So you've got 5,000 fans. Congratulations! Your friends, family, and first hardcore fans came out to represent on Facebook. To get to this point, you've very likely asked everyone you know to "like" your Fan Page, posted awesome videos from shows, and even given away some free CDs. So how do you up the ante?
Industry folks are using social media presence more and more to identify up and coming bands. Aside from the quality of your music, your engaged fan base and the rate at which it is growing is increasingly being used as an early indicator to your potential and marketability as an artist. Showing up online and getting your fans to show up there too only helps your future as a full time musician. Getting to this milestone is a first huge step in spreading the word about your music. Your current Facebook strategy could be nonexistent, dwindling in effect or still working well but it never hurts to figure out where you want to go from there. Some bands take years to hit 5,000 fans, others have done it in less than a year. Either way, it's time to evaluate and build on the momentum you've created.
Evaluating starts with defining your goals as a band. Do you want to be a household name, become a respected niche artist, or just continue playing music in your basement as a release from your day job? If you want the latter, 5,000 fans is pretty awesome for someone with no desire to make a career from music. Stop here. Want the former? You've got a ways to go…
These three steps will help you start thinking about how you want Facebook to work for your band.
1. Choose an artist that represents the social media presence you would like to emulate. This should be based on their content sharing style and level of engagement from fans.
- Sharing Style: There are many different styles of communication on Facebook. You could be funny, playful, serious or just a grounded, easily relatable musician. Whatever fits most with your image. Are you a glorified rock star, a bashful singer-songwriter, a lovable hipster, or a down-to-earth guy or girl next door? Decide how you want to be perceived so you can show who you are through everything you do.
- Engagement: How do you want your fans to engage with you? Think about the quality of information that is shared through your example artist's page and what the response is from fans. Are they getting a bunch of likes on their status posts? Comments? Analyzing this isn't so you can copy them, it's so you can get an idea of the themes that attracted you to them. Your well-executed strategy should do the same for your potential fans.
2. Set goals on how many new fans per month you'd like to add.
Days and weeks fluctuate too much and let's face it, you need time to, well, make music. Set a reminder to check your numbers through Facebook Insights each month. Pay attention to likes, unique impressions, comments and how many people are "talking about this." If you reach the goal, increase it by 10%. If you don't reach it, find out why and adjust your approach.
There are a few main reasons why you may not have reached your monthly goal. Did you not have enough time to dedicate to Facebook this month? Is your performance schedule thin? Is your music accessible online for your fans? Social strategy is all about looking for ways to improve and measuring what works. It's important to link the changes you've made in your strategy to the numbers to know what's working for you. You may find some things you've been doing all along are working best!
3. Set a plan in motion that you can keep up with and always remember quality over quantity.
Those 5,000 fans you've acquired? They are your biggest megaphone. Giving them quality content and encouraging them to share with others gets you noticed. Think of photos from your show, posts about your album, tour date announcements and more filling up other people's news feeds. Are you drooling yet?
Check out the Of Monsters and Men Fan Page. The band takes a photo of the crowd (above) at nearly every show and asks fans to tag themselves. They even have a photo album dedicated to these types of pictures. Not only do they have people engaging with their page but all those tags, comments, and likes end up in the news feeds of others and integrated into the profiles of their fans. Not bad for a free, viral marketing strategy!
There are hundreds of ways to customize your marketing strategy and there are countless tools that can help you make it happen. There’s never been a better time to be an independent musician. In the next post, we'll talk specifically about some key strategies and tools that can help you capitalize on your progress and keep the ball rolling.
Have you used any interesting approaches to engagement on Facebook that have or have not worked? Let us know in the comments!