You’ve built an army, but the war is over. What do you do with ’em?

You ever cruise Facebook or Twitter, and see a page that hasn’t been updated in awhile?  And I’m not talking days or weeks . . . but months . . . years even.  You know what I’m talking about . . . a page where the last post says something like, “Have you see Frozen yet?  I think “Let It Go” might be a keeper,” or “Happy millennium everyone . . . Y2-what?”

There’s nothing more depressing.  To me, pages like that are like abandoned houses in bad neighborhoods, with weeds where the grass once grew, and broken beer bottles strewn on the stoop.

It’s one thing if you stumbled on a page like this once owned by a fifty year old dude who put a few days into tweetin’ and then just went back to watching Law and Order.

But it’s another thing when you find a business page, with thousands of fans and followers, that is no longer active.  Because at one time that business may have spent tons of time and beaucoup de bucks building up that social media army.  Such a shame.

And it happens on Broadway all the time.

All shows eventually close on Broadway, and many close quicker than traditional businesses, which leaves tons of social media pages and their fans/followers without “direction.”  Without continued messaging, the fans just dissipate, drifting off somewhere else.

I’ll give you some examples:

  • Mary Poppins:  619k Facebook Likes, 14k Twitter Followers.  Last post?  Two years ago.
  • American Idiot:  200k Facebook Likes, 48k Twitter Followers.  Last post?  A year ago.
  • Spider-Man:  78k Facebook Likes, 14k Twitter Followers.  Last post?  Over a year ago. 

Those are some serious distribution channels, don’t you think?

Man, current shows would kill for that kind of marketing army.  And instead, the army sits there idle.  Or worse, off and fighting for someone else, because they were never told who to fight for next.

So what happened?

It’s simple.  Those sites are controlled by ad agencies or marketing firms, and when the shows close, the firms are no longer employed, so duh, nothing happens.  You can’t blame the firms or agencies for it at all.

But there has to be a way to use this potential for the future, don’t you think?

  • When the same producer produces a new show (Disney?), should there be at least a social media push to try that new show?
  • Should the stock and amateur companies take over the pages to promote the licensing?  And build fans all over the world?
  • Should the final message before a social media page signs off direct everyone to join another “catch all” list or page (like a Broadway League Fan Club page)?
  • Can you rename the account with your new show and start off with an army in the bank (aggressive, but for some shows it might work)?

While this post mostly refers to social media, it certainly applies to email lists as well.  Maybe even more!

Building a following ain’t easy, especially on social media.  A click is its own form of currency now.  So when you do build an army, don’t just let them run off into the wild when your show closes.  Try to remember The Fantasticks, and figure out a way to get them to follow, follow, follow you to your next show.


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