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Sydney Opera House
Opened in 1973, Sydney Opera House is host to top performers from around the world and is Australia’s most popular tourist destination. Largely conceived by Danish architect Jørn Utzon, the building is a masterpiece of late modern architecture. The institution is admired internationally and proudly treasured by the people of Australia.
Facebook Executive Summary
Client: Sydney Opera House
Objective: Grow Sydney Opera House’s community on Facebook and drive engagement through contests and special offers Solution: Promote the appearances of several top performers through a Facebook Reach Block and usergenerated content competitions Key Lessons: • A Facebook campaign with engaging content and special offers can lead to an increase in revenue and in traffic to a cultural institution’s website An active presence on Facebook can help a cultural institution reach a wide range of demographics Facebook Ads can lead to a large increase in campaign awareness
“Sydney Opera House is committed to democratising creativity for as broad a section of the community as possible and social media is a terrific medium to do so,” says Victoria Doidge, Sydney Opera House’s Director of Marketing, Communications & Customer Services. In late 2010, the House decided to use Facebook Ads to go beyond marketing specific events to build a vibrant community of people who share a passion for the performing arts. “We believe social media is a good way to demonstrate and encourage thought leadership and to incite global debate and discussion to foster a growing awareness regarding the arts,” says Victoria. One main objective for Sydney Opera House’s Facebook campaign was to stimulate discussion about Australian tours by artists and personalities such as Oprah Winfrey, Sting, Martha Wainright and Billy Connolly, amongst others, with the House’s Facebook Page. Another was to grow its community of friends through a variety of contests and special promotions.
“Facebook is one of the most important parts of the mix now. We’re very committed to it. I personally feel it’s an ethical form of marketing because the audience needs to opt in and is enabled to engage and have a twoway dialogue. If a company doesn’t behave with authenticity and honesty, if it doesn’t listen and respond, the audience can just as easily opt out. There’s integrity to it that I really value.”
Victoria Doidge, Director of Marketing, Communications & Customer Services, Sydney Opera House
Advertising Case Study Étude de Cas Facebook Approach
Beginning in November 2010, Sydney Opera House decided to engage the Facebook community around a run of top performer appearances. The organization ran two Reach Blocks, which are media buys on Facebook Home Pages and other premium locations that guarantee a marketer will reach 100 percent of its target audience over a 24-hour period. These ad buys enabled the House to make sure the right people saw the campaign in Australia, where more than 10 million people are active on Facebook. The ads featured text such as “Win Oprah Tickets” and encouraged people to like the Sydney Opera House Page. Once they did, they were taken to a special landing tab where they could fill out a form to enter the contest to win the tickets. To engage one of Sydney Opera House’s key target audiences (women ages 25 to 45), the House ran a second campaign focused on driving awareness of a play called “Love, Loss and What I Wore.” The campaign asked people to submit photos, stories and other content relating to what they wore on special occasions in their lives. The winner was offered tickets to the play’s opening night, an invitation to the opening night party, a $2,500 Westfield Gift Voucher and dinner at a five-star restaurant. Sydney Opera House used Facebook Ads’ targeting to reach the demographic profile. It also used Friends of Connections targeting, which identifies people who are likely to be a friend of the House because their friends are friends. With about 54,000 friends of the Page, this meant that the House could reach 3.4 million friends of those friends. Victoria describes this targeting as “very successful, because it helped increase our social impressions.” A third campaign invited friends of Sydney Opera House on Facebook to become a “Housemate” by uploading a photo of themselves, along with a few sentences about why they like the landmark. The winners’ entries would be displayed in a photographic exhibition outside Sydney Opera House for up to 12 months. To drive awareness of the “Housemates Wanted” campaign among a broad population, Sydney Opera House ran a Target Block targeting people 18 and over with Premium Like Ads. The campaign also used Sponsored Stories, a new product that takes stories that people’s friends publish into their News Feeds and displays them on the right-hand column of Facebook.
• A rise in revenue and traffic to the sydneyoperahouse.com website. “We are seeing overall exponential growth from Facebook, both in terms of traffic to our website and revenue,” says Victoria. “While witnessing that growth in direct trafficking revenues, we expect there are significant indirect revenues as well.” The Sydney Opera House Facebook page gained 21,618 friends from the three campaigns Sydney Opera House has also experienced very high organic growth since launching the advertising and promotional activity. The fan page now gains an average of 1,000 fans per week Awareness of the “Housemates Wanted” campaign rose 17 points after the Facebook Ads campaign, according to a Facebook advertising measurement study. Awareness of the prize rose 12 points, the study found
Advertising Case Study Étude de Cas Facebook
• 31,883 people clicked on the “Housemates Wanted” ad, which was driving awareness on the largest construction project at Sydney Opera House since it opened in 1973. Over 1,000 fans uploaded a photograph Approximately 6,000 people completed entry forms for the chance to win tickets to the Oprah Winfrey Show at Sydney Opera House Approximately 500 people submitted their stories about an outfit they wore on a memorable occasion as part of the Love, Loss and What I Wore theatre campaign. 5,100 new fans were acquired during the campaign, which was only in market for 6 days. The campaign also stimulated ticket sales 73.4 percent of the ads’ overall impressions were social impressions, meaning that the ads featured the names of the viewer’s friends who had already connected to the Sydney Opera House Page In February 2011, Sydney Opera House merged its Page and Place, becoming one of the first marketers in Australia to do so. To date it has seen 15,551 check-ins and this figure will continue to grow once Facebook Deals launches in Australia
Sydney Opera House plans to use Facebook Ads and the Facebook platform more extensively in the future. “There’s no doubt in my mind that Facebook will get a growing percentage of our advertising dollar in the future,” says Victoria. “But it’s a bigger play for us than just advertising, and the more we can get the community engaged the more powerful it will be. I can’t overestimate the importance of social media for us in terms of our strategy going forward.”
The campaigns were particularly successful in terms of social impressions, Victoria says. “When I look at the overall month-by-month traffic being driven to our site from Facebook and the revenues derived from that traffic, that’s where I see the real value,” says Victoria. The community has seen high engagement levels with several competitions that asked people to submit content. To take full advantage of social media, the Sydney Opera House has set up a digital marketing team and created genre-specific Sydney Opera House Facebook Pages that are each run by genre marketing specialist. “We think more in terms of how we can engage the community and start a conversation around something we’re doing, as opposed to just trying to sell tickets,” says Victoria. “It’s been very transformative in terms of our approach to marketing.”
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