Promoting Gigs on Social Media
Updated: Dec 23, 2021
From a couple of Facebook posts:
PLEASE STOP posting events using words like "tonight", tomorrow", "Wednesday", etc. Just post the date, day and time to be clear. It's quite simple.
People are posting events saying it's going to be tonight, tomorrow this weekend, etc. Just put the day date and time! Yes, I know there are the geniuses out there that say the post is dated x hours ago and we can calculate x hours ago and figure out that was yesterday and now it's today, but why not just post the day and date down. After all, you're trying to get people to attend your event. Wouldn't it make sense to make it easier to know when the event is.
Here’s another one:
So I just found out that "tonight" was last night and "today" was a week ago. STOP IT!!
I feel like I should respond to this because it describes about 2/3rds of my promotional posts.
Even if I didn't know the guy, I could tell this was probably an older person. How? Because it's an antiquated way of looking at marketing and promoting a gig - especially on social media.
Keep in mind that I'm an old guy so I understand and sympathize with the mindset these posts are coming from, but I've also learned a thing or two from younger musicians and applied it to my own marketing and promo strategy.
When I first started using Facebook to promote my gigs, I had the old paradigm; posters and flyers stapled to telephone poles all over midtown, flyers tacked on bulletin boards in grocery stores, music stores and record stores as well as ads and articles in local music magazines and newspapers.
Just the nature of this strategy meant you had to get out in front of the date. It took time to put up the flyers and posters. There was a lead time for ads and articles in magazines and newspapers. You had to be working the promo weeks ahead of time.
Back in the early days of social media (middle 2000s) I considered Facebook just another bulletin board and designed my promotions accordingly. I would start promoting 3 or 4 weeks in advance.
However, I noticed that people were showing up on the wrong week. And not just a few people - a lot of people. They weren’t following directions. They weren’t reading-with-comprehension. They were showing up the week I started the promotion instead of the date given in the promo,
It happened so often that I realized I couldn't promote something on Facebook weeks ahead of time. It worked better if it was the week of the gig. After some trial-and-error I settled on a 2 to 3-day lead time. If the gig was on Saturday I started promoting on Thursday; Wednesday at the earliest.
At about the same time, I had a realization that wasn't connected - but it was. I realized that I needed to network with younger musicians.
At the beginning of my career I fell in with a bunch of older, established players. At least 10-15 years older than me. That's one of the reasons I was playing clubs full-time at a relatively young age. For the next 35 years I was always the youngest guy on stage. Then I noticed that the guys I depended on for gigs were dying, retiring &/or getting out of the business for financial or health reasons and so on. I also noticed the same thing happening to the crowds coming out to see us.
Since I wasn't ready to quit gigging (I'm still not ready to quit), I decided I needed to flip that age difference. It became my goal to be the oldest guy in the band!
I aggressively started networking with younger players. I would scope out the go-getters I wanted to play with, cold-call them, then take them out to lunch and let them know exactly what I was thinking.
So one night I was in a club checking out one of these guys and my eyes were opened. This was around 2006 or so. It was a late-night gig, probably 10:00-2:00. The band was a bunch of mid-30-somethings. I was about 50.
The first set the place was mostly empty.
On the first break, the bandleader (the guy I was schmoozing) said, “Wow, man, it’s dead in here!”