Whether you’re trying to get people out to your band’s first show or trying to sell tickets for a major festival after 20 years in the industry, you may have the same thought going through your mind: Is anyone going to come to my party? You can’t make people go to your show or become a fan, but there’s plenty you can do to connect your music to people who are going to love it. Marketing is a big part of what separates successful bands from bands that play to empty rooms.
In this series, we discuss three of the most popular aspects of marketing your band – email, social media, and your website.
Early in the life of your band, you’ll want to set up your social media pages. Build profiles on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, but it’s better to completely own one platform than limp around on several.
But don’t get it wrong, social media is a balancing act. An 80/20 mix is a good starting point which means that 80% of your posts aren’t promotional and the other 20% lets fans know about shows, merch, and your email list. For that 80 percent, do whatever you want. Post selfies, practice videos, and things that inspire you. Be sincere, don’t be afraid to reply to people, but also maintain limitations.
I’ve found that Facebook events can be one of your strongest social tools to sell tickets for shows. When someone clicks “attending” or “interested” in a Facebook event, it gets added to their calendar, and they’ll get notifications when one of the event hosts post within the event. Facebook even tells users when one of their friends is going to an event in the area.
If there’s already a Facebook event for one of your shows, ask to be added as a “host.” This way, fans who are on your page will see it under your events.
Social ads can get complicated, but they’re necessary to reach your entire audience. To start, put $5-$10 dollars behind your important promotional posts, like shows or posts about joining your email list. Begin with promoting them just to your existing fans (don’t select “friends of fans”). That will ensure that your fans see your most important posts.
You can boost an event you’re a host for, too. Just go to that event and look for the “boost” button at the top right of the page.
Twitter has an ads platform, too, but it’s more expensive than Facebook ads. Facebook ads has two other benefits: being automatically connected to Instagram, and the ability to create ads that reach specific goals, like page likes, email signups, merch sales, event RSVPs, and more.
Some Facebook ads goals, namely sales, require additional integration between Facebook and the website you use to sell your merch. This integration is done with a “pixel” that needs to be added to your website.
Our next installment in this series will look at how to utilize your website to not only create a direct line to your fanbase, but to also gain more creative control on your messaging.