Here at Box Clever we are constantly looking for new ways to work with our audience. One of these ways that we have been exploring recently is with engagement though our Facebook and Twitter profiles. By taking these small steps and asking people on these profiles what they really think about the plays, the text and the performances, we are able to quickly gauge what they like and understand. With the rise of social networking, digital technologies, apps, widgets and devices such as iPads – there is a whole new world of engagement with our audience just waiting to happen.
Going to Edinburgh Festival this year has presented us with an opportunity to take things even further in our quest for finding new ways to engage. As well as tapping into usual marketing and engagement methods (like traditional flyering) we have looked to develop something more unique and experiential than ever before. We are building a 6ft real life Facebook page, for our character of ‘The Boy’ in the play Time for the Good Looking Boy. Through the page we want to showcase the Boy’s relationships with his friends, girlfriend, sister and mum. By dropping hints into the page through copy (status updates), comments, pictures and other media, we want the audience at Edinburgh to get a real flavour of the character’s life and situation – to understand his backstory so to speak. What’s more, the audience at Edinburgh will be able to interact with the page by writing their own status updates, or standing behind the Facebook page and inserting their face as the profile picture. This in turn creates unique, personalised content that we hope the audience will want to share on their own social media platforms, and also so that they feel as though they have contributed to part of the play’s narrative.
But why? A six foot Facebook page parading down the Royal Mile at Edinburgh Festival may sound a little gimmicky, but we feel that it is a sign; a sign that times have changed and channels of engagement and understanding between Arts organisations and audiences (or potential audiences) are becoming more and more open. Here at Box Clever we are embracing these times – we want to reach these new audiences in the most relevant and versatile way possible to them.
So look out for us at Edinburgh – trying to do things a little differently and hopefully raising a new kind of awareness with a new kind of audience about what our play is trying to say.