Ticketbud Tidbits Episode 9 - Paul Schomer of Microsessions
Posted in Spotlights on April 19, 2018
"Speed dating for live music", as Paul Schomer puts it, embodies the nature of Microsessions. A former NPR musical digital producer, Paul was inspired into action by a musical act that went on way too long because musicians kept being added. The resulting Microsessions has proved to be a great success, with shows in Austin, New York, and soon other locales. In this podcast, we discuss everything from building audiences, to retargeting, to how to improve your event with feedback.
Paul Schomer wants you to discover great music. His events, Microsessions showcases amazing musicians in an innovative way. Microsessions grew out of the idea of a musical houseparty, that Paul thought could be done better. Listen to how Paul came up with the idea for microsessions and the challenges that he encountered developing and growing his event.
Building an Audience From Scratch
Paul shares his best practices and experiences building an audience from scratch. In this episode Paul talks about what tactics work best for building a following for each social media platform. Leveraging the artists following, and effective social media advertising.
When marketing on Facebook, getting targeting down is key. Use more than 2 hashtags, and your reach will begin to plummet. On the other hand, for Instagram, the more hashtags you use (up to 11) will cause your reach to actually increase. Paul likes to spend a small amount of money - even $20 - on Facebook to try and acquire potential attendees.
It’s very important to consider how each of the social media platforms work. Facebook and Twitter are text based, whereas Instagram is all about photos. There is no one size fits all for social media marketing.
Organic also plays a lot into acquiring new customers. Paul works with each of the artists to get them to promote the event on all of their social media. This creates a feedback loop, where the Microsessions social media gathers interest for the artist, and the artist will also get their audience base interested in the concert.
Retargeting Past Attendees and Scaling
Microsessions is more than just a one off event. Paul was building a following. Learn how Paul leveraged that following to help increase ticket sales.
Building Lookalike Audiences On Facebook: When you sell tickets on Ticketbud, you receive an email and a name for each attendee. You can download this information as a CSV and upload it to Facebook as a custom audience. Facebook will then take the information and cross-reference it with current users. It will then create a new database of users that are similar to the ones in the CSV you uploaded. This is a great way to attract new potential attendees.
Keeping Attendees In The Loop: One important part of maintaining your client base is by keeping them involved in what’s going on. In Paul Schomer’s case, his Microsessions run every month, so he is incentivized to be sending out frequent emails to keep previous attendees informed. Your event might be annual, but you could keep attendees updated with speakers, new acts, and other event specific information.
Feedback is an extremely important part of creating a successful, recurring event. Both feedback that is given, as well as observed, can help you find out where your event performs best. For example, Paul’s Microsessions used to include 5 bands until he found that people were leaving after the 5th act before the “finale” of the show. When he shortened the show to 4 acts, he got much better engagement.
There are a lot of takeaways in this podcast, but we’ll talk about just a few of the big ones:
-Retargeting your audiences with email is key to growth
-Using social media both organically and paid will help you get more attendees
-Listen to your attendees’ feedback
-Take advantage of your speakers and your artists. Include something in your contract that requires them to talk about your event
-Be ambitious, but always focus on the long term