10 Free Ways to Promote Your Gig
100 million hours of video are watched every day on Facebook. (TechCrunch, 2016). It’s easy to make a short video using your phone. It doesn’t have to be fancy or have a high production value, it just needs to be relevant to your fans. Post rehearsal footage, or an official video with the event details and event/ticket link.
Pro tip: You don’t even have to create your own video, Facebook can do it for you, using the “Create Slideshow” function.
NOT ALL FACEBOOK EVENTS ARE CREATED EQUAL
Not all Facebook events are created equal. Every band or artist on the bill, the venue and the promoter should be using the same event page. Whoever creates it, should make everyone a host of the event, so that it automagically appears in each artist’s events. Pro tip: Avoid using the “invite all friends” function. It’s annoying. If I live in Chicago, I’m not going to your gig in Philly.
EMAIL IS STILL A THING
People are busy. They need time to plan for pay days, baby sitters, and transportation. Email your fans in advance. 30 days, two weeks, and the week of the show. Collect emails at your shows so you can tell them when you’re coming back. If you haven’t done so already, create a free Mail Chimp account to manage your fan lists.
START EARLY, BE CONSISTENT
Post consistently on Facebook (and Instagram) with the admat/flyer and ticket link. Post at on-sale, one month out, two weeks out, next week, this week, tomorrow and tonight. Tag the venue, and all the other artists on the bill.
When you’re on tour, post the admat/flyer every day with your set time, tag the venue, promoter and all the bands on the bill.
Pro tip: Optimize for each channel, because Facebook, Twitter and Instagram require different formats to optimize engagement and reach. More on that in a later post.
Tweet regularly. One month out, week-of show, tomorrow, day of show. Tag the other bands, the venue, the promoter (if applicable), and local media or writers that make sense.
SIGN UP FOR BANDSINTOWN
Sign up for a free Bandsintown account and take advantage of the “auto promote” settings. Connect all your social media channels, and Bandsintown will automatically post “Just Announced,” “Next Month,” “Next Week,” “Tomorrow” and “Tonight” posts on your behalf.
Facebook algorithms hate external links. They want you to stay on Facebook, like forever. When you link to your event page, or ticket link, use the Google URL Shortener or another service to create a short URL for social sharing.
USE YOUR GUEST LIST WISELY
Your girlfriend or roommate can pay the $10. Partner with local record stores, book stores, music shops, bars or restaurants to offer a ticket giveaway. Use your guest list spots to invite photographers or bloggers who will cover the show.
Most local alternative weekly publications will let you create your own listing to appear on their calendars. If not, they make it pretty easy to find the Calendar Editor and/or submission requirements on the website. Find and follow the instructions to ensure your event is included. Include a photo. It’s free!