The Lexi Cinema is one of the most innovative and state-of-the-art micro-cinemas in the UK. As well as being one of London’s newest arthouse cinemas, it’s also a Social Enterprise, raising funds for the The Sustainability Institute’s activities in South Africa.
Not only were the Lexi’s management team in the dark about social media, they were unclear as to what it could deliver for their organisation. Having approached them with an open mind (and open ears), we quickly came to the conclusion that they needed help demystifying the world of online social media. In turn, it was identified that some basic social media campaign work that could increase occupancy and help spread the good word of the team’s efforts, their fantastic venue and the awe-inspiring program of films and events.
Our starting point was a series of managed workshops and engagement sessions with the management team. Stakeholders were presented the opportunity to ask those awkward questions they always wanted to know about Social Media, but were too afraid to ask. Detailed show’n’tell sessions ensued, allowing the team to get hands-on with social media services, thus removing all fear of failure!
With the basics out the way and the team knowing the difference between a tweet, a troll and a tag, we set about developing and implementing a social media strategy. The focus was to engage two key audiences; local cinema-goers and content producers. With very tight budgets and minimal resources available, the solution needed to adopt free and open social networking platforms. We set about building a Lexi community of cinema-goers on Facebook, and focusing more on niche producer networks using Twitter and it’s in-built monitoring tools. Hashtags proved invaluable when igniting conversations around specific films and cultural events such as the live stream from The Met in New York.
Local audience groups were invited to join The Lexi’s Facebook page, where they received regular film updates and could swap their views and opinions. We trained the client in the fine art of Community Management and sat back and watched the conversations flow. For The Lexi, the ability to get direct feedback from the horse’s mouth proved invaluable!
Twitter was then used to engage with content producers, and other cultural thought-leaders in order to spread the wider word.
With an online community of over 1000 connected people, our Social Media Strategy has almost doubled The Lexi’s subscriber base in little over 6 months. More importantly, bums-on-seats have increased and brand awareness is at a high thanks to the multitude of online conversations taking place daily. Those that joined the community are more likely to visit the cinema on more than one occasion, and traffic to the website has seen a significant increase – along with online ticket sales.
But don’t take it from me, here’s what the client says;
I wish we had a working relationship with all our suppliers and service providers, like the relationship we have with Dub. They just get it!
Results: significant increase in bums on seats in our cinema (!), significantly increased traffic to our website, the establishment and maintenance of two flourishing and engaged communities through Facebook and Twitter, people mentioning our Facebook and Twitter communities at the bar in the cinema, significantly improved search ranking and an in-depth but clear and simple consultation document on the best way forward for our business, online and in the area of social media. We are very lucky.
From the outset, Stephen and the team at Dub understood the challenges facing a local social enterprise micro-cinema with a less-than-ideal physical location and a minuscule marketing budget. Energy, enthusiasm, the ability to really listen, the intelligence to quickly appreciate strategic and operational context, and, of course, the patience to explain the finer points of social media marketing to the, er, shall we say…less technologically aware – Dub have these qualities in abundance, not to mention the more prosaic qualities of responding quickly to queries and delivering things when they say they will. If our plans for cinema world domination come to fruition, I’m sure it will be in no small part down to Stephen and the team at Dub.
And finally, The Lexi Cinema has a blueprint with which to extend their estate in the future, so watch this space…