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How To Use Social Media Effectively To Get People To Your Performances

Social media promotion is vital for getting large audiences to your performances. The best orchestras and musicians in the world take advantage of social media – why shouldn't you?

First, you need to have invested time in developing your social media presence. Your social media event promotion campaign will work far better if you've already built a social media foundation and have at least a core of supportive followers.  You can’t just rely on your own accounts to spread the word. One of your goals with a social media campaign is to get others to share your event promotions as well! 

Pre-promotional campaign set-up 

Before you launch an event promotion campaign you should have created your poster or collateral for the event and gotten those publicity photos taken.  Next, it’s time to get your social media ducks in a row.  

Spruce up your social profiles:

Revisit all your social media profiles. 

  • Make sure they each have strong images and clear descriptions of you and your music. Even if you haven't yet formulated a clear brand style, all the visuals and text should be consistent across all your social media profiles; consistent, not the same.
  • If you haven't been an active poster, bump up your posting now, even before you begin your event promotion. If you only use social media as a promotion tool, you won't find much engagement.
  • Update your descriptions to include any valuable keywords or hashtags that relate to your event.  

Create an event hashtag:

An event-specific hashtag is a great way to unify all your social media postings, across platforms, about the event. Social media users will know to use it as shorthand to find out updates about the event. Even better, you'll promote use of it during and shortly after the event as a way to build momentum for your next event. When settling on a hashtag 

  • Keep it short so it's easy to remember and leaves enough room for the actual post.
  • If you're performing often or at a regular time, consider developing a second hashtag that your audience will come to know and use to find out where you'll be performing, something like #Wheres[YOUR NAME]. 

Reach out to influencers or other strategic social media accounts for promotion:

The beauty of social media is connecting! Connect with people who will be happy to promote your performances to their followings. 

  • Anyone else attached to the performance should also be promoting it. This includes other performers, the venue, any event sponsors.
  • Do you have a few "superfans" you can contact directly to ask for some active promotion?
  • Put together a list of local event promotion social media sites­ – they could be from local newspapers to a local social queen. 

The last question to ask yourself: is this event big enough to merit its own social media presence? Think about how large an audience you need to fill the venue, is it planned for a competitive date (say New Year's or Valentine's), anything that indicates that this isn't just any performance. 

Rolling out the promotional campaign 

Alright, now that you've done the set-up, it's time to roll out the campaign and start promoting! 

Post content that builds anticipation:

Your campaign isn't just to share logistical information about the event. You do need to post that stuff prominently on your website and social media accounts. You can get into the habit of pinning a post or story about your more recent upcoming event on your Twitter and/or Instagram accounts. Share content that 

  • Gives a sneak peek of the venue or of you and the others rehearsing.
  • Shows how much fun people had at your last performance, tagged with your next performance's hashtag.
  • Teases a partial playlist. If appropriate, ask people to tell you what songs they want to hear and tag those posts with your event hashtag. 

Post event-related content regularly, but don't make it your sole focus. That's not being social. 

Give people reasons to share or respond to your event posts:

You want people to spread the word for you. Doing things online like asking them what they want to hear at the performance is just one idea. You can also 

  • Run a contest or give-away that people enter by sharing your event on their own social media profiles. The more profiles and posts they use, the more entries they get into the contest.
  • Actively respond to people who've posted their own intentions to attend your performance. You don't need to ask them to promote your event, just drop a direct mention or reply to them, such as ‘looking forward to seeing you there’, or thanking them – any kind of personal note.
  • Make your own posts so awesome – funny, touching, or beautiful – that people want to share and comment on them. 

Pay for a little social media promotion:

If you're new to performing, or playing at a venue that’s a bit larger than you're used to, it may be worthwhile to pay for some social media promotion. 

  • Run a social media ad campaign. They can be less expensive than you think, and they are highly targeted. You can select your ad to run in front of people who are in your locale, target age group, and who've expressed an interest in your kind of music.
  • Pay to boost one of your posts so it gets better exposure. These aren't ads. This is just a fee you can pay to get one of your organic posts in front of more people. Just as with a social media ad, you can delineate the demographics of the profiles where you want your post to get a boost.  

Day of event and beyond… 

Don't let the event promotion wane the day of, during the event, or the day after. These are all times that lend themselves to unique social media content that you couldn't get before the event, such as: 

  • Do a short Facebook livestream right from the stage!
  • Encourage audience members to post their own event content, on their way to the performance, from the performance, and then their pics from the performance the next day. (Don't forget to promote your event hashtag so they use it on their own posts.)
  • Record a vlog on your day-off or right after you come off-stage that you can post later to build excitement and following for your next event. 

Have you used social media to get people in seats or at the venue where you're playing? What's been your most effective social media tool? Let us know below!

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