Nowadays, if you want to market your choir and gain new members and bigger audiences, you need to use social media.
Today, there are more choirs than ever before. I remember a time, not that long ago, when if you wanted to join a choir the choice was between the local church choir and the village Choral Society. At the time (the late 1980s), I was still at school and sang in a number of school choirs. And yes, I did join both the church choir and the choral society too.
At the last count there was rumoured to be in the region of 25,000 choirs in the UK (including school choirs), and it’s been suggested that around 2 million people are now regularly singing in choirs.
That’s a lot of people! In fact it’s probably fair to say that, outside of sport, singing in a choir is the most popular hobby there is.
Who wants to be in your choir?
With so many people involved in singing, you might argue it should be fairly easy to be recognised and pick up new members. After all, singing in choirs is such a big thing nowadays, everyone is crying out to be in your choir.
That’s perhaps true. However, with so many choirs in existence, there is now a wide ranging choice. This, of course, is a good thing. Whatever your preferred style of music, whether it’s a Handel Oratorio or thumping out the latest tunes from the charts, there will be a choir not far away to cater for your needs.
This means that even if you only cater for a certain type of music, or indeed you are a ‘single sex’ choir then you most likely have quite a lot of competition right on your doorstep. The key then is to find a way of standing out, or at least being found amongst the mass of choirs wanting to attract new members.
How can Social Media Help?
For a while now I have taken part in #choralhour which is an ‘event’ on twitter every Friday evening at 9pm (UK time). It’s a simple enough concept, lots of choirs get together and effectively have a chat. It’s a bit like networking to equate a similarity with the business world.
Some might argue why would you chat to your ‘competitors’? But choirs don’t work like that. Certainly my view is that choirs can do so much more by working together. And by using twitter you can easily find other choirs who would love to work together.
Here in Cirencester we are always welcoming choirs to join us in concerts and we love the opportunity to travel around to sing with other choirs. Not only is this a great way to give your audiences something different but it can be fun travelling to different places to put on concerts with other choirs.
Facebook is another popular tool for choirs. Creating a Facebook event is a great way of getting people to interact with your choir and promoting your concerts to a wider audience.
Does it work?
Here in Cirencester, we are only just beginning to fully embrace the range of options available by using social media as part of our choir marketing. It’s perhaps a bit early to say we have conquered the world through our use of social media. But we are at least heading in the right direction. If you happen to be reading this we would love to hear about your experiences using social media for your choirs. We’d also love to hear from any choirs who would like to team up with us to put on a concert together.