As my computer gives a figurative sigh every time I still have to type in a band’s URL on Myspace, it becomes more and more prevalent that the once prime location for fans to interact with bands is now merely a barren wasteland filled with page loading errors. Can Facebook step in as the primary replacement? Here’s how to strengthen your band’s presence on the leading social network.
Pages Are Better Than Groups
If you haven’t read it already, please check out my slideshow from October called 7 Facebook Applications Every Musician Needs. I recommend you use any of the tools mentioned, especially MyBand or BandPage. Simply using a group or personal profile won’t give you a professional look like you can get with a page and one of the aforementioned applications.
Building Your Fan Base
You’ll attract more fans, and keep them coming back, with simple contests and promotions. I suggest offering a new song to people who click your like button. Give free tickets to the fans who respond first to a promotion, which actually fosters repeat, return visits. Collect email addresses from those who like your page and offer to notify fans of tour dates and other events.
Use Cool Images
Having a face to match the songs on the stereo is the way to go. Make sure the main photo on your page is the most current available, and strive for an image that’s original and entertaining. Put things like tour posters and album art on your wall, along with pictures of concerts that you upload from mobile devices.
Get Outside Help
Consider layering on additional applications or services provided by third-party developers. Damntheradio offers a free plan for bands just starting out, and options that scale up in price and scope of services for bigger-name artists. Use the tools offered by the product allows you collect e-mail address for upcoming newsletters, post updated content in a time efficient matter, and they boast the ability to double your fan base for free.
Update The Fans
Try to put original updates on your Facebook page rather than just duplicating what you post via Twitter. People will quickly stop paying attention if there is a lack of relevant news about your music. Leave the more regular updates about your meals and life for Tweets. The quality over quantity rule definitely applies when sharing information with your Facebook fans.
Engage your fans by starting a conversation surrounding any upcoming projects and happenings with your band. If you are on tour try alternative approaches to announce your arrival into a particular town; asking for their local favorite spots is just one example. While announcing tour dates is useful, incorporating locality serves an example of a more interactive approach.
Similarly, present interesting insights about upcoming projects. Post exclusive updates only found on your page; personal touches such as this helps improve your social relationships. Upload exclusive videos and photos as well. It is this mixture that brings fans in, and makes them want to return.
It’s essential that you add onto the ongoing conversation on your page. Myspace was a revolutionary in the way that it made users feel so close to bands, and Facebook makes the process of responding to questions and comments incredibly easy. Your fans feel connected to you on these social networks; one of the main reasons they post on your pages is because they are hoping for any sort of response.
Post New Tracks
In a digital age there is an almost overwhelming expectation for new music to be released at a rapid rate. While BandPage already incorporates this feature, check into SoundCloud when looking to quickly release a demo track exclusively to your fans. Upload, share, and offer a new release occasionally. This can be especially helpful for relatively new bands that are still developing their sound. The music should always be the central point of what you are presenting on your Facebook page.
If you want to sell tracks on Facebook, consider Nimbit, which sets up a digital music shop on Facebook. The company offers a free option for the band that is just beginning, and two different sets of additional features are available for a fee; right now the most you’ll pay is $129 per year. All three plans — including the free option — include an analytics tool to help artists track successful records and songs. Fans can make purchases using a credit card or PayPal, without having to set up a special account.
Moontoast Impulse is alternative to Nimbit. (Moontoast does offer a few different options, but we recommend Impulse because it’s the quickest.) It allows for listeners to hear, purchase, and share your music with just a few clicks — and users never have to leave Facebook. The price is based on the amount of music you sell, with Moontoast Impulse getting 15 percent of the revenues on your sales.
Spread The Word
Posting tour dates on Facebook is a must, and if you can add other events, like album signings, that’s even better. Use the events feature on Facebook to invite your fans to click “attend” on dates when you’re passing through their town, and give them the opportunity to forward invites to friends. These invitations show up as reminders on your fans’ home pages.