A few observations I’ve made while shooting shows around town - hopefully a few your band could benefit from!
I don’t usually post about photography in a blog format, it didn’t really feel related, but this is perhaps the exception to that rule. Maybe it’s just the odd combination of photography and programming knowledge that makes me think it fits. Either way, a place needed to be made for posting such things, and this is that place. Anyway, here’s the list, in no particular order.
1. List Band Members on the Band Page
Unless you prefer not to be tagged personally in photos (which is reasonable in certain cases), you should definitely list both first and last names of band members on the band page. Fans and photographers will be able to find and tag you in photos.
Also, since Facebook severely limits the frequency at which posts by/about band pages show up in news feeds, and doesn’t impose those limits on regular users, the photos will reach significantly more people. It’s a decent way to get around some of the costly ways that Facebook expects local bands to promote themselves, and save some money to spend on merch!
2. Tag All The Things
Ok, this one takes a little time, but helps a lot. Tag the band, its members, the venue, the booking company, fans you recognize - anything the photographer missed or wasn’t aware of. When you tag an individual in a photo, their friends will see that photo with a nice little link to your band page right next to it.
The Facebook algorithm operates based on connections - the more tagged people, the more eyes will see it, the more potential exposure to your band page. Professional photographer pages can’t tag individual Facebook users, so those tags wouldn’t get added otherwise.
3. Ask the Venue to Add the Band as an Event “Host”
If you’re playing a show at one of the many venues that create event pages to help market each upcoming show, kindly ask them to add the band page as an event host. Not only do you not have to make an event page of your own, but you also get the benefit of working along side the other bands and venue staff to promote the event. Attendee counts will be higher with shared event pages, and the event will appear to be more ‘in demand’, increasing interest. Work together to build momentum, draw larger crowds, sell more merch, and get more fans for everyone.
If it’s not possible (for whatever reason) for the venue to add you as a host, you can still make sure the show displays on your band page event list. Just visit the event, and click
Sidenote: Encourage your band page followers to visit the “Events” tab and click “Subscribe” to hear about upcoming shows. Because, you know, push notifications are your friend.
4. Share Events/Photos/Albums
Save and share photos you like to the band’s timeline. Or better yet, help promote all the bands, the venue, and the photographer by sharing an event photo or the whole album to your band/personal profile page. Plus, if you share a photographers photo/album, their name shows up above the photo (there’s your photo credit), and you can simply add a personalized message (a “Thank you” to the fans who came out to see the show with a shout out to your next gig, for example).
5. Keep Going
Keep writing, collaborating, recording, playing, shooting, promoting, patronizing venues, supporting photographers, and just being awesome.
Thanks to anyone who took the time to read this - certainly, some of these things could seem a bit biased or self-serving, but my goal really is to help as many musicians as I can, to see the success I feel they deserve. Hopefully my photos, and perhaps this advice, aid in that goal.