When possible, you'll want at least six weeks to promote your event from the time it is announced to the day of the show. If you can get more time, even better!
This will allow you to establish an effective promotion plan for the event and build momentum through socials and word of mouth.
Of course, sometimes this isn't possible in our industry, so you'll have to do what you can with what time you have. But if you follow the points below, your promotion will be as good as it can be.
Tip: Get your followers to invite their friends to the event. Sure, "select all" is an option, but people really appreciate when you take a few minutes to invite those friends that might actually show up. Your grandmother that lives 3000 miles away isn't showing up to a metal show on a Tuesday.
You'll want to schedule your social media posts around the times that your followers are most active on their respective platforms.
The key here is to use your insights - there are basic ones available through Facebook and Instagram or you can use a third-party app (usually not free) - to get to know your followers.
Once you figure out these high traffic times, be sure to schedule your posts around those times and stick to a consistent pattern. For instance, we do posts for events one month out / two weeks out / one week out / day before / day after - all during high traffic periods.
Posting regularly and sticking to a schedule for each event keeps the show fresh in people's minds. Unless you're booking a huge act, most people will wait to buy their tickets, which means they can very easily forget about it without numerous reminders.
Keep the event relevant on their socials without being pushy.
Even the prettiest, most well-designed flyers get ignored when you post them 100 times.
Stop. Posting. Only. Flyers. For the love of god.
Post about the event using artist content - press photos, videos, memes - at the forefront and include the flyer in the back for details. Be creative and keep it eye-catching!
Using your Facebook and Instagram stories is also key as these stay at the top of the feed instead of getting buried in the junk below.
Throw groups of promo materials up there at once, such as artist content and the flyer, followed by a post share so your followers can easily find the details for the event. You can also add links to stories on Instagram if you have 10k followers... but if you have 10k followers, I feel like you're not reading this post.
Monitor, Evaluate, Adapt
Continually monitor your promotion plan - use those insights! - and adjust it as needed. Sometimes things work really well, sometimes not so much. Always be willing to adapt!
If your plan doesn't seem to be working, try using different forms of media - switch from photos to videos, etc - or post at slightly different times.
Additionally, try posts with a "call-to-action" in them to foster engagement and create excitement around the event. For example, you can ask your followers a question ("What tracks are you most excited to hear live?") or run a contest that requires them to tag their friends or share the event.
CTA posts can be huge in growing your reach. Use them!
Promote the Event at the Event
The event is happening, you've promoted it well, and the room is full. Fantastic job, but you're not done yet! You need to create a feeling of FOMO for those that decided not to attend the show in hopes of either getting them out to the next one or, even better, getting them to still show up to the current event.
Again, your stories are clutch here. Post videos of the bands, live shots of the crowd, a pano of the merch spread, anything you can think of. Show them what they're missing.
The other promotion that needs to be done during the event is promotion of your brand itself among the attendees. Walk around, talk to people during set changes and at the merch table, get to know them, and sell your brand to them.
Being friendly and showing a genuine interest in your followers' lives builds a nice sense of community that people want to keep coming back to.
I've given you all the advice I can right now, so get out there and start promoting!
Photo by Kevin DeJong