Promoting a Gig Without Social Media?

JoeVermont

Active Member
How would you promote a gig without the use of social media these days? For various reasons people are leaving social media platforms. I'm not sure how effective the methods of pre-social media (before Myspace) days would work. Posters? Newspaper ads? Maybe I'm doomed to need a FB account forever?
 

mattgallettidrums

Junior Member
Only way that seems sustainable is to immerse yourself in the venue you are playing and scene you are in. Social Media feels like better promotion, but thinking about logistically, people reading about your gig on SM are usually at home, not out hearing music. Obviously there are exceptions to this statement, but think about your target audience. If you have a gig coming up at a local venue in a month, go to that venue once a week, get to know the other bands, let them know, rely on word of mouth.

When I released my album 3+ years ago, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I had all these friends who have Spotify, etc... and they would share my album release on facebook, instagram, etc..., but...my streams would be flat. They were not sitting and listening to my album (in fairness, it is a jazz album, so a niche genre for some of my friends). It was extremely easy for people to support by just sharing something or saying something like "cool! I am going to check it out!", without actually doing so. Promoting gigs is similar. Very easy to "like" "share" "comment" while you are sitting on the can doom-scrolling with zero intention of actually going to your gig or listening to your music.

What is the point of this? I have no idea, but I do think the façade of "social media promotion" is just that- fake. I would estimate that 95%, maybe more, of the people who "support" your gigs you promote on social media will not attend your performance. Again, MASSIVE exceptions to this rule, but for the average local performer, I feel this is how it is.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
How would you promote a gig without the use of social media these days? For various reasons people are leaving social media platforms. I'm not sure how effective the methods of pre-social media (before Myspace) days would work. Posters? Newspaper ads? Maybe I'm doomed to need a FB account forever?

Oh. My. Gosh. We just went through this when working with a local promoter. He's been getting this show together for over a year, and he has booked it then cancelled two other times due to low ticket sales for the 1,000-seat hall. We were wondering why ticket sales were so low because we have a very decent following right now. To bump ticket sales, we pushed everything out to our social media accounts, and ticket sales ended up being ok, but not that great.

We found out shortly before the gig that this guy does not have any sort of social media. He doesn't even own a working computer!! He said, "I'm old school when it comes to promoting." So how did he promote? He hung up a few posters around town and had the venue put us up on the marquee about 4 days before the show (plain text, no pics). He said he called up the radio stations, but they wouldn't answer or call him back (he only tried once). This dude is a total a$$hat and doesn't know when to shut up when he talks at you. I'm glad we got that gig over with.

So, to answer the question of how would you promote a gig without the use of social media these days?

YOU DON'T!!!! It's freakin' 2022.
 
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Polska

Member
The only other way I can think of would be a band email list. Get people to sign up and send them email updates. Just don't bombard them constantly. I get those from a few bands but FB and Instagram are the main ways I find out where someone is playing.
 

cbphoto

Diamond Member
1. Have a killer YouTube channel with videos of live & studio cuts that have great sound.
2. Spam as many people as possible with the link and date of upcoming gig.
3. Put on your flame suit.
 

Mr Farkle

Well-known Member
Oh. My. Gosh. We just had this happen when working with a local promoter. He's been getting this show together for over a year, and he has booked it then cancelled two other times due to low ticket sales for the 1,000-seat hall. We were wondering why ticket sales were so low because we have a very decent following right now. To bump ticket sales, we pushed everything out to our social media accounts, and ticket sales ended up being ok, but not that great.

We found out shortly before the gig that this guy does not have any sort of social media. He doesn't even own a working computer!! He said, "I'm old school when it comes to promoting." So how did he promote? He hung up a few posters around town and had the venue put us up on the marquee about 4 days before the show (plain text, no pics). He said he called up the radio stations, but they wouldn't answer or call him back (he only tried once). This dude is a total a$$hat and doesn't know when to shut up when he talks at you. I'm glad we got that gig over with.

So, to answer the question of how would you promote a gig without the use of social media these days?

YOU DON'T!!!! It's freakin' 2022.
Someone needs a different career.
 

Drummy74

Member
I know a few of the local venues don't even post who is playing in their clubs/bars. Doesn't do much good to have inosciable media if they can't even tell who is playing there. Email lists are still a good idea. Kinda like "friending" only old school.
 

Woolwich

Silver Member
What is the point of this? I have no idea, but I do think the façade of "social media promotion" is just that- fake. I would estimate that 95%, maybe more, of the people who "support" your gigs you promote on social media will not attend your performance. Again, MASSIVE exceptions to this rule, but for the average local performer, I feel this is how it is.

I couldn't agree with you more. When I had a Facebook account I'd look at the numbers of people indicating that they were attending a gig....then divide that number by about 20 or 30 and often still not hit that number. Too many people think that liking, sharing or listing themselves as an attendee is an end in itself. On a tangent, after my last but one band imploded we put on one final mega show in the best venue in our town in the lead up to Christmas. Bear in mind that we'd been going in one line up or another for over 7 years and our social media was overflowing with people saying they couldn't make it and were gutted that they'd never managed to see us. After 7 years!

I wouldn't know where to start now. We play pubs that host bands weekly and their clientele turn up to see pretty much whoever is on. As long as we or any band playing there doesn't mess up sounds like a low bar but it's the truth. We get posters out months in advance and use Facebook to advertise anyway, it may prod one or two people our way if they remember us from last time but that's probably all.
 

Rock Salad

Junior Member
We do fliers and a banner even at one spot. They are as effective (ineffective) as internet promotion.
We do direct, one to one calls and text when we really need some people to come out.
 

Jeremy Crockett

Well-known Member
Oh. My. Gosh. We just had this happen when working with a local promoter. He's been getting this show together for over a year, and he has booked it then cancelled two other times due to low ticket sales for the 1,000-seat hall. We were wondering why ticket sales were so low because we have a very decent following right now. To bump ticket sales, we pushed everything out to our social media accounts, and ticket sales ended up being ok, but not that great.

We found out shortly before the gig that this guy does not have any sort of social media. He doesn't even own a working computer!! He said, "I'm old school when it comes to promoting." So how did he promote? He hung up a few posters around town and had the venue put us up on the marquee about 4 days before the show (plain text, no pics). He said he called up the radio stations, but they wouldn't answer or call him back (he only tried once). This dude is a total a$$hat and doesn't know when to shut up when he talks at you. I'm glad we got that gig over with.

So, to answer the question of how would you promote a gig without the use of social media these days?

YOU DON'T!!!! It's freakin' 2022.

As much as I despise the Facebooks et al., it's a boon for commercial promotion.
 

s1212z

Silver Member
1) Go to other people's gigs, befriend them and ask them to come to your gig.

2) Feed the media something attention grabbing. Nothing violent or hateful, maybe streaking while promoting the gig & saving a puppy

3) Airplane banner or smoke sky typing

4) Spam flyer littering on a windy day

5) Call it a fundraiser for community benefit or actually do a community benefit disguised as self promoting gig. Maybe do some good and make it all charity

6) Flatbed truck, bring the gig to the public

7) Be a street musician in a busy area

8) Make it a wedding gig

9) Make it a birthday gig

10) Play a party
 

Matt Suda

Member
Find the social media accounts for bars/venues where you play and see how they promote acts. Watch how similar musicians promote themselves. I think Instagram is better for this than FB. If it's too confusing, get a friend or family member under 35 to show you -- it's not too hard to get up to speed.
 

KenDoken

Junior Member
I never liked social media but also not great at promotion. I do fly post our gigs a bit. Mostly with permission at cafes and record shops but some in fun random spots, with footfall. We fund this from a float from odd gigs where it's hard to split the takings

I include a qr code on the poster to a web link
 

Spreggy

Silver Member
IMHO, the band's SM should have dates, but most importantly give visitors a quick taste of what's in store at your gig. This is so visitors can take the link from the venue's calendar to your page and see if you look like one they'd enjoy.
But the main selling of the gig date needs to be done through the venue's site and SM pages, at least at the bar/club level. When I want to know who's at what venue, I check the venue's website calendar or SM account. If you're counting on your friends, family and band followers to fill them seats, you need to work on your product.

To answer the OP's question, you don't have to, as long as the venue does.

*edit: too harsh, Joe? I'll tone the following down a whisker:

But, this phrase of yours "For various reasons people are leaving social media platforms" says to me your audience may be members of a group that hangs out in alternative SM that simply replaces the main stream SM. That's where you promote your gigs, because that's where they are.
 
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