Social Media: Platforms, Networks and Influences

  • Bree HadleyEmail author


This chapter presents a communication model that captures the distinctive characteristics of social media when this technology is used in the theatre industry, and the distinctive ways in which these characteristics drive the relationships between artists, audiences and the public at large that play out as a result. It provides central terms, concepts and theories that can be used to understand the way theatre makers use a range of social media platforms, applications, technologies and networks to create, critique, capture audiences for or assess the value of their work.


  1. Abba, Tom. 2009. Hybrid Stories: Examining the Future of Transmedia Narrative. Science Fiction Film and Television 2(1): 59–75. Accessed 13 Aug 2013.
  2. Abela, Donna, Vanessa Bates, Hilary Bell, Noëlle Janaczewska, Verity Laughton, Ned Manning, and Catherine Zimdahl. 2009. Whats Going On Here? 7-On Playwrights, June 17. Accessed 13 Aug 2013.
  3. Albarran, Alan B. (ed.). 2013. The Social Media Industries. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  4. Anderson, Eric. 2010. Social Media Marketing: Game Theory and the Emergence of Collaboration. Portland: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Australian Plays. 2009. Where are the Women? Australian Plays, Nov 20. Accessed 5 Jan 2015.
  6. Australian Stage. 2009. Philip Parsons Memorial Lecture. Australian Stage, Nov 20. Accessed 5 Jan 2015.
  7. Bailey, John. 2009. A Dramatic Imbalance. The Age, Oct 18. Accessed 9 Jan 2015.
  8. Bakshy, Eytan, Winter A. Mason, Jake M. Hofman, and Duncan J. Watts. 2011. Everyone’s an Influencer: Quantifying Influence on Twitter. WDSM 11: 65–74.Google Scholar
  9. Balme, Christoper. 2014. The Theatrical Public Sphere. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Baym, Nancy. 2010. Personal Connections in the Digital Age. Cambridge: Polity.Google Scholar
  11. Bell, David. 2001. An Introduction to Cybercultures. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  12. Bentley, Alex, Mark Earls, and Michael J. O’Brien. 2011. I’ll Have What She’s Having: Mapping Social Behaviour. Cambridge: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  13. Berger, Christopher. 2012. The Social Media Strategists: Build a Successful Program from the Inside Out. Boston: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  14. Blake, Elissa. 2010. Geeks, Tweets and Bums on Seats: How Social Media Is Shaping the Arts in Australia. Sydney Morning Herald, July 10. Accessed 9 Aug 2013.
  15. Borland, Micheala. 2010. Enter Theatre Women: Stages Left, Right and Centre. The Australian, Oct 6. Accessed 6 Jan 2015.
  16. Bridgstock, Ruth S. 2011. Making It Creatively: Building Sustainable Careers in the Arts and Creative Industries. Australian Career Practitioner Magazine 22(2): 11–13. Accessed 10 Nov 2015.
  17. Briggs, Asa, and Peter Burke. 2009. A Social History of Media: From Gutenberg to the Internet, 3rd ed. Cambridge: Polity.Google Scholar
  18. Brogan, Chris. 2010. Social Media 101: Tactics and Tips to Develop Your Business Online. Hoboken: Wiley.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Cann, Alan, Konstantia Dimitriou, and Tristram Hooley. 2011. Social Media: A Guide for Researchers. Research Information Network. Accessed 5 Jan 2015.
  20. Carr, Nicholas. 2010. The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains. New York: W. W. Norton and Company.Google Scholar
  21. Castells, Manuel. 2001. The Internet Galaxy: Reflections on the Internet, Business, and Society. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Collins, Antoinette. 2009. Women Decry Australian Theatre as a Boy’s Club. ABC Dec 7. Accessed 4 Jan 2015.
  23. 2014. The 8 Second Rule or 8 Second to Doomsday., May 13. Accessed 5 Dec 2011.
  24. Curtin, Adrian. 2013. Recalling the Theatre Phone. In Theatre, Performance and Analogue Technologies: Historical Interfaces and Intermedialities, ed. Kara Reilly, 214–231. London: Palgrave.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Dowling, John. 2001. Radical Media: Rebellious Communication and Social Movements. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  26. Elkin, Ben, and Rebecca Harper-Cross. 2012. Why Our Theatre’s Are Empty of Women. Crikey, April 27. Accessed 10 Jan 2015.
  27. Fiske, John. 1990. Introduction to Communication Studies. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  28. Frew, Wendy. 2012. Australia Council Finds Women Are Bit Players in Theatre’s “Feudal System”. Sydney Morning Herald, April 24. Accessed 5 Jan 2015.
  29. Giannachi, Gabriella. 2004. Virtual Theatres: An Introduction. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  30. Goff, David H. 2013. A History of the Social Media Industries. In the Social Media Industries, ed. Alan B. Albarran, 16–45. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  31. Goffman, Erving. 1963. Behaviour in Public Places: Notes on the Social Organization of Gatherings. New York: The Free Press.Google Scholar
  32. Goffman, Erving. 1973. Presentation of the Self in Everyday Life. Woodstock: Overlook Press.Google Scholar
  33. Gramsci, Antonio. 1982. Selections from the Prison Books. London: Lawrence and Wishart.Google Scholar
  34. Granovetter, Mark S. 1973. The Strength of Weak Ties: A Network Theory Revisited. American Journal of Sociology 78 (6): 1360–1380.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Gray, Jonathan. 2012. Web 2.0 and Collaborative On-Line Performance. Text and Performance Quarterly 32 (1): 65–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Habermas, Jürgen. 1962/1989. The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere. London: Polity.Google Scholar
  37. Hadley, Bree. 2014. Disability, Public Space Performance and Spectatorship: Unconscious Performers. London: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Hadley, Bree. 2015. Participation, Politics and Provocations: People with Disabilities as Non-conciliatory Audiences. Participations: Journal of Audience and Reception Studies 12(1).
  39. Handley, Ann, and C.C. Chapman. 2012. Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, eBooks, Webinars. Hoboken: Wiley.Google Scholar
  40. Henderson, Michael, Nicola F. Johnson, and Glenn Auld. 2013. Silences of Ethical Practice: Dilemmas for Researchers Using Social Media. Educational Research and Evaluation: An International Journal on Theory and Practice 19 (6): 546–560.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Hobson, Brenna. 2014. Has Belvoir St Theatre Turned around its Infamous “Boys Club”? The Guardian, Oct 2. Accessed 28 Jan 2015.
  42. Holmes, David. 1997a. Virtual Politics – Identity and Community in Cyberspace. In Virtual Politics: Identity & Community, ed. David Holmes, 1–25. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  43. Holmes, David. 1997b. Virtual Identity: Communities of Broadcast, Communities of Interactivity. In Virtual Politics: Identity & Community, ed. David Holmes, 26–45. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  44. Jenkins, Henry. 2009. If It doesn’t Spread It’s Dead. Multipart Blog Post: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. Accessed 19 Aug 2013.
  45. Jenkins, Henry, Sam Ford, and Joshua Green. 2013. Spreadable Media: Creating Value and Meaning in a Networked Culture. New York: New York University Press.Google Scholar
  46. Jordan, Tim. 1999. Cyberpower: The Culture and Politics of Cyberspace and the Internet. London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  47. Kawasaki, Guy, and Peg Fitzpatrick. 2014. The Art of Social Media—Power Tips for Power Users. New York, NY: Penguin Books.Google Scholar
  48. Keen, Andrew. 2007. The Cult of the Amateur: How Blogs, MySpace, YouTube, and the Rest of Today’s … Our Economy, Our Culture, and Our Values. New York: Doubleday.Google Scholar
  49. Kelly, Nicole. 2010. 4 Ways to Measure Social Media and It’s Impact on Your Brand. Social Media Examiner. Accessed 19 Dec 2011.
  50. Kerpen, Dave. 2011. Likeable Social Media: How to Delight Your Customers, Create an Irresistible Brand, and Be Generally Amazing on Facebook (and Other Social Networks). New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  51. Klout. 2012. Types of Influencers. Accessed 19 Aug 2013.
  52. Lally, Elaine, and Miller, Sarah. 2012. Women in Theatre. Australia Council for the Arts, Government of Australia, Australian Policy Online, 27 April 2012. Accessed 5 Jan 2015.
  53. Lonergan, Patrick. 2016. Theatre & Social Media. London: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Mandell, Jonathan. 2013. Social Media On Stage: Theater Meets Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Tumbler, Soundcloud. New York Theater, Jan 3. Accessed 27 Nov 2014.
  55. Marwick, Alice E. 2010. Status Update: Celebrity, Publicity and Self-Branding in Web 2.0. Ph.D. thesis, New York University.Google Scholar
  56. Marwick, Alice and Dana Boyd.2011. I Tweet Honestly, I Tweet Passionately: Twitter Users, Context Collapse, and the Imagined Audience. New Media and Society 13(1):114–133.Google Scholar
  57. McCarthy, Breda. 2006. Building and Sustaining Trust In Networks: Lessons from the Performing Arts. Irish Marketing Review 18 (1/2): 47–57.Google Scholar
  58. Miller, Paige. 2013. Social Media Marketing. In The Social Media Industries, ed. Alan B. Albarran, 86–104. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  59. Moritz, Donna. 2013. The Shift to Visual Social Media. Socially Sorted. Accessed 20 Mar 2015.
  60. Nahon, Karine, and Jeff Hemsley. 2013. Going Viral. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  61. Neutze, Benjamin. 2014c. Women in the Arts: How the Melbourne Theatre Company is Finding Female Directors. Women’s Agenda. Accessed 5 Jan 2015.
  62. Nowak, Martin, A. 2011. Super Cooperators: Altruism, Evolution and Why We Need Each Other to Succeed. New York, NY: Free Press.Google Scholar
  63. O’Neill, Stephen. 2014. Shakespeare and YouTube: New Media Forms of the Bard. London: Bloomsbury.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Page, Ruth. 2012. Stories and Social Media: Identities and Interaction. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  65. Parmelee, John H., and Shannon L. Bichard. 2012. Politics and the Twitter Revolution: How Tweets Influence the Relationship Between Political Leaders and the Public. Lanham: Lexington Books.Google Scholar
  66. Pearson, Erika. 2009. All the World Wide Web’s a Stage: The Performance of Identity in Online Social Networks. First Monday: Peer-Reviewed Journal on the Internet 14: 3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Pérez-Latre, Francisco. 2013. The Paradoxes of Social Media: A Review of Theoretical Issues. In The Social Media Industries, ed. Alan B. Albarran, 46–59. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  68. Ploeger, Dani. 2013. Performance Art as Pornographic Smartphone App. SCUDD Newslist, Nov 1. Accessed 19 Dec 2013.
  69. Putnam, Robert. 1995. Turning In, Tuning Out: The Strange Disappearance of Social Capital in America. Political Science and Politics 28: 664–683.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Rainie, Lee, and Barry Wellman. 2012. Networked: The New Social Operating System. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  71. Ries, Al, and Laura Ries. 2002. The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding. New York: Harper Business.Google Scholar
  72. Ruben, Brent D., and Lea P. Stewart. 1998. Communication and Human Behavior, 4th ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.Google Scholar
  73. Sant, Toni. 2014. Art, Performance, and Social Media. In Routledge Handbook of Social Media, ed. Jeremy Hunsinger, and Theresa M. Senft, 45–58. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  74. Schackman, Daniel. 2013. Social Media Content. In The Social Media Industries, ed. Alan B. Albarran, 105–116. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  75. Schechner, Richard. 2002. Performance Studies: An Introduction. London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  76. Shannon, Claude E. and Weaver, Warren. 1949/1989. The Mathmatical Theory of Communication. Chicago: Board of Trustees for the University of Illonois.Google Scholar
  77. Shirky, Clay. 2008. Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizaitons. New York: Penguin Press.Google Scholar
  78. Supple, Augusta. 2011. Merit vs Misogyny in Australian Theatre—And What We’re Going to Do About It. Augusta Supple, Jan 17. Accessed 15 Jan 2015.
  79. Stuart, Toby E., and Olav Sorenson. 2007. Strategic Networks and Entrepreneurial Ventures. Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal 1: 211–227.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. The Australian. 2012. The Sound and the Fury of Australia’s Women Playwrights and Theatre Directors. The Australian, Nov 3. Accessed 5 Jan 2015.
  81. Tönnies, Ferdinand. 1955. Community and Association. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  82. Trottier, Daniel. 2012. Social Media as Surveillance: Rethinking Visibility in a Converging World. Abingdon: Ashgate Publishing Group.Google Scholar
  83. Usher, Robin. 2009a. The Age: Theatre Company is Failing Women Directors. The Age, Oct 2. Accessed 15 Jan 2015.
  84. Usher, Robin. 2009b. Theatre Company Ends “Boys’ Club”. The Age, Nov 19. Accessed 15 Jan 2015.
  85. Way, Geoffrey. 2011. Social Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet, Social Media, and Performance. Journal of Narrative Theory 41 (3): 401–420.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Wilkinson, Chris. 2009. Australian Theatre should Get Real. The Guardian, Oct 14. Accessed 28 Jan 2015.
  87. Wong, Kyle. 2014. The Explosive Growth of Influencer Marketing and What It Means for You. Forbes Online, Sep 10. Accessed 28 Nov 2014.
  88. Zara, Christopher. 2012. Racially Charged Casting Controversy Rocks Historic Theater. IB Times, July 14, 2013. Accessed 22 Aug 2013. Accessed 28 Nov 2014.
  89. Zarella, Dan. 2010. The Social Media Marketing Book. Sebastapol: O’Reilly Media.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Queensland University of TechnologyBrisbaneAustralia

Personalised recommendations