More than 82% of the U.S. population uses social media and arts marketers are no strangers to the demands of churning out fresh content to keep those users engaged. But are you prioritizing the right content for the right platforms?
We dug into the data from the latest Performing Arts Ticket Buyer Media Usage Study, based on the results of a survey of 17,000 performing arts ticket buyers, to give you a pulse check on the social media landscape. The survey was conducted in August 2021 and the study was released in March of this year.
Where Do Ticket Buyers Spend Time Every Day?
To inform your content strategy, we’ve broken each platform down not just by how prevalent they are among ticket buyers, but also by how many of those users access the platform daily.
What Does This Figure Say? YouTube has a high usership overall, but most users aren’t using it every day. In contrast, Facebook and Instagram both have a medium level of overall usership, but most of those users are using the platform at a high frequency (daily or more frequently). LinkedIn, Twitter, and TikTok all have smaller audiences among ticket buyers who use the platforms with less frequency.
The most prevalent social media platform by far is YouTube, with 90% of ticket buyers using the platform. Facebook is a distant second, with 66% of ticket buyers spending time there. But they each have different patterns of use: despite YouTube’s reach, only 28% of those users can be counted on to visit the platform every day, while an impressive 65% of Facebook users check their newsfeed daily. Instagram is another platform with a high daily visitorship of 51% of the 43% of ticket buyers who use it.
So, what does this mean for your social media strategy? Well, it may say less about which platforms you should be focusing on and more about the content you create for each.
Key Ingredients for Captivating Content:
1. Hone your timely, relevant content for high-frequency platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Since your audience will be on these platforms every day, they’re likely to catch your day-to-day updates.
2. Develop a mix of evergreen and branded content that has a shelf life for lower-frequency platforms like YouTube.
3. Across platforms, find your “social sweet spot,” where your needs and the users’ interests intersect. This ensures you stay relevant and welcome in their feeds so they engage with your content and share it with their friends and family.
4. Stay abreast of changes to platform algorithms to ensure your organic content gets maximum reach. And in 2022, the name of the game is short-form, vertical video (more on this below!).
It’s TikTok’s Time to Shine
But what about TikTok? With only 11% of ticket buyers saying they use TikTok with any frequency, it may seem less critical to your strategy than other platforms at first glance—but let’s dive deeper.
When we break it down by age, we see that among ticket buyers, 47% of 18-24-year-olds and 25% of 25-34-year-olds are on TikTok.
And since we conducted the survey in August 2021, TikTok has only continued to grow. In fact, its global monthly active users grew from 1 billion in September 2021 to nearly 1.4 billion in January 2022. Plus, according to Scott Galloway, the average TikTok user spent 26 hours per month on the platform in 2021—that’s more than Facebook and Instagram combined!
At CI, we’ve kept a close eye on TikTok’s rise to prominence over the past couple of years and, at last, we’re ready to put out the call: it’s time for arts organizations to start planning for TikTok.
In the latest episode of the CI to Eye podcast, CI’s Managing Director, Christopher Williams, laid the groundwork:
Adopting TikTok won't happen overnight, but think about how you can start dedicating resources to vertical video in the coming months. The podcast episode also features a segment where Senior Consultants Sam Kindler and Laura Dauksewicz share their expert tips on preparing your organization for TikTok content creation, so give it a listen to learn more!
Getting Hip to Vertical Video
It’s not just TikTok that’s presenting a change; the platform has disrupted the social media landscape so much that other platforms are also adopting and even prioritizing short-form, vertical video, too.
YouTube’s answer to this trend is YouTube Shorts, which had received five trillion all-time views as of December 2021 and clocks in at 15 billion global daily views (source: Google Marketing Live 2022). And Instagram has made no secret that its algorithm now strongly prefers Reels to static content.
Whatever platforms you’re creating for, the future of content is 9:16 video. Here are three tips to get going:
Start scrolling and familiarize yourself with the style of the content. Is the tone more casual than your organization’s typical social media voice? How can you use the in-platform video editing tools to your brand’s advantage?
Get creative! What trends might feel like a natural fit for your organization to lean into? Are there any recurring content series that would highlight your team or your artistic product?
Empower your team of content creators. Can you streamline your content approval process to be able to respond quickly to trends? How might your artists contribute to your vertical video efforts with behind-the-scenes footage?
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you’re not alone; the digital landscape is more volatile than ever before. Embrace these shifts one step at a time, focusing on iterative changes you can make to your content creation process. Those skills will follow you to TikTok and beyond…to whichever new platform we’ll be watching out for next!