10 (Fairly) Easy Things Madison Bands Should Be Doing
1. "Like" and follow the following pages. Sign up to receive notifications and throw the article a "Like" if you read it and appreciated it. Liking = traffic. Liking is important because algorithms. Algorithms are important because The Internet = chaos.
Venues - here are just a few
2. Post funny things, insightful or inspiring things, personal things to your page as well as promoting your events. Don't do it all the damn time, just be cool about it. In the timeless words of Donald O'Connor "make 'em laugh"
3. Have a video on facebook. Either a music video or a live song performance. A video is often the first thing people see. It doesn't have to be high quality! A simple phone video will work.
4. Make sure you're on Reverb Nation and Bands In Town, and that you sign up for their apps and link them to facebook. This is what gets you those cool Band Profile and Tour Dates links on your page. I think they're the best apps that integrate with facebook for bands.
5. Sync your twitter and facebook accounts so you reach fans on both platforms with the same post. Remember profile photos and cover photos are important for both twitter and facebook because they express your band's personality. Update them every so often (maybe once/month) to keep your engagement with fans going.
6. Encourage your fans at every show to follow you on facebook and to sign up to receive notifications. There's no shame in this; you should be doing it. As Amanda Palmer says, learn the art of asking. If someone in the audience likes you, they will want to support you and engage with you. Make it worth it for them!
7. GO SEE OTHER LOCAL SHOWS and check out different venues. Be interested in our scene and find your own favorite bands and spaces here. By supporting each other and our venues, we make our whole scene more visible and noteworthy. And stay for the whole show if you're playing. Don't be an asshole.
8. Use CDBaby for distribution so your songs are on iTunes and streaming sites. Streaming sites are super important because times they are a'changin'. Adds to the band's legitimacy to say 'we're on Spotify and iTunes!' and it also makes it easy for fans to find you, and if you use CDBaby it's only $30 or so for the basic package.
9. Use local businesses to help with promotion materials and distribution. Lakeside Press has great deals on posters and stickers, and Sooper Dooper has great deals on both posters and CD duplication and packaging. Band friends, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the best local printer for t-shirts. Oh, also MAKE POSTERS! Even if you don't have a budget to get posters printed and you just promote your shows online, make a cool design that has the name of the venue, all the band names, date and time. Often if you send an image to a venue, they will print the poster for you and at least hang it up inside the venue. This is important because people who go check out local shows GO SEE OTHER LOCAL SHOWS. You're already advertising to your demographic and at the very least, it's name recognition.
10. Promote shows both on your facebook page and your personal page. Create lists of friends who are fans and use the 'invite all' feature on facebook to efficiently let your friends and fans know about your shows. Invite and also share. Don't just share the event link without saying something about it. Why should people want to come? Is it a great line up? Your favorite venue? Are you going to have a special theme for the night? Is it a low cover charge?
11. Oh yeah, and write good songs and put on a good show. This should really be #1...