Every band knows having a Facebook page is essential to reach new fans and have a healthy online social presence. For many, their Facebook page even replaces an official website. Beyond the lure of accumulating likes, the platform can be a powerful tool if you make it work for you. Here are seven oft-ignored features that bands need to use, now.
1. Ads that creatively target audiences
The most popular way to target fans is geo-targeting, which allows you to find users by geographic location including country, state, city, and town. You can even target people within a given mile radius. Don’t forget, however, that you can also target fans using other criteria.
Factors like age, gender, education, place of work, likes, and interests are all viable options you should take time to explore. What do these factors mean for your band? Consider key players and organizations in your city that are music influencers and tastemakers. Target local booking agents or media outlets in your town. Endless possibilities are at your doorstep if you think outside the box.
2. Page pins and boosted posts
Facebook utilizes a very specific algorithm: if your post receives little to no comments or likes, it will sink to the bottom of the news feed and become virtually invisible. If the opposite happens, your post will remain at the top as more and more activity rolls in.
Bands use many strategies to capture attention, but sometimes even the best creative ideas don’t yield the desired results. If you think your content is engaging, but it's just not seeing the response you want, consider pinning a post to the top of your page or boosting it. For a small price, your Facebook post can be "boosted" to reach a wider audience, or can be freely "pinned to the top" of your page's timeline for a maximum of seven days.
3. Profile photos and cover photos
The cover photo and profile picture are the only two areas where Facebook users can manipulate the appearance of their page and go “all out.” Develop this space with different photos per section: real life photos and promotional photos.
Real life photos of the members of the band should always be prominently featured. These photos can be live performance shots, behind the scenes moments, or press-worthy looks from photo shoots. Promotional photos vary across the board, but they must provide information to fans and promote your band. Focus promotion on newsworthy events and branding designs. Examples include graphic logos, album artwork, a band photo that includes a list of upcoming tour dates, etc.
Think creatively and constructively about which photos to use so that your cover photo and profile picture are not in the same category. For example, if your profile photo is your album artwork, your cover photo should be a picture of the band.
4. The "about" section and contact info
Include an active email address that you check regularly. If a promoter is looking for your band online, one of the top results in a search engine query will likely be your Facebook page. You don’t want to miss out on an opportunity because you forgot to include your email.
Make sure all band links are present, including your band’s official website. If someone visits your Facebook page, they should be able to click and link directly to all of your social media accounts and your site.
5. Effective content updates
Bands should focus on sharing four kinds of content: new music releases, upcoming events, behind the scenes candids, and glimpses into their personal, everyday life.
It goes without saying that bands should share new music releases and tour dates, but don’t oversaturate your Facebook page with only these kinds of posts. Now more than ever, fans want to feel personally connected to their favorite bands. They want to know where you're playing next and what you ate for breakfast. Make sure the content you share on Facebook is of a wide variety, but keep it within the realm of your artistry. No one wants to see a timeline full of selfies, memes, and cat photos.
6. Tagging venues and festivals
Perhaps the biggest mistake made by bands is not tagging venues and festivals in their posts after being booked. When you tag any Facebook page, your post will appear on their timeline, which helps you connect to the event and possibly their built-in crowd.
Have you seen the phenomenon where bands turn their backs to the audience to take selfies with the crowd? One big benefit is that fans can tag themselves in the photo and then share it with their friends on social media. Win-win!
7. Responding to fans
As stated before, music lovers don’t only want to read about bands and watch them perform. Fans champion a personal connection and want to feel like they know the person behind the music. Take the time to respond to your fans when they write you messages or leave comments on your Facebook page. Set aside at least 30 minutes of your day to monitor your social media sites. As your career grows, you probably won't have time to respond to everyone, but there are ways to combat volume. For example, set up a Q&A on Twitter and let your fans know ahead of time that you'll be available for a live chat.
What are your favorite Facebook features? Let us know in the comments.
Kaylee Bugg is an account coordinator at Sonicbids. She is a singer, songwriter, pianist and actress from Atlanta, Georgia. A graduate of Berklee College of Music and former talent buyer for the Red Room @ Cafe 939, she also helps manage an independent band from Boston and produces musical theater events.