If you’re like a lot of businesses, you’re still contemplating how to become engaged with your customers via the various online and social media tools available today. It’s much cheaper than paying for print or other forms of media, i.e. radio, tv, etc. and can be just as effective if not more so. For others, they’re using online media but it tends to primarily be for self-promotion type communications.

Music venues are no different. So, what are you waiting for?

 

If you’re overwhelmed with the idea of spending too much time, or getting bogged down, with the world of online, don’t. Start by focusing a few minutes each week on 2-3 areas. For example, pick 2 days a week to spend 30 minutes on your website, Facebook, and Twitter. Then, add more time or tools as needed and as you become more comfortable. Stay focused and don’t let all of the available tools and information overload you and you won’t be overwhelmed.

So, as the Black Eyed Peas song goes..”Let’s get it started..”. Here’s a few ideas to get you thinking:

1.) Listen – Ask Your Customers Questions:

One of the first keys to social media is listening to your customers. How many of you are doing this? ( I don’t see many hands raised). Ask them a question to get there thoughts on what they’d like to see at your club, what they like about your place, things they’d like to see changed, new bands they’d like you to showcase, etc.

2.) Engage – Respond to Posts:

You don’t have to respond to every single person that posts but let a few know that you’re listening to them. They may be speaking for the majority. This is critical. I can tell you from experience that I tend to pay much less attention to businesses who don’t seem to care about their customers. Also, you’ll catch what I call blind spots, i.e. poor customer experiences that you’re not aware of.

3.) Create Community – Include Customers in your Business

How do I do this you say? Well, there are lots of ways. First, let me say, make sure your clients are aware of your online and social media presence. Publicize it on your menu’s, blackboards, website, etc.

Second, here’s a few thoughts. Create a contest for new additions to your menu or to come up with the name of a new dish, provide discount specials for customers that follow you on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Foursquare, etc., ask your patrons to send in pictures from when they’re at your place, feature long-time customers on your webpage, ask them about up and coming bands they’d love to come see, and the list goes on.

4.) Provide Value/Content

This is key! If you’re not providing value you’re going to lose your connection to your community. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. What might they like to hear about from you?

As a coffee shop, there is a lot that people don’t know about coffee, where it’s grown, how it’s harvested, it’s impact on local economies, etc. As a restaurant, there are probably some recipes or cooking techniques that you customers would love to know.

As a music venue, tell them about some of the behind the scenes activities that go on, some of your favorite memories of great bands that have appeared at your club, the issues your facing in your city as a music club, how your customers can help and support the club or bands, or provide some video interviews with bands that are appearing at your club, Tweet a “during the show” special after a show starts, and the list goes on.

 

WARNING: Too often, all I see on news feeds are self-promoting type announcements. Boring… It’s great to know about specials, etc. but after a while people tend to turn it off if all they see is another “come buy this..” announcement. Listen, Engage, and Develop Community.

What’s venues, clubs, restaurants do you follow that do a good job with developing their community? What fresh ideas have you seen them use?

 

Here are some other great articles to help you:

From legendary music venue to social media powerhouse: A case study of The Roxy Theatre

Social media changing the nightlife

Social Media Marketing: 5 Restaurants That Get It

Restaurants, Bars and Social Media: Match Made in Heaven