May. 25, 2018
Written by Bill Leigh, originally published on the Eventbrite blog
Do you know who your number one fans are?
When it comes to promoting your concerts and festivals, social ringleaders come first. These are the fans whose charismatic presence and tendency to plan for entire friend groups can make the difference between so-so sales and sold-out shows.
Social ringleaders go to the most concerts, bring the most friends, and cultivate the most hype about the shows and festivals they attend. To get inside the minds of these key influencers, we asked 30 of them how they choose which shows to bring their friends to.
Here are some key takeaways to help you reach these important fans.
1. Make your show easy to find
Social ringleaders love to spend time looking for shows. Their top three discovery methods are:
Websites or apps: More than a third of the focus group (35.7%) said they discover events through a website or app. So make sure your shows are listed on discovery sites like Bandsintown, Spotify, or Eventbrite.
Social media: Nearly 28% of our focus group ringleaders use social media to discover events. The most popular? Facebook.
Email: More than 13% of ringleaders learn about events through email. In a 2017 survey of 1,000 event creators, email marketing was named the most effective outreach tool.
2. Answer their burning questions
Remember, these ringleaders want to coordinate and motivate their friend crew to do cool things. When asked about how they decide to buy tickets, the focus group described an intense, behind-the-scenes vetting process. Here are the questions ringleaders ask when considering shows and festivals — and how you can respond proactively.
Is it worth the time and money? Justify the ticket price by highlighting the artists and experience.
What makes your event stand out? Play up the unique experience by showcasing powerful photos and video from the fans’ perspective.
What’s the total cost? Ringleaders will mentally tally up meals, transportation, pre- and post-show activities, and even accommodations. If your venue offers a convenient location, great food, or other advantages, be sure to play them up.
Finally, there’s the element of FOMO — fear of missing out. Are your prices about to change? Do you have a limited number of tickets left? A sense of urgency can inspire action, so don’t be afraid to invoke FOMO in your ad and social media copy.
3. Make ticket purchasing easy — and everywhere
Make sure ringleaders and everyone else can purchase tickets wherever they discover your show. Why? Simple — you’ll sell more tickets. Tickets available directly on Facebook sell up to twice as many as tickets sold through an outbound link to a ticketing page.
This is crucial for ringleaders, since they may be purchasing tickets for a group of friends.
Once you’ve got their attention and they’re poised to purchase, make sure the process is as simple as possible. One in 10 buyers drops off for every extra field in the purchase form, so keep the number of checkout steps to a minimum.
4. Stoke excitement from ticket purchase to the day of the show
Ringleaders don’t just get excited about the show or festival itself, but also for everything leading up to it. In addition to planning out the evening’s logistics — like meetup times and where to go for pre-show drinks — they’re building excitement in the group by talking about the event. Give them something to talk about.
Build anticipation through email: Over 90% of people check their email daily. Email your ticket buyers with highlights, photos, and video to keep them engaged from the time of purchase to the moment they walk in.
Create a Spotify playlist: Give fans a show preview with a music playlist shared through emails and on social media. Encourage fans to share it with each other.
Partner with local businesses: Ringleaders search for bars and restaurants to stop by before and after. Partner with local establishments and promote them in your social media posts and emails.
5. Engage them afterward — and convert ringleaders into loyal fans
After the show is a critical time that music promoters and venues often overlook. If you delivered an incredible concert experience, your fans are going to be reliving that memorable feeling for days, weeks, and possibly months.
Ringleaders report that their friends start sharing photos with each other by text and social media before the show’s even over. Post-show attendees are your biggest fans — they’re more likely to commit to the next show while basking in the glow of the great experience they just had. Here are two ways to stay connected:
Email recap: Send out a recap email with photo and video from the show. Link them to your social media, and encourage fans to share them.
Instagram engagement: Search for your venue or festival hashtags to find fan-posted photos. Make a personal connection by commenting and thanking them for coming.
Learn more about selling to social ringleaders in The Secret to Sell-Out Events: Selling to the Social Ringleader.