This is another in my series of “Do This, Not That” on social media with attention to independent/DIY musicians. Type “#DTNT” into the search box to find them all.
In preparation for this series, I posted these on Facebook. Thanks to my awesome friends, there were some immediate responses:
Among the first answers were these two:
- “One of my pet peeves — being invited to performances that I have no possible way of attending.”
- “I would agree with the invitations to shows that people can not attend – it means that when an invitation to a show that I might could attend comes through I will probably miss it. On the flipside – receiving an invitation to a show or performance that makes me search for the pertinent details (When, where and time plus ticket buying or admission info) After the 3rd or 4th ‘update' or ‘addendum' most people have already given up, moved on or just aren't seeing it in their feed any more.”
Kind of confusing to know what to do? I think that the only problem (again) is with unthinking automation. If you just automatically send all your invites and newsletters to everyone, you may not be on target. Think through how and when you want updates to go out. If your automation doesn't fit this, then send it yourself.
- Send out regular updates, even when you're not marketing something of your own. A good way to do this is by re-sharing posts from your friends.
- One of the great things about Twitter is that you can post variations on an update and send them out a few days in a row leading up to an event. I've seen some promotions on Instagram that also followed this approach successfully. FaceBook is tougher because of it's weird and changeable algorithm. In any case, you can send out updates and let them be seen by whoever sees them. Keep your regular updates and interactions engaging so that people will also notice when you post about your gig, release, or whatever.
- When it's appropriate to send invites, send them to people who match the location of the event. If your invite system doesn't allow for this, look for a new one that does. Virtual events can go to everyone, but gigs at the local pub don't really need to go to people on the other side of the world.
- Even when you send individual invites, you can post a general invite among your regular status updates (without mentioning anyone specific in them). This ensures that people who follow you, but are not in the vicinity of your gig will still have a chance to know about it.
- Obviously, if someone asks you to stop sending them updates, honor their request. Immediately.
What other ways can you be on target when you send updates and invites on social networks? Please tell us about your experiences and ideas on this in the comments.