A social media campaign is just that: a campaign; i.e. a consistent, entertaining and positive set of posts, emails, tweets and/or shares.
With a little planning, it doesn't have to take much time to be effective. Here are our tips for a successful promotion.
1. Start with a clear goal.
For an event, the usual #1 goal is "butts in seats." But there are lots of secondary goals, like:
- creating awareness of the state of the music business
- bringing attention to your organization or venue
- promoting your sponsors as you promote your event
- promoting any musicians or speakers associated with your event
- sharing interesting and fun content - videos, articles, posts - as part of promoting the event
2. Understand the medium you're using.
Social media are by definition social. They are different from promotions of the past, in that the people with whom you engage expect some give and take. Whenever you put out content into the world of social media, you should be prepared to engage with the response. In a way it's more work than traditional PR strategies, but it can also be fulfilling and fun.
Each medium has its quirks, but one ironic rule applies to all: the more human you can be when you are promoting something, the better success you'll have. Just be yourself and share your enthusiasm!
- Facebook: Here is a cute basic how-to. Here's a whole thing about creating Facebook events. Here's a link to the Facebook page for The Shopkeeper.
- Twitter: It's not just for the President! Here's a good guide to the basics. The Twitter feed for The Shopkeeper is here.
- For emails: Here's a really great collection of tips. And if I can add one piece of advice, it's this: make sure not to include everyone in the "To" field. It's considered impolite, plus it can be a hassle if someone accidentally clicks "reply all" when they respond to you. Here's a good explanation of how to sort it all out.
3. Make a schedule and keep it interesting.
When I'm presenting a show, I try to promote often enough to remind folks but not so often that I drive them crazy. It's a fine line.
- Emails - Don't start too early. 3-4 weeks in advance is usually sufficient to alert people to mark their calendars for an event. (People need enough time to plan to be there but not so much that they procrastinate.) I usually send one a few weeks in advance, one the week before, and if I still need to fill seats, one last minute missive the day before.
- For Facebook and Twitter: You are looking for a kind of critical mass of awareness. If I post constantly about an event, it will annoy. But if I ask everyone affiliated with the event to share, then it goes viral in a natural way.
- Give yourself a break. You don't need to post every day. Pick a schedule and stick to it - once a week, say, for Facebook and once every couple days for Twitter. But do check back fairly often so you can reply to any responses you get.
- Provide interesting content. Post a video of Ani DiFranco along with a link to the Facebook event for your screening. Or google "David Byrne on streaming" and tweet a link to his article along with the website of your organization. Wanna link to an article about the movie? This page has everything, with clickable, sharable links at the top of each one. This will not only inform and entertain your community, it will present a fuller picture of the purpose of your screening.
- Make it personal. Post pictures of your crew hanging flyers around town. Tweet the menu for the snacks you're serving. This will make your screening feel like the place to be.
Most of all: have fun!