Many younger artists and managers think that Facebook is dead. While it may be true that it has demographics that skew older, it is still extremely useful for things other than just ads, event postings and political diatribes. Below are ways that you can Facebook stalk to book your next gig!
1. Look up artists that are in the same genre/niche as you are. Where are they playing? If the artist is in the same genre/style as your artist and they are comparable, then your artist might as well perform there too!
2. What clubs, pubs and venues are these artists following? It is common to “like” the page of a venue an artist gets booked into. More clues for your artist’s next booking.
3. Visit the Facebook pages of the venues you find above and then look at what other places they are following. Many times clubs of similar size or from the same community will follow each other.
4. Once you find a venue that interests you, spend some time scrolling through their feed. You will be amazed what you will find if you take the time to look. I have found friends and even former students performing in venues that I am trying to book artists into.
5. Videos: Click on the Video tab to see samples of performers at the venue. If you haven’t been to the venue, a video can speak volumes as to the vibe of the place and whether your artist may be a good fit for it.
6. Take a look at how active the venue is on their Facebook page. Are they posting often or only once in a while. Was their last post from 2013? Are they putting out content consistently? Are they supporting their artists in ways beyond just putting a monthly calendar up? How many likes and followers do they have?
7. Read the customer reviews. Especially if there is anything about the music, owners or management. I know, a gig is a gig, but you may not want to perform at EVERY place that has entertainment! Avoid the places that get consistently bad reviews. If you wouldn’t go there, don’t expect your friends, family and fans to go either!
8. Related Pages: This is where you can find your best leads. Many venues have a tight-knit group of fellow entrepreneurs that support each other. They will often be more venues of a similar type, which means more opportunities for bookings.
9. Escape the dreaded “Contact Us” on the venue’s Contact page by visiting the “About” page of the venue’s Facebook page. I cannot tell you the number of times I found the direct email to the contact person on the About page. Avoid having your submission included with the baby shower inquiry!
10. The about page will often give you information that a formal website won’t. For instance, I have found owner names, bartenders, and other important items that can help my first approach to the venue be a bit more personal and informed.
Bonus: Venues are always asking what an artist’s social media numbers are. Why not use Facebook to to do the same regarding venues. If it is important for them to know how many followers an artists has, it stands to reason that an artist should be able to make some informed decisions based on a venue’s numbers in this area as well.
Takeaways: Believe it or not there are many very good and viable performance venues that don’t have a website! Many think that Facebook is all that they need. As a result, this may be the only place to get this valuable information. The polished website with beautiful pictures of food are great, but the pictures of the crowd on an “Acoustic Thursday Night” on a Facebook page can be much more useful to you as an artist or manager.