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Effective promotion through social media

You'll Discover:

  • How to increase your marketing reach on social media.
  • The differences between tagging and hashtags.
  • Tips for sharing content.
  • Tips to get more followers to your social media profiles.

This guide will give you tips and tricks to increase your social media reach, engagement and marketing outcomes. Most venues and performers will know how to use tagging, hashtags, shares and follows but do you know how to strategically use social layers/features to increase the impact of your content and convert your online audience to attend your events? Read on to find out.



Marketing agency OCreative defines tagging as “using a social handle or username of a person or business in your post or photo. When you tag people or things in a post or photo, you are identifying them and essentially “linking” them in your post.” Some use the term ‘mention’ instead of ‘tag’, but they’re the same concept.

To tag someone in a post or a photo, type the ‘@’ symbol and then proceed to type the person or business’s profile name. This is the same across both Facebook and Instagram.

Screenshot of Facebook - how to tag a venue page in a post. Camelot Lounge in this example.

Screenshot of Instagram - shows how you tag a page in a post. Red Rattler in this example.

There are many benefits to tagging other people or relevant organisations in a post:

  • The person tagged will be notified that you have tagged them, which could encourage them to actively share the post to their followers.
  • It could also automatically appear on that person or business’s profile but as OCreative advise, it does depend on their security settings.
  • OCreative also indicate that tagging “will allow your post to be seen by the tagged person’s followers”

As a rule of thumb, we would recommend:

  • Tagging relevant people or profiles in almost every post that you create to promote an event. This could be the venue, the artists on the bill, a sponsor (if applicable. E.g. a particular brewing company), a media company that you might be quoting in the post, recording studio, promotor and many more.
  • Make sure that you tag the correct profile. You can check this by looking at the persons profile and checking what their correct handle is. On Facebook, you can find a user’s handle by looking underneath their profile picture (1). On Instagram, a profile handle will be at the top of their profile (2).

Screenshot of Facebook - shows how you can find a pages handle underneath profile picture in top left corner of profile.

Screenshot of Instagram - shows where you can find pages handle at the top of the screen to the right of their profile picture.

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Hashtags are another asset that can “function as a way of labelling your content and help to make that content discoverable to users” according to Social Media Week.

You can create a hashtag by simply typing the ‘#’ symbol and then typing in the word(s) that you want to use within the hashtag.

Screenshot of Enmore Theatre Instagram post promoting Alison Wonderland gig. Hashtags are in the comments as opposed to the post text.

Screenshot of venue Della Hyde's Facebook post promoting party called "Single Awareness Day" by including hashtag single awareness day.

Hashtags are also a useful tool to generate engagement and dialogue with your target audience. An example of this is using a specific hashtag to search for user-generated (maybe a photo or footage from a recent gig) and repost it (with permission) to build up rapport and good will.

When including hashtags in your post, here are some things to consider:

Number of hashtags


Many sources, including Forbes and Hootsuite, indicate that using too many hashtags on Facebook can actually be detrimental to accessing a wider audience with your content.

Post Planner cites a study done by Social Bakers, which found that:

  • “Posts with 1 or 2 hashtags averaged 593 interactions
  • Posts with 3 to 5 hashtags averaged 416 interactions
  • Posts with 6 to 10 hashtags averaged 307 interactions
  • Posts with more than 10 hashtags averaged 188 interactions”

Post Planner goes on to question a number of social media influencers who all recommend using hashtags on your Facebook post sparingly, and select a few relevant and targeted hashtags.


Forbes clarify that Instagram can be an exception to the previous point.

Instagram users have the ability to follow a particular hashtag that they are interested in. This means that they will see posts on their newsfeed from a variety of Instagram profiles - even if they haven’t actively selected ‘Follow’ on that profile.

Screenshot of Instagram to show how users can follow particular hashtags and see all public posts that include that hastag. Search in the bar at the top of the window.

Screenshot of Instagram showing what the results of searching for a hashtag look like. All posts are displayed and are viewable regardless of who you follow.

With this in mind, you can afford to include a few more relevant and well-targeted hashtags in your Instagram post. An analysis by TrackMaven found that “posts with nine hashtags receive the most engagement.”

Types of hashtags

Many sources indicate that a mix of relevant popular and niche hashtags across both Facebook and Instagram can be a great formula to extend the reach of your post.

Check out this article by Hootsuite, which outlines a range of popularly used hashtags further down in the article. Some of these include #photooftheday, #TBT (short for “Throwback Thursday”) and #giveaway or #contest that could be relevant to your post depending on the content.

Niche or unique hashtags are also a good way to gain attention. Social Media Week recommends “hunting down hashtags in social media that have a smaller, but more fine-tuned focus, ones that are appropriate for your brand content. The hashtag business is a little like keyword research, it’s all about finding the right hashtag that fits your business with a realistic audience size you can tap into.”

Forbes also recommends using local hashtags to “build community awareness”. So in promoting an event, an example could be #newtown, #kingstreet, #innerwest, #sydney, or #sydneylivemusic to name a few.

The most important thing is to make sure the hashtag is relevant and that you are 100% aware of the meaning behind the hashtag. You don’t want to label your post with something that could cause offence or promote something that you don’t support.

Where to include hashtags

There has been a shift on Instagram in recent times where many users are posting their hashtags within a comment after publishing a post.

Screenshot of venue Metro Theatre's instagram post promoting Phantastic Ferniture gig. They put the hashtags in the comments.

Social media marketing influencer Louise Myers clarifies the reason for this, explaining “if you’ve written an engaging caption with a call-to-action or question… people may get distracted by a raft of hashtags and forget to complete your desired action.” It can also look cleaner and less cluttered. In terms of functionality, no matter where you place a hashtag it will still be picked up in relevant searches.

Where Facebook is concerned, many still include hashtags within the post’s text. Once they have written the main part of the text, they include a few targeted hashtags underneath it.

Screenshot of venue Lazybones Lounge's Facebook post promoting Dave Panichi gig. Shows how targeted hashtags such as #livemusic #marrickvillenights or #sydneyblues can be effective.

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Followers and following others

All of the things that we have discussed so far can contribute to gaining more followers across both Facebook and Instagram, particularly if combined with an effective image or video.

There are other avenues to explore when it comes to drumming up the follower numbers on your profile and also engaging successfully with your existing audience.

Actively responding to people who comment on or share your posts is a great way to build rapport and keep people engaged (particularly as that particular person will be notified when you do so). Business.com says “you should reply to them or at least like their comment. You can also pose and answer questions in posts, and show appreciation to your followers and customers by thanking them and sharing user-generated content. Engaging with your followers will not only increase your social media presence, but help you develop real relationships with customers.”

Screenshot of venue Oxford Art Factory's Facebook post promoting band an event called "1975 appreciation party". Shows how the venue responded to a potential punters comment on their post to further engage them.

Following relevant profiles and even some of your own followers back can create good will and rapport with that person or business.

Forbes also outlines that the “more engagement you show outside of your own content the more your handle will be seen and the more potential followers will see you.” They say the best way to do this is to “find accounts of individuals within your target audience and like some of their pictures.”

Screenshot of Instagram of Take One radio show. They include hashtags and tags of local music venues into their posts to promote gigs. This image shows venue The Cafe Lounge responding to their post in the comments.

Another suggestion is to team up with other venues or artists to share promotion regularly. For example, two venues local in the same area offering to regularly promote each others gigs when they don’t overlap or clash in date or time.

Instagram has been testing a change to it's social features where the number of 'likes' are removed from their feed. This change was announced at the Facebook F8 Developers Conference in California, April 2019. Since then tests have been implemented across various countries, including Australia. Facebook has been conducting similar tests in Australia (Oct 19). At the time of writing we were yet to see a final roll out of this change, however in future, if likes are reduced, post comments and other tricks for generating increased post reach (like tagging) will become even more important!

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Sharing content

There are a number of people you could share content from and it’s quite simple to do. Facebook has a built in ‘Share’ button with every post. With Instagram, it is a little bit more complicated, so check out our article on Using Instagram to promote events & venue features to find app suggestions for reposting.

Screenshot of Facebook post from venue Camelot Lounge. It shows fellow venue Django bar sharing a post promoting a gig guide just posted on Camelot's Facebook.


If you’re a venue, then sharing posts from an artist who is playing at your venue is a great way to remind or introduce your audience with a direct link. This is applicable on both Instagram and Facebook.

Screenshot of venue Hordern Pavillion's Instagram. Shows them sharing a video originally posted by artist Tash Sultana promoting an upcoming gig.


On the flip side, if you’re an artist promoting a gig you can share posts from the venue you are booked to play at.

Screenshot of artist Allysha Joy Facebook post. She has shared a post originally created and posted on venue The Evelyn Hotel Facebook page.


In marketing, there is a lot of encouragement for businesses to use “User Generated Content”. Forbes gives an example in retail terms, explaining “if a customer came to your brick and mortar and took a picture of something they bought or the inside of your store, share it! Take a screenshot and post their post. Tag them and thank them for stopping by.” They also claim that “consumers are 7x more likely to buy from a brand their peers suggest, so utilising content created by happy customers can go along way for your following and for your business.”

You can translate this to live music. As a venue, you could share an image or video from an attendee (provided they give you permission) which can generate goodwill between them and you. You can do the same if you are an artist, making the most of your fanbase by showing appreciation to fans for posting images and videos on their social media.

Instagram in particular is a place where this is highly prevalent. Particularly in the Instagram Stories, which allows people to instantly share a public story created by anyone. For more information on Instagram Stories, check out our article here ~.

Screenshot of venue Foundry616 Instagram post. This post shows the venue sharing a photo taken by a patron at a previous event. They also acknowledge the patron by tagging them in the post.

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