Make An Official Page
If you are serious about promoting your music to the whole world, you can’t rely on your personal profile forever. Make an official page for yourself as an artist. This is going to be your promotional “headquarters” on Facebook. You can still use your personal profile from time to time to post about your music, but you will want to have your official page become the main destination for people looking for your music on Facebook.
Having professional pictures or imagery to represent yourself as an artist is key for two reasons. For one, you become more engaging as an entertainer when a listener can associate an image with the music. Many “superstar” artists are known as much for their image as they are for their music, and the concept is the same for indies. Secondly, having a specific picture or image will make you recognizable online. If someone is searching for you, they will be more confident that they’ve found the right page if it features pictures. Make use of the cover photo feature as well as photo albums, and put a few pictures out in status updates from time to time. Show your personality, but keep your imagery of a professional quality and try and limit the subject matter generally to music-related activities.
Fill In Your Info Sections
You have several sections on the page for information, “About”, “Basic Info” and “Contact Info”. You need to fill these out to make best use of your page. Include a concise and descriptive paragraph about yourself or your band that communicates key points such as geographical location, style/genre and influences. Make sure you have names, emails and phone numbers in the sections for your press, booking and management contacts. Even if you are self-managed, you need to include this contact info. Do not assume that everyone who is interested in working with you will contact you using Facebook only. Make other options available.
Facebook supports a lot of apps that bands and artists can use to promote their music. While there is no specific app or apps that I would recommend as essential, it is important to utilize applications to facilitate a few core functions of music marketing: music hosting, video hosting, webstore, e-mail list sign-up, events and contests. A great way to scout out apps and see how they can be used to enhance your social media marketing is to visit the pages of some of your favorite superstar artists. All superstars have a professional social marketing team working with them who are always researching and developing apps. Take a look at their work for ideas.
Manage Content Flow
Here is where a lot of artists stumble; content management. If designing good content flow strategies were easy, I would be out of a job. There is a fine line between too much and not enough and between too direct and too tangential. Like in all parts of life, balance is key here. Without going overboard on detail, here are a few fundamentals to keep in mind when posting status updates on your music page. Ideally, you should be posting new statuses a couple times per day or every other day. There should always be a “purpose” to the status update. Each one should include a link to one of your videos, songs, webstore pages, an e-mail list sign-up, your website, your event calendar, websites of venues you will be playing at, etc. Sprinkle in a couple musings or unrelated content to break it up a bit, but don’t turn your music page into another personal page. People want to see interesting content (links, music, videos, etc), and if what you post is not interesting or relating strongly to your music, you will start to be ignored. Do not repeat the same content multiple times unless you are coming up on a deadline. For example, if you have a show this weekend, it is okay to post about it a few times. Do not however, post about the same song three of four times in the same week. This is called message saturation, and you will lose the interest of your audience. Design a “content cycle” for yourself, and be sure to keep your content fresh by rotating it every few weeks. If you are at a loss for new content, don’t be afraid to go dark for a little while until you have something new to talk about. Nobody likes the people who talk needlessly without anything new to say, and this concept translates to the digital world as well.
Facebook is a treasure chest of cross-promotional opportunities. If you work with other musicians or artists, propose that you share each other’s page or links to each other’s audiences from time to time. Don’t be afraid to post on the pages of venues you are playing at in order to connect with their fans. Whenever possible, ask others to share your content and be willing to reciprocate by sharing theirs. Watch out that you don’t come across as a spammer however, or that you become too aggressive in your cross-promotion. Exercise tactful restraint. Don’t make it look like you are desperately trying to piggy back on everybody else’s pages. If done right, these cross-promotional activities will help you open up new audiences and continue to grow your likes and interactions.
Don’t Pay For Likes
While it looks great to have thousands of likes on your page, they are meaningless if you pay for them. At best they will distort your analytics and make all of your audience data unreliable, at worst they will make your page a target for spammers. 1 like from a real fan will be better than 10 likes that are artificially gathered. Steer clear of paying for likes.
Keep Tabs On The Competition
If you want to be successful, you should do what other successful artists are doing. Visit the pages of major label artists and observe how they maintain and run their pages. As I mentioned before, all major label artists have a social media marketing team behind their Facebook page. Use them as a resource and observe the product they put out. Keep your eye on the competition and stay innovative. Don’t obsess over what others are doing, but check in every few months to see if the stars are doing something that you aren’t.
If you follow these tips you will be well on your way to making the most out of Facebook as a promotional tool for your music!