Build a Fan base-
Make sure when you are touring you are gaining fans. Hand out free stuff with your Facebook band URL printed on it. Encourage them to like your page, and stay up to date with your band. Gain fans through releasing new music. Tease out an album, one song at a time. Have people like your page before getting the next track. Ask current fans share your stuff, and use their networks to expand your own reach. Use every chance you have to gain fans. If you are playing a shitty dive bar in North Dakota, and only five people show up, make sure they are fans by the time they leave. The next time you play that town let them know and have them bring their friends. Now you have ten people, and the next time twenty. Once they become a fan, connect with them, and thank them for coming out. The more fans you have, the more reach you will have as an artist. The power of the Facebook Fan is HUGE!
Market Your Music -
The first place you will want to push your new music to are your fans (duh.) It may be a new track on bandcamp, or a new music video on Youtube, sharing it on Facebook is a great way to have it reach your target audience, and have them share it on your behalf. Share any write-ups, or coverage your band gets too. Authors want people to read their stuff, so help them expand their audience too. Make sure to comment on the article, and encourage people to like your Facebook band page. The more content that is created around your music the more chances the will have to get people to like your page. Once you will built a decent fan base, you will then have more people promoting your music, and coming out to your shows. And remember, people love free stuff. Give away free downloads, free tickets, or free merch, by offering them to your fans on facebook. Show them that it is worth it, and keep your fans engaged.
Promote Your Show-
Going on tour can be a bitch, especially when you arrive in a city you have never been to. Most promoters will want to know what kind of crowd you can pull, and how many friends you can get through the door before they even book your band. The fist place they are going to look is online to see how many fans you have. Depending on how well you have promoted your shows in the past, the main thing they will be eyeing is your fanbase. If you have 900 fans, but have zero local presence, you may have shot yourself in the foot. Building fans takes time, but it doesn’t matter if you have five fans or five hundred, make sure to post your shows, and let your fans know where and when you are playing. Create an event, and get your fans there! Share this event with local music blogs in the area, and bands that play similar tunes. Do your research, and make sure to promote your show as well as you can before you arrive. Don’t drive four hours on a whim go prepared.
Keep your Fans in the loop -
Last week I was interviewing a band, and when the topic of social media came up they said the following, “there are no more fans, today there are friends.” I couldn’t agree more. Bands have the ability to connect with fans on such a personally level, letting them behind the scenes and the road with them via tweets and instagram, that their relationship resembles more of a friendship than a fanship. Be interactive with fans and engage with them. If someone comments on a photo you put up, comment back. Treat your fans as friends, and they will be more likely to spread the good word and blast your tunes at parties.
The Power of the Apps –
Sure, Facebook seems pretty tight on its own. You’ve got a bio, galleries, messaging, etc. but Facebook is becoming more and more app focused than you would expect. I would recommend taking the ten minutes and installing some apps that will help you out in the long run. Apps like Bandpage, Bandsintown, and FanBridge are all worth the download. Stay ahead of the game, and put as much stuff as you can in front of your fan. They wont be upset.