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Before, During, and After Gigs: Social Media Strategy Part 2

One of the key components to keeping momentum in a modern DJ career is maximizing the amount of information that you squeeze out of each and every DJ gig. For hungry artists, gigs are not just about playing a set, getting drunk with your friends, and copping off with a groupie – it’s a step towards another gig, and if you’re really smart, steroids for your fanbase online. That means that you need to have a solid social media strategy in place to deal with gigs. Here are some ideas for posts that you can do on social media, Before, During & After gigs.

This is the second article in our summer series on DJ/producer social media strategy. Read the first one here! 

BEFORE A GIG

All DJs are guilty of writing boring, self-promotional posts on social media about upcoming gigs. You have to do better. The worst posts are when a DJ will just link to an events page on Facebook, or a website, accompanied by something bland and impersonal like:

 I’m really looking forward to playing my gig on Friday at [insert club name in here].

That kind of generic self-promo will entertain absolutely no one. And as we mentioned in last week’s post, entertainment should be the no.1 objective of your social media posts.

So the challenge is, how do you get the information out to your fans that you’re playing a gig, whilst also entertaining them? You have to create content around your gigs, and schedule it in advance using a publishing platform such as JustGo Music. Facebook also allows you to schedule posts ahead of time – while Twitter does not!

Drip-feed your audience pieces of content in the run up to a gig, and schedule all of your gig posts in advance. Have a format for every gig. Commit to a minimum amount of pre-gig posts, like for example, three dedicated Facebook posts before a gig.

Here are some very simple ideas for posts that you can schedule in advance of gigs:

1. Technical setup discussion + photos: If you’re reading this, odds are you take your DJ technology seriously. That means that your DJ setup will probably change quite regularly, perhaps even before every gig. So why not, before every gig, share and discuss your DJ set up with your fans.

If you’re proud of a new RGAS tech purchase, take a photo of it and let your followers know that you can’t wait to blitz the floor on Saturday with a mash up live performance that you have specifically prepared for your gig at [insert club name here]. Be sure to tag the gear manufacturer – you never know who might share the photo!

Ask your fans what their preferred method for set preparation is. Seek out debate and discussions. Share ideas. Give fans a window into your technical and creative process. You are an artist of the dancefloor, so reveal some of the methods that you plan to employ to lead people on a merry dance.

The key to this type of simple tech-related post, is that you’ve managed to get a mention in there about your gig, but you’ve hidden it in a thoroughly tasty nugget of information.

2. Pre-set DJ chart or big hit reveal: DJ charts have been around forever. You’d think that we’d all be bored of DJ charts by now, but the beauty of charts is that they are so very tied to the present. That makes them your go-to pre-gig content. Every DJ gets their record box in order before a gig, so why not involve your fanbase in that prep? Hearing the records that you plan to play on the night, will get hardcore fans fired up, and might even convince fence sitters to cancel their planned Game of Thrones marathon night in, for a rave on the local ‘floor with you. Get your DJ chart on Beatport and Resident Advisor for added kudos.

If you don’t have the time to do a whole Top 10 chart, share your biggest track at the moment with fans, and tell them that you plan to drop this monster of a tune at the peak moment of your set at [insert club name here].

3. Pre-gig personal thoughts – As an artist who uses social media, at some point you will need to decide how much of your life you want to share with your fans. Sometimes, writing a thoughtful post about how you are feeling pre-gig can open up another level of emotional connection with your fanbase. Sharing excitement, or nervousness, or fear with your fanbase, will endear them to you, and it will create a deeper connection. Empathy can be a powerful motivator for a fan to see a DJ play. It might feel a little odd to share such personal thoughts with a group of strangers, but once you take the plunge you’ll find that people generally react overwhelmingly positive to personal insights.

Packing up gear for the gig!

4. Photos towards the gig – As you get closer to your gig, you will need to start communicating closer to real-time. The easiest way to do this, is to upload photos of yourself as you’re preparing for the night. Perhaps it’s you packing your suitcase before the airport, or you sorting out all of your DJ cables. You can do those types of photo posts way in advance, schedule them for publication, and no one would ever know. Begin to think in emotional terms about what excites you around your gig, and then share that excitement with your fanbase. That kind of genuine emotion, is exactly what fans love.

Just schedule posts to go out around the time that you would actually be doing that type of activity anyway, and if you use a scheduler tool, you can even schedule it by time zone if your gig is in a foreign country so you’re always bang on time.

DURING A GIG

Never actively tweet or Facebook during a gig. The only thing that you should be doing during a set is DJing – however there are a few things that you can do during a set to maximize the amount of information that you extract from your gig. 

1. 5-mins-to-go post

Back stage can be a pretty sexy place. Everyone wants to be back stage. With five minutes to go before your set, you will no doubt be really excited so share that moment with your fans.

Upload a tweet, or a photo of yourself saying something like 5 minutes to go time! That kind of real-time update live from a venue can be really exciting for fans who couldn’t make it to your gig. Make them feel a part of your night. Bring them into the DJ booth with you, and perhaps, even to the after party.

2. Document Everything

During the middle of your set it’s easy to get caught up in the moment and forget about social media, however sets are ripe for content gathering. Never forget that!

Pass your phone to a friend if you’re too caught up in DJing (as you should be), and have them take as many photos as possible of you rocking the floor. Have them record a video of you dropping a bomb that destroys the crowd. Capture those big moments, because that kind of action is awesome for fans, and excellent content for you to schedule for publishing post-gig. A lot of clubs will have a professional photographer working on the night too, so make friends with them, get their email address, and contact them later for some free professional photos of you rocking the house.

3. Me with a guest DJ photo

A lot of you will, at some point, warm up for a big guest DJ. The fact that you are being trusted to warm up the floor for a famous DJ is very valuable data, as it helps to build your reputation as a credible, reliable DJ. Whenever you are presented with such an opportunity, take a photo of you and the guest DJ as you are changing guard in the booth, and save that photo for scheduling later (preferably the next day). Associating yourself with famous DJs will really help to build your brand.

4. Record your set

You should make a habit of recording every set that you play at a club. You shouldn’t release every recording, however sitting on a bank of live recordings is very useful for whenever you are scratching around for a piece of cool content to share (on a hangover).

AFTER A GIG

If you’re lucky, post gig, you should have a bank of content from the gig that you can schedule out over the next few days. Here are a few other posts that you can do, besides the sharing of media directly from the gig.

1. Set feedback thoughts

This is about decompression. Post gig, analyze how you did and share that feedback with your fans. What could have been improved? Was the technical setup good or bad? Be honest, give insight and share your thoughts about your set.

There is nothing worse than reading a note from a DJ post-gig that says something really boring and obvious like, Thanks [insert city name here], that was awesome. Do something more entertaining, insightful, and perhaps even educational.

Upload your mix and let everyone hear how it went!

2. Live Recording 

Don’t release a live recording of every set, however release recordings of your best sets occasionally. Spread your sets far and wide (JustGoMusic’s upload feature allows triple uploading of your sets to Soundcloud, YouTube and Mixcloud in one shot).

3. My big track was…

DJs are in a unique position to know, hands down, what are the biggest tracks in dance music. Because you alone, are the ones, who can drop tracks and then watch in real-time as a crowd reacts. So share that unique viewpoint with fans. Let them know, after every gig, which track led to the biggest reaction.

This is, hands down, the biggest track in my record box right now.

However, try to avoid choosing one of your own tracks, even if it did lead to the biggest reaction, because people naturally mistrust any kind of self-promotion, and trust is what you’re trying to build with your fanbase. Use your musical knowledge. Become a tastemaker.

Terry Church is an electronic music journalist, filmmaker, editor, and PR with over a decade’s experience in editorial content, video production, artist and DJ reputation management, community creation, and music publicity. 

Editorial Disclaimer: Mr. Church is the force behind JustGoMusic – which is why it’s mentioned multiple times in this article. There are other great tools out there for social media management – like HootSuite and Buffer – but JGM is focused and being designed for DJs, labels, and producers. 

Header photo credits: Skrillex + Diplo via OneBeat, ATB via Marquee’s Facebook Page

  • David Sands

    Was there ever a part 3 and 4? I’d like to continue reading this article. Thanks!

  • David Sands

    Was there ever a part 3 to this article? I can’t seem to find it but wouldn’t mind reading it.

  • JamieCherish

    Was part 3 or 4 ever released?

  • Ben Thomson

    This article is every that DJing should not be about. If in the middle of your set you think about social media then you are a disgrace to humanity.

  • steamfunk

    horrible article, please say it was a joke…

  • Joaquin DJ-Thunder Mejia

    This is some pretty cool stuff . The only thing I would stray away from is praising yourself after most if not any gigs . I personally think it looks really lame for a DJ to say ” I destroyed club ” so-and-son” ” or some other cheesy thing that is heavily opinion based. If you truly did a great job then other people will say it for you. This leads into my personal tip that i teach dj’s new to twitter. One of the great things about twitter is that it lets you search tweets by keywords way better than facebook and since people tend to tweet more per day than make facebook post ( in my experience ) , this improves your chances of being mentioned. So after every major party i do , i search ” DJ Thunder ” and also the name of the party or club to see if anyone said anything positive about either. I then thank them for coming out and tell them to follow me if they would like to know about future events . This has greatly helped to make myself known to people who otherwise would had forgotten about me or couldn’t figure out my name while drunk at the club.

  • Matsuki

    terry church please shoot yourself!!! this article is a moronic garbage.

  • Ben

    I think a lot of DJs need to read this. Its been a long time since we have had some decent social media for younger DJS. so much spam, no ‘stop, think, engage, etc’

  • Aker

    Good article Terry, good tips! You ran da trap! 😉 I schedule my stuff sometimes, it seems to work.

  • Anonymous

    Great article! We just had Pegboard Nerds come through last night.They were very vocal and active on the twitter tip which helped push the show. When I asked they about it, they said that they always make an effort to connect w/ fans and help push the shows for promoters. Terry I’m gonna expand on this more in my video blog if you don’t mind 😉

  • DUDA!

    great article!

  • Osvaldo Martins Torquati

    Good tips Terry, I´m following your advices and I´ve already increased the number of my social media fans.

  • christen

    Really loving dis series on social media for djs… it’s very important for sure. you will never make it as a dj these days unless u have a fanbase on social media. I even seen famous djs from the past disappear cos no one will book them because they don’t have any fans online. its the future of everything, weather we like it or not.

  • Luis Hernández

    Reading about recording, I think its a good idea. However, how to do a proper live recording? You know, good quality music sound and the crowd going bananas. At the moment I’m a controllerist so i can use serato for set recording but how the heck can I record the crowd going bananas?!

  • Anon

    Be natural.

  • twig

    I think advertising the shit outa ya is not helping you beeing “real”, but just showing you’re one of another 100.000 douches who whant to make a living out of djing.

  • tony

    This is participation trophy stuff imo, If your a very well know dj then people might give a rats arse what you have to say on social media,but for most djs working in most clubs who cares what we have to say!

  • Mike Stannard

    I find the whole concept of a “strategy” regarding personal expression to be messed up. I mean, one should careful about one says on social media, but crafting comments to advance a career just sounds like contrived bullshit.

  • Rix

    Great stuff guys!!

  • Alex Jahn

    I think this was insightful and an eye opener to all DJs. I am guilty of making the same cheesy content posts for almost every gig or every new weekly mix that i upload. I also like the tip below about not posting anything negative because your fans do want you to succeed. Hence thats why they are your fans. I look forward to exploring this site more and reading more tips that you guys have to offer. This site is definitely going in my bookmarks 🙂

    • Fugazi

      Welcome aboard

  • Robert Wulfman

    but what if you don’t have any gigs?

    • Anonymous

      then you’re doing it wrong

    • Joaquin DJ-Thunder Mejia

      work house parties for friends and if your good enough word will spread around about you, than someone will be willing to trust you with their night or that u have a good enough fan base to justify paying you . Remember that its a business so no one will pay you to chase ur dreams unless there is a profit return for them.

      • Luis Hernández

        I totally agree. 3 of my first gigs were at some local bars and all of them I played for free, just a simple invitation to gain some renown. After that I started to throw bangers at some friends parties and well I admit this a good way to start gaining some reputation and to increase your skills. There is a huge difference between play at a DJ booth in some club/bar and playing in a folding table at your friends house party.

  • DubluW

    Nobody, read NOBODY cancels a game of thrones marathon.

  • Anonym

    I actually realized that those personal thoughts didn’t lead to more (positive responses from my) followers. And a fellow performer explained to me why: your crowd wants you to succeed. They don’t want to hear ”hmm, this didn’t go well” or ”hmm, this could have been better” especially if they were there themselves that night and were having the time of their life: it declines their experience and that’s a stupid thing to do, especially because they were the ones that actually showed up for you.

    Doesn’t mean you have to be dishonest, but I always try to point out only what was the coolest moment of the evening and leave the rest up for discussion with close friends – not my following as it doesn’t set anything but a negative vibe.

    • Jacob Bradshaw

      I agree. I think every DJ should try to put a positive spin on every action they encounter.

    • Rissa Garcia

      but even lamer is every gig is AMAZING….lol Let other people praise you – even strangers; never do it yourself.-proverbs

    • OrderedChaos

      I think if there are issues the fans will say enough themselves. Recently I saw Manufactured Superstars in New Orleans (I was so happy to get something remotely house while I’ve been down here working) and the promoters had done a pretty poor job as there was like 35 people there for their set.

      They put on a great set (exactly what I was needing down here) and they weren’t negative with their twitter or anything, but I was rather vocal about how disappointed I was with the turnout despite the quality set. Now they liked and retweeted some of my posts, but I think that’s much better than they themselves expressing negative thoughts on the turn out.

      • MaxatLarge

        No house scene in NO?

        • OrderedChaos

          Not on a regular basis. There are four clubs pretty much that will consistently play any electronic music, however one, Ampersand, sticks heavily to Trap and brostep.

          A second, Republic sticks to bounce and hip hop, but did have a Daft Punk tribute which was pretty fantastic on the House music front.

          The third being the Metro, which sticks pretty much to Open format so hits any sort of housier EDM every 5 or so songs.

          The fourth, Dragon’s Den will do heavy dubstep nights.

          There is one dj though, Reed Tribou who often closes events at Ampersand that plays some great house sets, however the place pretty much clears out by the time he goes on. He also has started doing minimal/tech/deep house sets at a lounge which is cool butmore of a mellow environment.

          Beyond that on the regular it’s pretty much all jazz/brass in Nola. Bukufest has some good diversity across all genres in March.

          I’m looking forward to returning to LA after this job as I can only handle so much trap.