and fans, and celebrating relevant holidays.
- Hyper-target your audience. Social media advertising is one of the best ways to reach consumers who believe in what your brand offers. Knowing the ages, lifestyles, and motivations of the Citadel’s younger target audience, we’ve helped them launch Facebook ads that generate clicks and ticket sales for their online performances.
#2: Create Killer Experiences
Digital experiences should feel (almost) as energetic as live ones. In a post-pandemic world, in-person events will soon return, but online content will remain a popular option. Your brand needs to find its sweet spot in this hybrid era.
The Citadel has adapted their show-stopping performances to a filmed format, but they haven’t simply set up a camera in front of a stage. They’ve altered their sets and scripts to create the most captivating experience possible.
Beyond the Citadel’s performances, their live streams and social media have given patrons a peek behind the curtain of the theatre company. In a time where we’re feeling social isolation and loneliness, they’ve fostered a deep sense of belonging with their community:
- Find creative ways to connect. The Citadel’s Stuck-in-the-House series brought artists together to share their quirky quarantine performances. They also hosted Horizon interviews to spark conversations with BIPOC theatre industry leaders. Video series and webinars like these are powerful ways to create interactive experiences with your followers.
- Share the human side of your brand. Creative and talented people are a vital aspect of Citadel’s culture. Their social media content focuses on the unique experiences and perspectives of their artists, creating an authentic vibe on their feed.
- It’s time to invest in video. Whether it’s heartfelt interviews or intriguing production clips, the Citadel understands the power of storytelling on social media. Professional video equipment isn’t always necessary—thoughtful Zoom interviews can also generate high engagement.
#3: Harness Data & Social Listening
Online conversations are full of juicy insights, and they’re the perfect opportunity to create a memorable experience with your followers. If you’re not listening to what customers are saying about you, you could be missing out on chances to win their loyalty.
Throughout the pandemic and beyond, the Citadel has been savvy about social listening. Comments and messages have been a crucial channel for patrons to understand how to navigate online performances. The Citadel also taps into important theatre industry conversations to build its community.
Here’s how can you keep an ear to social listening like the Citadel:
- Be smart about responding to trends. The Citadel strives to create inclusive spaces in theatre, so they post about holidays that align with this mission. From Black History Month to International Women’s Day, they stay tapped into relevant topics and create content that resonates with their followers.
- Engage with prominent industry influencers. The Citadel’s vibrant community of theatre professionals is integral to growing the organization’s voice online. On social media, the nonprofit makes an effort to respond to conversations with industry leaders while also resharing and amplifying their work.
- Adapt at a moment’s notice. With COVID-19 laws changing from month to month, the Citadel has had to close, re-open, and close multiple times. They keep a pulse on the broader cultural landscape so that when regulations do change, they’re ready to pivot their programming and content at the drop of a hat.
Inspire Connection on Social Media
When you keep your audience and brand values at the heart of your social media content, then community tends to follow.