THE DIY MUSICIAN: FORGING A FACEBOOK FOLLOWING

Advice Column

So, you’ve finally got your band together; your songs are killer and you’re set to show everybody what they’ve been missing – the only problem is, no one knows who the bloody hell you are. Your first point of contact? The entire online world. The platform for your first introduction? Facebook, obviously. The most recognisable social networking service around the globe, Facebook has been instrumental in many bands success, however, first they had to curate a faithful following.

Identify Your Target Audience

Before you and your band mates can start building an online fan base, you need to decide who will want to be a part of it. Understanding who your target audience is will ensure you choose the right tone and the right content for your Facebook page. Typically, those who enjoy music similar to yours are a great source of information for your own target audience. Other factors to consider include sex, age, location, language, occupation, education, lifestyle, income, hobbies and technological expertise. Gathering this vital information will ensure your time and energy will be directed at those that fit the bill, rather than those who are unlikely to interact with your page.

 

Post Original And Engaging Content

First things first: consistency is key. Posting once a month is never going to engage an audience, it must be regular and relevant. While posts about an album release or an upcoming show are obvious content choices, they should not be the only ones. Your page should include the ‘behind the scenes’ information – this could include posts about the writing and recording process, the music you’ve been listening to or your latest equipment purchases. Twelve Foot Ninja are just one of the many Australian bands getting it right, check out their page for inspiration here.

 

While written posts are the standard option, your original content should also include a range of your original media content. Adding a video, image or GIF to a written post is sure to increase engagement and add weight to its ranking in any news feed. Sharing links to your SoundCloud, BandCamp or YouTube websites is also an integral part of using your Facebook page to its full capacity. Ultimately, it should act as a portal to your latest news, music and videos for your fan base.

 

Use The Allusive ‘Share’ Button

It has been found that there are various reasons why people share certain posts on social media. We share for entertainment, to define ourselves, to create and continue relationships, to feel more involved in the world or to support an important cause. Knowing this, you are able to steer your original post choices in the right direction and gain an excellent insight into what to share with your audience.

 

When choosing what to share with your audience, it’s crucial that you select information that directly links to their characteristics. Using popular or trending music news, videos or images is a good start – however, if you can be a source of fresh, intriguing content, it’s likely that individuals will head to your page more often. Types of content could include fellow band announcements, remarkable videos, music news etc. Furthermore, by posting about your own interests, hobbies and the like, your fans can gage a deeper insight to who you are as a band and as individuals.

 

Perfect Your Posting Times

With all this communicating going on, the obvious question is – when should I post on Facebook? Research suggests that engagement on Facebook posts published throughout the week peaks on Thursday and Friday, whereas engagement falls around 3.5% for posts published Monday through Wednesday. In addition, the preferred posting time is from 9am-7pm, with 1pm being noted for the most shares and 3pm for the most clicks. Head here for more information.

 

Nevertheless, every page is going to vary depending on their target audience – this is where Facebook Insights comes in handy. By pressing on the ‘Insights’ tab on your page, you are able to track the types of posts that gain the most attention, at what time they are being viewed, who is viewing them, where they are located etc. By doing some research, you are able to pinpoint what times of day throughout the week are best suited to your followers, as well as the type of content they most enjoy. An alternate platform for obtaining this type of information is Fanpage Karma (highly recommended).

 

Create A Conversation

One of the greatest features of an artist Facebook page is that unlike a band’s BandCamp or SoundCloud, it allows two-way communication – so take advantage. One of the most effective ways to engage with your audience is to encourage them to become a part of the conversation. Just like any other business, consumers are more likely to invest their time and money in your brand if they feel personally connected to it.

 

Posing questions to your followers is a great place to start – you could ask them for their input on an upcoming project, what they’d like to hear on an upcoming show, what music they’ve been listening to or even what their favourite local venues are. Notorious for being a place of debate, use Facebook as a forum to talk to your followers about a relevant topic. At the end of the day, it could be as simple as replying to stand-out comments, taking some to reply to your fans messages or asking them to tag themselves in your gig photos.

 

Give Away Free Stuff

While it’s an obvious point – giveaways can be a great source of promotion and participation. Giveaways could include a double pass to your upcoming show, a free CD or piece of merchandise. By asking your followers to ‘like’, tag a friend or share the contest post, you are automatically expanding your reach. Moreover, this tactic also gives you a great insight into who’s paying attention to your posts and investing in the band’s efforts. We at Mixdown are great believers in this tool and are currently offering up the ultimate Ernie Ball Acoustic strings pack. Head here to see how you could win – see what I did there?

 

For information on how to build your band’s following on other social media platforms, head here

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