November 2013 saw the Festival of Small Halls kick off their very first tour to 17 regional communities. Winding their way from Mullumbimby Music Festival through to Woodfood Folk Festival, with two acclaimed musicians, one international and one Aussie, the festival delighted audiences at every stop. Throughout the project, Festival of Small Halls put out the call to communities to nominate their hall to be a host on the next tour. They promoted this at performances, through the media, on their social media networks and to anyone they came across along the way.
The nomination process was executed through Festival of Small Halls Facebook page, generating engagement with new audiences who were keen to see their hall make the cut. Over the following month Festival of Small Halls Facebook following grew significantly from 1500 to over 4000 followers.
Using social media as a voting platform, or to ask a question of your followers is an effective way to engage new audiences and grow your following.
Asking your followers to vote on your organisation's next publication cover, offer the chance for user-driven programing or to help choose the best hero image for your production are just some ways to allow for greater audience engagement on social media. This approach works particularly well when there is a genuine desire to engage local community, and should be considered more than a marketing exercise. Social media is an excellent way of reaching a broad geographic spread cheaply and easily.