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Get People to Your Shows With These Social Media Tactics

This article, written by Andrew Hall, originally appeared on Sonicbids. We’re excited to be working with them to exchange industry tips and trends for your business!

Social media is a huge tool for your band to connect with your fans these days. With people rarely looking up from their smartphones and laptops, a simple band poster on the wall to promote your show just ain’t going to cut it anymore. Here’s what you need to do on your social media accounts to get people out to your next show.

Create an event

Sonicbids-create_an_eventFirst things first: you’re going to need to create a Facebook event, as well as upload the details of your show to other show discovery sites. This is really day one stuff, but you must make it as easy as possible for people to find and share your event information. Facebook allows you to do that with their platform, as well as other integratable show discovery apps like Bandsintown and Songkick.

If there are several bands on the bill, coordinate with each other to ensure that you’re all directing your fans to the same place. Having three or four different Facebook events floating around for a single show will only create confusion and dilute your promotional efforts.

Leverage your community

sonicbids-leverage_your_communityOnce you have a place to direct people to, it’s time to start leveraging your resources, creativity and community to help fill that room.

Think about it: as a band, you really do have a lot of resources that you can leverage to get people to your show. You can give away things like tickets, merch, drinks – all physical things that would require winners to show up to your event to claim them, and all things that would not break your bank to give away, with a potential large return.

So with the prizes and rewards laid out, now is the time to be creative. Asking people to simply invite friends to your event is a great way to start. It’s a simple button for people to click, and immediately your community and exposure grows. This allows your fans to become your advocates, and you can reward those who work the hardest. However, you can take it even a step further…

Create fun contests to engage and build excitement

sonicbids-build_excitementTie in your promotion with the theme of your show. One way that you can encourage your fans to engage with you and each other by creating fun competitions and contests. Use sites like Instagram and Twitter to develop that community conversation, and don’t forget to use simple and unique hashtags to help track and keep things organized.

Not only will this help you establish that authentic connection, it’ll get people excited for the show. Even if they don’t win, they’re still sharing more than just the event — they’re sharing your brand.

Unless you’re huge like The Black Keys, it’s important to keep timing in mind. You can’t be bombarding people, but you also have to give them enough time to catch on. Generally, having a 2-4 week promotion plan is a good amount of time to get the job done.

sonicbids-black_keys_build_excitementMake sure that you’re tagging the venue you’re playing at in these posts, as they’ll love your hustle and exposure to their venue. They’re definitely more likely to share a unique promotion or contest you’re running, as opposed to the boring, “We’re really excited to be playing at ________. Check us out!” Posts like that don’t give any insight into who you are or what your show and community is like, so have fun with it!

And don’t forget — once you’ve used these tactics to play to a full house, it’s your job to make sure they have an amazing time and to capitalize after you’ve melted their faces.

It’s The Views That Count, Right?

tv viewers

We’re always focused on huge numbers. Whether you jump back  to the era of worldwide multi-platinum hits, stop to ponder all that time you invested getting friends on MySpace, how holy the Like was a couple of years ago, or the current rush to get followers on Instagram, there’s always a huge focus on numbers.

However, akin to how a Facebook Like is a deceptive measure of one’s popularity, it’s important which number you focus on. On Facebook, the more important number is essentially how many people are talking about your page. Similarly, on YouTube, the views aren’t the most important number either; that honour goes to stats such as Average Percentage Viewed and Average View Duration. These stats embody that often-amorphous term “engagement.”

Viewer engagement is the key area which affects recommendations on YouTube and has a significant impact on your search ranking. How can you take advantage of this? One of the best ways is to “program the session.” This set of tactics helps you reach the strategic goal of gaining more engaged viewers and thence to growing your overall audience.

The first tactic in this group is to never link to a video watch page when promoting a video if you can help it. Always link to that video in a playlist. This keeps your primary goal intact — watch my important video — while helping along your greater goal of more viewer engagement. Playlists can be based on anything. If you’re a label, you might naturally playlist other videos from that artist. Or you may choose to playlist videos from similar artists (even those not your own). Really the goal here is to think about who will be watching the initial video and think about what they might wish to watch next. Even programming videos that don’t belong to you helps your engagement metrics.

Of course viewers are not always coming to videos at your direction. In fact, most videos on YouTube are still found via search, sharing, and recommendations. How do you program those sessions? Again, think about how people might be getting to your video. One way you can figure this out is to look in your video’s analytics and see where your viewers are coming from. If you find out a lot of them came from a link from a popular blog, for instance, on which you had another video featured, you could add an annotation linking to that other video. It’s likely viewers coming from there have seen or will be interested in it too. Of course, after they’ve watched that, you need to figure out what they might be interested in watching next!

Apart from these broad tactics, it’s also possible to use the new Welcome Video feature on YouTube’s One Channel to program the session. These videos are prime real estate to introduce viewers to your channel. Be it a mission statement, a list of artists, or more of a commercial spot, this video should show potential viewers what you’re about and what they can expect to find on your channel. This is also a great opportunity to drive them to that other content. Point out key playlists, artists, or videos and link through to them with annotations. Of course, don’t forget that the key goal of the Welcome Video is to get users to subscribe!

Another feature of the One Channel Welcome Video section is that once subscribed, a viewer will get personalized recommendations of what to watch next on your channel. You have some, though not a lot, of control over this experience and part of that control is an effort to… program the session! YouTube has engineered this section to take advantage of video metadata combined with the viewer’s habits watching your channel. For instance, this works great with episodic content. If a video is obviously part four of a series and a viewer watches it, the next time they come to your channel they will likely be suggested part five of that series. One way to translate this to music videos is to number them in chronological order in some area of the metadata (most likely the tags). If Artist X has 12 videos and you’ve tagged those as “video 1, video 2″ and so on, it’s likely that if they watch one in the series, the next will be recommended.

There are heaps more tactics and ways to think about increasing a viewer’s watch time, of which programming the session is merely one. My hope is that this broad overview with a specific example will help you discover your own effective tactics. If you have any to share, please do so in comments!

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