I’m a theatre fan, a big theatre fan. I don’t see as much theatre as I like but I go at least twice a month. This love of theatre can be expensive so I’m always on the look out for cheap tickets. What has this got to do with technology I hear you ask, well my love of technology and more specifically twitter has given me free theatre tickets.
I have been given free theatre tickets in return for tweeting about the show. My first ‘tweets for seats’ experience was a couple of years ago at Adelaide Fringe. The publicist of a local production company offered local theatre loving twitter geeks free tickets to shows if they tweeted about the shows. Thankfully I enjoyed all the shows I saw so didn’t have any problems recommending other people get along. More recently, last month in fact, I was offered free tickets in return for tweeting about a show. I jumped at the chance. It was a show I wanted to see but couldn’t justify the ticket price given I am about to go overseas. The only condition on the free tickets was that I needed to tweet about the show 5 times in a 24 hour period. Which I did. I was again been offered free tickets to a show tonight and went. The show I saw was Brief Encounter at State Theatre of South Australia, at it was a wonderful show.
Tweeting for seats can pose an ethical dilemma, what if I don’t like the show? This can be a real problem. I have been given free tickets in return for me tweeting to help to sell tickets. I’m not expected to review the show but I am expected to promote the show. It’s an interesting ethical dilemma, should I tell my twitter followers or not that I was given the tickets? I believe that if I have been given free tickets for a show that I am tweeting about that I should let my twitter followers know. If I’m going to promote something for a fee or free tickets then it is only right I let my followers know that the tweets are sponsored. If I’m going to endorse a product, service or theatre performance I want to make sure I am 100 % clear about what is sponsored and what is my ‘real’ unsolicited opinion. I am very lucky that so far I haven’t been stuck with the ethical dilemma of not liking the show I’m supposed to promote. I like to think that is something to do with the shows I agree to tweet in return for seats.
There is much discussion in the marketing world about sponsoring tweets and blog posts, it can be an useful marketing tool but it is generally considered bad form to not declare the the post as sponsored. Given that celebrity tweeters can make a lot of money tweeting endorsements for products and services it is a problem that is only going to get bigger.
I don’t think I will ever be so famous people will give me cash to promote their product, but free theatre tickets are great. So when people ask me ‘what’s the point of twitter?’ at least I have an answer now, free theatre tickets.
Image credit: http://www.flickr.com – Tweet, Tweet! Tamer Koseli