Yes, interacting with your audience is important but I’m just not convinced it’s always necessary to have an account on every social media platform, especially when it comes to Facebook.
Call me crazy but I use Facebook to interact with friends—not to read ads. No matter how much I love a company, I tend to shy away from “liking” a company page. I have found that (generally) it will fill my news feed with useless information.
Guess what, your competitor isn’t always right. It’s not always necessary for a business to get on Facebook, especially if you’re not going to say something relevant to the conversation. You don’t want to be “that guy”. I’ll de-friend you, I swear I will, and so will others.
What does this have anything to do with dance?
I want dancers to think about how they interact on Facebook. I’m seeing a trend on Facebook with dancers who spend all of their time posting self-advertisements. In a previous post I argued that dancers are a brand, but you don’t have to be all business. If I’m friends with you on Facebook, I want you to be a friend or at least behave like one.
I have seen great success with dance studios that have a Facebook account. What is the key to their success? They interact like they are a person—generally because they are a person (FYI—that works on Twitter too. Scott Monty is a great example).
Take The Dance Centre by Heidi Glynias for example. The owner, Heidi, has taken ownership of the page and it is visible. When responding to a post, she clearly identifies herself. This is a form of transparency you may not think about, but it applies. The personality behind The Dance Centre’s Facebook page is endearing and makes engaging with the studio feel organic.
The Broadway Dance Center in New York City on the other hand does not interact with a unique voice. In real life I am a fan of the Broadway Dance Center, so why wouldn’t I want to be a fan of its Facebook page? Honestly, it has nothing to say. Plus, I have no idea who is behind its Facebook page and that slightly irritates me. I want to know who I am talking to – I want to interact with people, not a logo.
Admittedly I grew up dancing at The Dance Centre so I might be bias, but I also studied at the Broadway Dance Center. As objective as I can be, I just think The Dance Centre understands the social media platform better. Therefore, I am far more engaged with The Dance Centre on Facebook.
I’m not a studio owner so what about me?
Dancers can use Facebook to their advantage as well. When posting on Facebook from a personal account, don’t spend all of your time promoting yourself. However, throwing in some professional information is just fine.
What professional information is appropriate for Facebook?
Classes you are teaching, great classes you took and posting class videos all fit into that criteria. Erica Sobol often posts when she is subbing a class and Adam Parson will post what routines or songs he is using in class. Dancers care about this information, a.k.a. it’s relevant.
No doubt these mentions drive dancers to classes, and high class attendance is the closest thing you have to job security as a teacher.
I’m also a huge fan of dancers showing gratitude. If you just took a great class, then tell someone. Facebook is a way to go about doing that. But don’t post a comment just to suck up to a choreographer. However, if it is authentic, then go for it.
In a previous post, I wrote about the importance of YouTube for dancers. Posting your videos on Facebook works too.
My close friend, Kelsey Wilkins, often posts videos of choreography from her classes on Facebook. As a result of posting these videos, demand for an adult hip hop class was discovered. Action was taken and an adult hip hop class was created. How did Kelsey let people know about this class? Facebook of course. This is a perfect example of the groundswell in action.
Another friend, Nicole Russo, posted a video of her performance from the illusive Carnival (Choreographer’s Ball) in Los Angeles on Facebook. Given the exposure that the video generated, people will remember her face. Additionally I was able to view an important milestone in her career.
What success stories have you seen on Facebook—related or unrelated to dance? What are the major pitfalls you have seen?