Facebook is a huge marketing channel for musicians and bands. But Facebook makes changes so often that it can be difficult to keep up with how to use it most effectively – and often bands find that what they finally learn about using tools from Facebook for musicians no longer work.
Here are some Facebook tips for musicians who want to start getting more out of their presence – whether it’s to attract more fans, promote shows or sell records. These tips aren’t comprehensive, but can provide you with some quick wins to improve the user experience for your fans.
Include a “call to action” in your posts
The only way that Facebook knows if people – like your fans – are interacting with what you post is if they “like”, “share”, or click on your post. If they just look at it on their page but don’t do anything with it, Facebook doesn’t count it as a view (even though it is). Over a very short period of time your posts will not appear as much as other posts that they click on. This is the the basis of what Facebook calls “Edgerank” which is what they use to determine what is most likely to appear in someone’s feed.
Want to be seen by your fans more often? Always include some type of “call to action” – ask readers to “like this”, “Share this”, anything that encourages them to do what is natural to do on Facebook anyway – share what they like with their friends on Facebook. This is critical for “Edgerank” which is the only way you will appear more frequently in your fans’ news feed.
Include a “call to action” in your timeline photo
Recently Facebook began allowing users to add text to their timeline photo, which appears as a large banner across your profile and official Pages. Believe it or not, this was not permitted before, although it wasn’t strictly enforced.
This means that you can include a call to action on your timeline photo, which you can use to promote a show, your new release, a discount, whatever you can imagine. Originally limited to a maximum of 20% text on your image, Facebook has unofficially removed that limit, but you should be wary of turning your image into one big ad.
The Breeders official Facebook page is an example of applying a light version of this idea, using it to promote the new release and tour:
You can take this one step further — if a visitor clicks on the timeline photo, the image opens in a new window (a “lightbox”) where you can include the URL to your web site or other location in the comments.
So consider these options:
Your timeline photo promotes your new record with a call to action like, “new record out now! Click here for more information” … the image opens and you can provide a link right next to it that directs people to where they can buy the record. And they can leave comments about the picture too.
No new record? You can do the same thing to promote your next show.
How about this — your timeline photo could even encourage people to “Like” your page, with a call to action and maybe even an arrow in the bottom right corner pointing directly to the “Like” button.
IT GETS BETTER: When you update your timeline photo, it is shared with your friends/fans, ie they see it on their timeline.
Go try it – the timeline photo dimensions are 851×315 pixels. While you are at it, you can make your profile photo complimentary (dimensions: 160×160 pixels)
Use Images for your posts
OK, so you probably aren’t surprised to hear this one. A picture is worth a thousand words right? Guess what else pictures are worth on Facebook:
Photos receive 53% more Likes
300 million photos uploaded every day (+20% from 2012)
When you upload an image, it appears prominently on everyone’s timelines — both on desktop and mobile. And in an upcoming redesign of the Facebook news feed page, images are only going to get bigger.
So try this next time you want to link to a review of your record, or a cool article, or anything you want to share. Don’t just add a link in your post to that infographic or newspaper article. Post an image instead and make that your post, along with a comment that contains your link. Now I don’t think this is ALWAYS the best option, because sometimes it’s darn cool to see the snippet of text from what you are linking to … but here’s a quick look at how it appears in Facebook on the desktop (apologies my images are a bit rough).
Here’s a standard “status” post where I’ve added a link and kept a preview:
Here I’ve uploaded an image and included my comment and link:
And then if someone wants to see the entire image, they can, along with the link:
This is really only scratching the surface of what’s possible with posts and images in Facebook, but these three items will help you get your fans’ attention, and their engagement. And when engagement increases, your chances to be noticed by “friends of friends” also increases – dramatically, since Facebook loves to find ways to connect people based on their interests.