This article originally appeared on Cyber PR.
If used correctly, Facebook can be one of the most powerful social media tools in a musician’s arsenal. Especially for young’uns – who have grown up in the age of Mark Zuckerberg – it's often the main way people get their news. With a little bit of work, some of that news can be your music!
Many of the artists who work with Cyber PR ask, "How do I get more Facebook likes?" To put it simply, in order to get more likes, you have to put your page in front of as many people as possible. This can happen – broadly speaking – in two ways: organically, or through paid advertising. Let’s look at "organic likes" first.
When you first make a Facebook page for your music, you have to link it to a personal account. This makes it very easy to invite your friends to like your page. On the left side of your page, underneath the profile photo, you’ll see a button that says "Invite friends to like this page"(see below). Click it, and invite away!
Once you send an invite, your friends will get one of those exciting little red flag notifications.
Be aware that you can only invite people to like your page once. If your notification gets lost in the shuffle, or they go on your page and you don’t have anything interesting posted on it, you may lose some likes. How can you avoid this? Make sure you’ve got some good content posted before you start mass inviting your Facebook friends to like your page. Also, time your invite to arrive when people are more likely to pay attention (i.e., not in the middle of the workday, or on Saturday night when they’re all at the pub).
Once a friend likes your page, he or she can start inviting his or her friends as well! Again, that person can go underneath the profile photo and click on the "invite friends" button.
Take advantage of this! Offer a free track download for anyone who invites 10 friends, or tell your fans that you’ll release an exclusive video if you get to X number of likes. Or just ask your friends for help – that works, too!
There are many other ways to get organic likes (creating compelling, shareable content, for instance), but we’re going to leave that for other blog posts (here and here). For now, let’s move on to how you can use paid advertising to get more likes.
Ever since Facebook went public in 2012, it's become increasingly difficult to engage with fans/customers without paying for the exposure. Though many independent artists are horrified at the thought of paying for something that used to be free, it's a necessity if you want to get your music in front of new listeners, or even in front of your current fans!
There's a huge upside to this, however. Because the minions at Facebook really want to encourage people to pay for advertising, they've made it incredibly easy for you to get helpful and accurate analytics on your audience, and the engagement rates of your ads. Think your music would resonate with 22- to 27-year-olds who rollerskate and drink kale smoothies? With five minutes and five dollars, you can put your page in front of hundreds of people just like that, and find out if they’re really interested. Here’s how.
On the left side of your artist page, there should be a little button that says "boost page." Click it, and you’ll get a lovely pop-up like this:
The default picture is your cover photo, but you can change it, or even use a video instead. Write a tagline that will grab people’s attention (a great press quote is perfect here). Click through on the right side to make sure that your ad will look good on desktop and mobile newsfeeds and in the right column. Then comes the real magic.
Scroll down on the left side, and check out all the different ways you can control who sees your ad. Filter by location (just the US? A specific city?), interests (here’s where the rollerskating and kale smoothies come in), age, and gender. Choose how much money you want to spend each day, and how many days you want the ad to run. If you’re an advertising beginner, I would suggest starting with $5 a day for a week, and here’s why: you want to make sure your ad is working before you commit a ton of money to it!
How do you find out if your ad is effective? Well…
Oh my goodness, numbers. And graphs, and all the things I thought I was escaping when I became a musician!
Calm down. It’s gonna be okay. In fact, it’s going to be great, because thanks to the Facebook gnomes, these numbers and graphs are actually pretty easy to figure out and are packed with incredibly useful information that'll help make your ads more and more effective, bringing more and more fans into your tribe and engaging them with your music.
There are several different ways you can look at your advertising data. First, you can go to the Insights section of your page (find this at the top).
Insights will tell you how many people saw each of your posts, how many people engaged with them, and the demographics of your fans (very handy info to have).
Or you can go to Facebook Ads Manager (go to your dropdown bar and click on "manage Ads"):
Here you can see even more data on how many people are engaging with your ad and how much each page like is costing you. If your "cost per page like" is still higher than you would like it to be after a few days, tweak the ad and your targeted audience a bit. Most of advertising is just making stuff up and seeing if it works, so there’s going to be a bit of a learning curve.
If I went into all the different ways you can improve the effectiveness of your ads using Facebook Ads Manager and the Insights section of your page, we would be here all day and probably all night, too. If you want to find out more about this, I highly recommend watching this fantastic video put together by our very own Andrew Salmon. Not only does he take you through the basics of analyzing your advertising data (starting around 15:00), he’ll give you some fantastic tips on how to create engaging posts and really make the most of your Facebook page.
Well, there you go. The basics of how to get more likes. As your advertising skills improve, try not to forget about organic likes! Word of mouth is still (and will always be) a very powerful PR tool for musicians, so encourage your fans to spread the word! Watch the video linked above, and then go forth and conquer.
Get more Facebook tips:
- 6 Tips to Stay Relevant in Your Facebook Fans' News Feeds
- A Guide to Facebook Advertising for Musicians
- 7 Powerful Facebook Features That Bands Overlook
- Marketing Your Music on Facebook: 4 Reasons Why the Numbers Can Be Misleading and Overrated
- Facebook Tips, Tricks, and Best Practices: 2016 Edition
Ariel Hyatt has been a fierce entrepreneur for 18 years and runs Cyber PR, a dynamic social media and content strategy company based in New York City. Her agency places clients on blogs and podcasts, establishes their online brands, and coaches them to create authentic relationships. She has spoken in 12 countries and is the author of four books on social media for artists, two of of which have hit number one on Amazon.