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Ari's Take

Is Your Facebook Musician Page Doing More Hurt Than Help?


I'll admit it, I'm a Facebook junkie. Hopelessly addicted. If I don't get my daily (hourly) fix I start to have withdrawal. It's pathetic. I fully admit it. But alas, this is the world we live in.

I was invited to a friend's record release show Event today on Facebook. I had seen her post about her band before, but I'd never actually checked them out. I clicked through to the event. I clicked "Interested" first because I already had another event on my calendar for the night, but maybe after hearing a few songs and watching a couple videos I could may be convinced to change my plans.

But this is where things got difficult.

On the Event was all the information for the show but exactly zero songs or videos posted in the comments. And zero links to anywhere I could actually listen or watch the group. Luckily, the Musician Page created the event (not the individual), so I clicked through to the Page. Surely there would be some official music and videos on their Official Musician Page. So wrong. And the website link in the About section took me to a broken page! They are clearly asking to be ignored.

I know, this may sound like some unique case of artist incompetence, but, unfortunately, it seems to be the norm. Unlike Myspace circa 2008, Facebook Musician Pages don't have standards. There is no music player there by default. There is video now, but oddly most musicians are stuck in 2013 and continue to use YouTube as their sole video hosting platform. Facebook gets over 8 billion video views a day (videos uploaded TO Facebook - not posted from YouTube). People want to see videos on Facebook.

Musicians, listen up. Facebook is still f'ing important. Yes, teens have fled. But the rest of the population is still as addicted as I am. So, for everything that is holy, take it seriously. Next to your official website, your Page is THE destination most people go these days to become acquainted with your project. Oftentimes it's the first destination. Yes YouTube is still important. Yes people do a quick search on YouTube when they're starting from the physical world. When a friend says "check out this band," people go to YouTube (or Spotify - or SoundCloud if you're super hip). But when people see a post within Facebook, allow them to get acquainted with you IN Facebook. Don't make them jump all over the web. People want to stay within the platform they are most comfortable. Facebook gives the most accurate snapshot of an artist's status.

6 Things Every Musician Page Needs To Have

1) Music

Seems like a no brainer that music should exist on a Musician Page, but so many musicians don't have music, of any kind, anywhere on their page. Unacceptable. When BandPage, Bandcamp and ReverbNation all have music playing apps you can quickly and easily install to your Musician Page, there's no reason not to have one.

2) Featured Video

This is the video (uploaded TO Facebook) that lives on the left hand side of the Page just below About on the Desktop and it's the first video listed below the pinned post on mobile. It should be some kind of music video. If you don't have a high production music video, then feature your highest quality live video. It needs to be high quality. It needs to be your music. It shouldn't just be the most recent 15 second video of you putzing around in Canters fed directly from Instagram. Sure, that can be a fun video to post to give a glimpse into your world, but it shouldn't be the featured video on your Page.

3) Pinned Post

Like Twitter, Facebook allows you to feature one post at the top of your Timeline. So, do it. Pick the most interesting (newish) accomplishment, accolade, song, video, photo and pin it. It's one of the first things new fans will see when visiting your Page so make it welcoming and interesting.

4) Tour dates

Make sure you have a tour dates tab. BandsInTown and SongKick are the industry standard shows tabs, so pick one and add it to your Page. This is different from the Events tab. Whether you create an Event for each show you play is up to you (and can be an impossible hassle for a 60 date tour), but a BandsInTown or SongKick shows tab is a must (and is synched to all other concert listing sites and apps).

5) Promo Photos

People will judge you based on your look long before your sound. So make sure you take great care in what your image says about your project. Get some high quality promo photos on your Facebook Page.

6) Business Contact Info

Make sure all of the info is filled out in your About section, especially contact info. Don't make a potential talent buyer, blogger or DJ jump all over the web to find an email address. And don't make them message you through Facebook. Make sure at least one business contact email is listed. More people on the team? Include everyone: Management, Booking Agent, Publicist, Band, etc.

These 6 things are necessities that every band needs to have. In addition, you can customize your tabs to what makes the most sense for your project.

Don't make it difficult for people to like your band.

I ended up going to the show and it was incredible. I went in totally blind, though, without ever hearing a single song. It was a pleasant surprise. But most aren't as generous with their concert going dollars to just take a chance on a band like this. So give your Page a Face(book)lift.

(Oh and, for the record, the screenshot of the Page above was not the offending party that inspired this article - they're just a band I like. Check em out.)

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Ari Herstand (pronounced Ar*ee Her*stand) is a Los Angeles based singer/songwriter. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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