Published in the August 14, 2012 issue of The Edmonton Sun.
Linda’s social media column can be found every Tuesday in the Edmonton Sun.
Fringe ‘gets’ social media
There’s going to be a lot of activity in Old Strathcona starting Thursday, when the Fringe Festival officially begins. But there’s also going to be a lot of activity surrounding the Fringe Festival online too – Fringe organizers are making sure of that.
Stephanie Enders, project manager for Bottom Line Productions which does marketing for the Fringe Theatre Adventures, tells me being involved with Edmonton’s social media community is very important to the Fringe.
“The best thing about the Fringe festival is the incredible love that the people of Edmonton have for the festival and the really intense kind of affinity they have for our artists and all the hard work they’re putting in,” Enders says.
“All of these conversations exist on platforms without us and we really just want to tap in on the excitement that the community builds around us. We want to be a part of that conversation.”
Because of that, the Fringe is actively using a number of different social networks to interact with people about their shows, the festival, and their artists.
Facebook and Twitter are the big two but the Fringe also uses YouTube, Vimeo, Tumblr, Yelp and, brand new this year, the Fringe is experimenting with fast-growing virtual pinboard network Pinterest.
Not sure what play to see? Festival-goers are encouraged to head to www.pinterest.com/edmontonfringe and browse the boards by show genre. Clicking a show poster image will take you to the box office website to order tickets, easy as that.
Tons of tweets are also expected to populate the #yegfringe hashtag as people chatter about the shows they’re attending and what they thought.
You can find a list of this year’s performers, directors, and writers’ Twitter accounts through a handy list found @EdmontonFringe. Enders says everyone is encouraged to check out tweets from those behind the shows and also tweet them what you think.
People from Edmonton’s online community who’ve never met before could be gathering as part of Fringe-related meet-ups organized through social media as well – the Fringe is encouraging tweet ups! If you’re planning one, tweet @StephEnders, she’ll help get the word out about it.
The Fringe experimented with QR codes last year and as mentioned, Pinterest is the big experiment this year. Enders says the Fringe wants to try out new tools and social networks every year.
The Fringe gets it. They’re embracing social media. They want to be a part of the conversation and buzz happening off-site. Every social network might not work but at least they’re experimenting and believe it’s important to experiment.
So while you’re attending the Fringe this year, know that there will also be a flurry of fun Fringe-activity happening online that enhances the Fringe experience.
You should participate. Take part in the conversation! See you online!
Some Tweets of the Week:
@jackieraecfcw: From #rocknaugust to #cariwest parade downtown #yeg. Love weekends in Alberta!
@PrairieMill: Someone is walking their pet goats on Whyte Ave… I heart you #yeg!
@FoodKarmaBlog: Holy Twitter batman! My 10,000th food tweet crept up on me!
@CarlaPR: Hey @CityofEdmonton how can I find out where the sweet robot & pink garbage truck will be and when? I want a pic of myself with it #yeg
@ianandchantel: Went to the Edmonton @corn_maze this week – so much fun! Definitely a must-do activity this summer! #summerfun #yeg