Chapter 2. I know It’s Only Social Media But I Like It, Like It, Yes I Do.
The world of social media is a complete minefield, but if worked right it opens doors to a lot of new and exciting opportunities.
Let’s start the ball rolling with Facebook. You have set up a page for your band to attract new fans and share your music, videos, events and news but your number of likes is terrible and growing at a very slow pace. The first thing you should NEVER do is buy likes. The reason for this will become glaringly obvious when only two of your 5,000 fans ever comment on a post. You are not buying fans you are simply buying names, often Indian names Gupta or Singh. Worse still those names will do you more harm than good when approaching festivals for gigs as seasoned promoters can spot a bought fan list a mile off.
Facebook used to be the dog’s bollocks for getting your band some free attention, but they soon cottoned on to the money-making opportunity it presented them with and limited your post visibility in favour of paid-for promoted posts. Yes, I’m afraid it is time for you to start spending money! Promoted posts are a great idea (yes, I did say that) because they allow you to target directly the sort of fan base you want to attract. There is no point doing a general promoted post to 25,000 people when at least a good 80% of that number have absolutely no interest in your product. If you have for example been influenced by a band in your musical stylings then target that band’s fan base. For example, if your music sounds a bit like Marillion, then target Marillion fans as you will have a much better reaction and may gain some genuine new fans.
The two most important things on Facebook are the fact that if you are forever putting posts on your page this again will limit visibility and your views per post will decrease dramatically. The way round this is to be selective about what you post. Be wary of not just posting about gigs and videos, also include human interest stories about the band, unusual hobbies of the band members or anecdotes about the band’s past. This helps your fans connect to the band on a more intimate level and they are more likely to share and post on your news feeds if they feel like they are part of the band. Too many bands take this basic step for granted, get frustrated and then let their Facebook work slide into oblivion.
If you have a shiny new video you want to show to the world, by all means put it on YouTube for the world to see but if you want it to gain traction on Facebook DO NOT copy and paste a YouTube link. The number of views will be terrible as Facebook’s algorithm does not like YouTube links and will again limit its visibility. The way to get more views for your video on Facebook is to upload it directly onto Facebook. Facebook likes this as it is shiny new content using their own internal video promotion software. We recently did a test with one of my band’s videos by uploading it to YouTube and Facebook at the same time and the results were quite staggering over a 24 period. The number of views from a YouTube link posted onto Facebook were around fifty in the first 24 hours. The direct to Facebook upload generated over 6,000 views in the same period. Quite a difference!
One of the best features of the Promoted Posts application on Facebook is in helping to promote gigs. Say, for example, you are doing a tour and you are playing places where you have never been before. Obviously if you are not known in that area the number of people coming to your gig is going to be minimal at best. The promoted posts options allows you to target Facebook users in a specific geographic area enabling you to spread awareness and generate new fans who may want to come and see you perform. This will give you a much better chance of pulling new fans in a venue or area you have never played in before.
The most important thing when setting up your Facebook page is to generate a good brand awareness strategy. Make sure your logo and Page header reflect the style of your band. It may be worth getting a professional graphic artist in to design your logo if you don’t feel you can do a good enough job yourself. A memorable logo is an important key in creating a presence and image that people will remember.
But Facebook isn’t the end of the story in band promotion, far from it. Instagram is now considered to be just as, if not more, important in helping bands reach out to their audience. It is certainly a great tool for sharing pictures and whatever else with your fans. However, If your target market is to get to the music journalists and radio people then you would be better on Twitter for that. So remember Twitter for business, Instagram for fans.
There will be more information on how best to use Twitter and Instagram in a later chapter.