What Donny & Marie did on Twitter @ their show but there's a caveat



Yes, I know what you’re going to say, “Donny & Marie, really?”  For a segment of mostly English-speaking population and, for the most part, of a certain age, know these Utah siblings and their family. So with my varied taste in music, spanning from opera to pop to rock, brought me to their concert. At that moment before the show started, the announcer specifically said “Want to be on the front row to see Donny & Marie up close? Tweet your seat now to @marieosmond” and when I looked at the stage, there were two empty seats right smack in the middle front row ready for the contest winners. On Twitter, the call for contest participation looked like this.

Naturally I posted a response on my feed instead of retweeting Marie’s post since I didn’t hear any announcement on retweeting or using a hashtag. As you can see from other’s posts, they’ve followed the way other Twitter contests have done it and retweeted AND used the hashtag provided on the original post. There is therefore a confusion on the mechanics of this contest. I see a larger issue though….


At intermission, I looked around the lobby and the audience was averaging 60 yrs old and above. There were bus tours parked in front of the Princess of Wales Theater bringing people to the show and even a caravan of walkers parked outside the entrance to the theatre. I asked myself “Could these be the audience who tweets?” My suspicion was confirmed with a conversation between a fashionably dressed older lady with her companion. The conversation went like this:

Older lady: Did you hear what they announced regarding Tweeting?

Companion: Yes, if we post our seats, we might be able to go downstairs and not have to walk through these stairs and sit right in front to see (she coo’s) Donny and Marie! (her eyes brightened)

Older lady: How can we do this though? We don’t tweet. I know my grandson does. How about you?

Companion: No I don’t either but my daughter does. 

So here are the obvious questions:

  1. Is the use of social media the best approach to get participation from this audience?
  2. Is the goal to get someone who is techno-saavy to be called so they would tweet about the show?
  3. Is the goal to engender stronger the fan base so that they continue to be loyal followers?

CSTD BreakfastIf the goal was to gain continued loyalty from the current fan base, they got approximately 40 responses between the retweets of Marie’s post, direct tweets with hashtags and with reference to Marie’s handle, and direct tweets without hashtags but with reference to Marie’s handle.  The space holds 2000 seats. Is 40/2000 a good ratio for this goal? Maybe not. Especially with the conversation above in mind.

If the goal was to get a new audience, the Twitter-crowd, then they may have succeeded. How? Let’s take my Twitter-post above. With 18k followers I know of at least a handful of people have seen this post and with a similar post on Facebook, another handful have commented about it. Their networks would have seen the original post. That’s just on the technology-delivery mechanism side.. At a breakfast meeting with CSTD this morning, I heard someone mention it (so a face-to-face not virtual confirmation that they are talking about). So another handful of people have now heard the conversation. At a party last night, this was briefly discussed and there was another handful of people again. So, with a combination of verbal and internet-delivered messaging, coupled with the fact that I’m one of those 40 or so people from Marie Osmond’s original post who acted on her call, then maybe…maybe…. the goal of reaching beyond the 2k that the theatre accommodated have been reached.

What do you think?

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