I was just invited to Like a Musician's Facebook Page from a friend. I clicked through and decided to give it a look. I started browsing around, but found no reason to give it a Like for one simple reason: there was no easy way to listen to the music! No Music tab, no featured video and the cover photo was promoting a show from a month ago. Why would I (or anyone else) start the process of becoming a fan of the artist?
Even though a Page's organic (unpaid) reach is typically between 5-15%, it's still important to build up REAL (unpaid) Likes to your Page. It's a currency people still pay attention to. But, don't buy Likes to make yourself look bigger than you are. For one, everyone knows Likes can be bought and you look foolish if your engagement is WELL below the number of Likes you have, but more importantly, buying Likes will reduce your actual organic reach. If your posts only reach 10% of 1,000 that equals 100 REAL people, whereas if you bought, let's say, 10,000 fake Likes and you now post to 11,000 people and still reach only 10%, 1,100 accounts, there's a strong possibility that all 1,100 are to the FAKE accounts and none of your real human followers saw the post.
Here are 11 quick and simple ways to drastically improve your Facebooking.
1) Upload Videos To Facebook
Facebook is pushing their video hard. They now have 4 billion video views A DAY. Even though, they calculate a video view when only 3 seconds is watched, it's still a great engagement tool for your fans. Facebook will prioritize a Facebook-uploaded video over a YouTube embedded video (not to mention that Facebook videos automatically play in the newsfeed). I've run my own tests on this and a new song that I posted to Facebook and YouTube on the same day got 6x more views on Facebook than YouTube in the first week.
And now that Facebook is starting to roll out Video monetization at the same payment rate YouTube offers (55%), so now you can start making some moola on your viral videos.
2) Post Photos of YOU Often
The reason Instagram has exploded is not because of their video feature. It's because of the high quality photo offerings. It's a community in it of itself. Feel free to link your Instagram to your Facebook Page. Because Facebook owns Instagram they make this sharing seamless. (Do NOT, however, link your Twitter to Facebook or visa versa) However, if you use Instagram jargon in the description (@someonesname) make sure you go into your Facebook Page account and edit that to Facebook appropriate tagging. You don't need to only post professional promo photos, but all of your photos you post should be high quality. Definitely post photos showing your fans 'behind the scenes' of you hanging out doing every day things, but make sure YOU are in the photo. People don't want to see your food photos or things you think look cool. They want to see YOU doing cool things and in your element like performing, in studio, rehearsing, backstage, etc.
One of the most under utilized features is the Featured Video on Pages. Once you have videos uploaded you can select one to feature. It will then show up on your profile on the left hand side directly below About. It will be the first thing people see when visiting your Page and most people will click this first - so feature a music video, live performance video or your EPK, not just you messing around at the pool (unless you have a hot bod... people love hot bods). Watching a high quality video is the easiest way for someone to be introduced to your music. But, of course, make sure you have high quality videos made!
4) Make a Music tab
BandPage is still the industry standard for the easiest way to stream music on your Facebook page. ReverbNation, CD Baby and BandCamp also have nice players, but the reason I like BandPage's the best is because it's super clean and isn't cluttered with tons of other bells and whistles. You can title the tab "Music" or "Music and Videos." BandPage will allow you to sync your SoundCloud and YouTube accounts for songs and videos to stream. People aren't going to Like your Page if they can't listen to your music. Stream full songs! The days of the 90 second preview are long behind us.
Fans will visit your Facebook Page to find lots of info about your project. Don't make it difficult for them to listen to your music, watch videos OR find out when and where you're touring. BandsInTown is the industry standard Facebook tour tab app. However, SongKick and ReverbNation have decent Facebook tour apps as well. Facebook Events comes default with every Facebook Page, but when you go on a 60 date tour, you're not going to create 60 Facebook Events, along with posting your shows to BandsInTown (a must) and SongKick (a must). BIT and SongKick each have unique relationships with major players in the industry to display tour dates. They both, however, pull from most major ticketing sites, so if your tour has advance tickets by a major ticket vendor, the shows will automatically be aggregated by BIT and SongKick.
6) Fill Out All The Info
When someone first lands on your Facebook Page is when they will spend the most time browsing around and figuring out if they want to give you a Like or not. In addition, I often turn to Artists' Facebook Pages to find contact info, label/management info and bios. Fill out every form in the About section.
7) Personalize Your Posts
No one likes to see generic posts "from management." Those are boring, cold and detached. They want to see posts from the artist whether it's photos, videos, commentary or links. So personalize it!
8) Stick To Your Brand
If you're a politically focused act and constantly write conscious songs and your fanbase falls pretty close to your political leanings, then by all means write political commentary and post links to political articles you find relevant. However, if your music isn't political and you're not an activist, don't confuse (or alienate) your audience by shoving your political beliefs down their throats. That's not why they are on your Facebook Page. Leave the ranting for your personal Facebook profile. This doesn't mean don't showcase your personality. By all means do! But keep it relevant to who you, as an artist, are.
9) Invite Your Friends
Seems like a no brainer, but once your Facebook Page is up to snuff (i.e. has the above content) invite all your friends. It's a good idea to do this once a year. Don't over do it. You can easily do this (today) by clicking the three dots next to Share of a Page you manage.
10) Embed A Like Button On Your Website
It's very simple to do. Just go here and grab the code.
11) Post During Business Hours
A new study (pdf) by Lithium Technologies and Klout revealed the best times to post to Facebook based on your location. I'll sum up the study: post when people are at work. Kinda seems like a no brainer. But now you know. There is more engagement during business hours. The weekend has a MUCH lower engagement rate. As does the middle of the night, when people are sleeping... duh.
And if you have a bit of a budget, advertise the posts you want more people to see like video/album releases and tour announcements. As much as we'd like to fight against it, Facebook advertising works. You can target very niche groups like males between the ages of 18-25, within 20 miles of St. Louis, who are fans of Alabama Shakes, who have made purchases online within the past month. Yeah, Facebook gets creepily focused.
Photo is by MkhMarketing and used with the Creative Commons License