This post accompanies a short talk I gave at a conference for Student Union Events Officers, arranged by CID Music. I spoke about about how to use social media and online tools to promote events.
My talk was only 20 minutes long so I rattled through many of the websites and services listed below – this post is for further infomation and in place of notes.
The talk and this blog post have been written to apply particularly to music events but most of this will apply to promoting many other sorts of event.
- Choose a unique name – search Google and check a good domain name and social media usernames are available
- “Nothing you can’t spell will ever work” Will Rogers. Why make it hard for people to remember the name of your event?
- MySpace (choose your friends well)
- Facebook (group or page + events)
- Atomkeep to update all your profiles together
Your mailing list is one of the most important tools you’ll ever have for promoting your night. Build it and look after it. Here are a few tips:
- BCC all recipients – making everyone’s email addresses public will not make you popular
- Have the same info online and give a link to it in the email (this should be on your own website but at the very least try using Posterous)
- Learn the opt-in rules
- Don’t send images with no text
- Don’t spam – be sparing with how often you send emails out
- Don’t waste peoples time – it’s an email, not an essay. Make your information clear and easily digestible
- Remember that many people will get your emails at work – don’t make them have to unsubscribe
- Give an easy way to unsubscribe (this is a must)
- Consider the costs/benefits of using a paid service like Campaign Monitor
Listings (general and Birmingham specific)
- Live Brum
- What’s On In Brum
- Birmingham Alive
- Birmingham Gig Guide
- The Music Network
- Brum Rock
- Eventbrite (this populates Google, Upcoming, Eventful and Zvents automatically)
At/after the event
- Take photos, put them on Flickr
- Take videos, put them on YouTube (TubeMogul) and Vimeo
- Give reviewers/photographers free entry in return for a review/photographs (see Birmingham Live)
- Set up tagging conventions and tell people about them
- Get a blog (WordPress/Blogger/Typepad or self-host one)
- Buy a domain name
- Comment on other blogs
- Talk about others on your blog
- Suggested blog topics – upcoming events, collective memories… (to be continued)
- Your blogroll defines you, just as your MySpace friends do
- Learn from those who do it well (there are loads but off the top of my head – 7 Inch Cinema, Capsule, Autumn Store, Marc Reck, Rich Batsford, Robot v Dinosaur, Colour)
- Use Google Alerts for your name (esp if unique) and Social Media Firehose
- Is someone out there enthusing about your night and telling people about it? Give them free entry, an exclusive mixtape for them to distribute, etc – help them to help you
- What websites should I be on (and pt 2 and pt 3)
- What’s the best way to manage a fan list
- How many social media platforms
Also have a read of this Wired article on how to promote your band on MySpace.
The lovely folk at Colour have written a long post on how to promote a gig, both online and off. It’s well worth reading – they actually do this stuff.
I’ve been far from comprehensive. Using each of the above is a blog post/talk in itself but the intention was to get people started. What did I miss?