CHAPTER I: INTRODUCTION
Social media has acquired a high degree of popularity. According to Forrester research 3 out of 4
Americans use social media technology (Yale, 2010). Technorati’s 2008 State of the Blogosphere Report
indicated that there were 22.6 million U.S. bloggers and 94.1 million U.S. blog readers. Moreover, it expects
continuing growth of social media popularity in the future (Leory, 2008). Dramatically fast developing
technologies and Internet usage has resulted in the separation of social media marketing into an autonomous
branch. Reaching the target group of customers worldwide just by the click of a mouse is the enormous and
enticing opportunity for many businesses. These new trends in marketing have had a major impact on
developing promotional strategies by companies that belong to social cultural service and tourism industry
(Bree, 2009). This study aims to identify practices and tools of social media marketing used by Performing
Art Centers (PACs).
There is a growing interest to social media marketing by performing art centers (PACs). In the
constantly changing cultural, economic, technological and social environments marketing professionals in
PACs realized they must apply new forms of marketing to attract and retain the target audiences.
Conventional approaches gradually have become less effective in attracting visitors to events at PACs
(Bernstein, 2007). Social media marketing is viewed as an affordable new tool to inform concert venues
about upcoming events, build relationship with customers and grow fan communities (Rothschild, 2009).
Connecting with the concert visitors and providing them an opportunity to socialize with other fans through
social media platforms is of crucial importance to enhance their online experience and affect their purchasing
behavior (Whiteperson, 2007).
Performing art organizations are defined in this paper as music, theater, dance, and opera from the
traditional to popular music in a relationship between artists and concert visitors and performed in a venue.
Most of these kind organizations are non-profit and rely on the support from the government, local
Social media marketing is a relatively new form of marketing that implies using social network websites,
blogs, social bookmarking, wiki and other social media tools to market goods/services (Wiki, 2010). One of
the major benefits of using social media tools is enhancing the power of viral effect by increasing the speed
which users can share and spread information to larger audiences (Thackeray, 2008). A viral effect can be
achieved by passing a marketing message to users of the Web, resulting in increase of message visibility and
awareness. In other words, it's a "virus" that is passed over the Internet to various Web platforms or people
(Word, 2007). Later, social media marketing will be used as a comprehensive term embracing viral, buzz, or
word of mouth marketing which harnesses promotional activity through social media tools.