When A Like Isn’t A Like: Advice for Independent Bands and Musicians

Posted: June 5, 2012 in Links, Promotion, Social Media
Tags: , , , ,

Facebook’s been annoying people lately, but it’s still an important way to promote yourself and your music. These do’s and don’ts of Facebook marketing are geared towards musicians, but they really can apply to any business or product.

DON’T tell your fans what to do

Have you ever been solicited with “Vote for us to be the #1 band on (insert site here)!!!” or “Listen to our new EP and follow us on Twitter!” It gets annoying. Many bands and musicians make this mistake because they believe that the best way to get people to listen is to advertise like it’s the 1950s. Unfortunately, that won’t work anymore, and the most successful bands find ways to connect to their audiences FIRST, and then use those connections to promote more effectively.

DO Share Your Journey With Your Fans

The better way to promote is to present information similar to how you would your life to a friend. Let your fans know what you’re up to (writing, recording, music video, etc), don’t shout it at them. Provide content they will enjoy and make them want to be active in promoting your music. If you want them to vote for you on some blog or magazine competition, make a request, not a demand, and make it seem like they would be contributing to your success and ability to make more awesome music.

Ideas For Content:

Marketing Plan Tactics For Independent Musicians Part 3: Content Is King

DON’T Require “Likes” To Unlock Your Songs

Of all the sins committed on Facebook, this one irks me the most. At best you have a “like” that may or may not be attached to an actual fan (they won’t know until they listen to your music) and at worst, you lost a potential fan because they decided it wasn’t worth the “like.” It may seem like a good idea on the surface, but requiring someone who isn’t yet a fan to do something is likely to end up in fewer fans. If they like your music, they’ll like your page.

DO Request Emails For Track Downloads

If someone is looking to download your music, they’re already a fan. You have something they want and you can use that leverage to get something valuable from them. Emails are incredibly important, especially for bands who are taking the DIY approach. They allow you to target your fans specifically for shows or promotions or even exclusive content. By all means, still put a price on your music – someone may prefer to pay $1 rather than give out their email – but make sure there is at least one song available for download in exchange for an email (make it a single, not an album cut).

Platforms:

Bandcamp is great for this. As is Topspin.

DON’T Rely On Likes Alone

Likes are not a great representation of how many fans a band actually has. For example, a percentage are likely from friends and family of the band (who may not actually listen to the music), from people who listened to a song and then forgot about you, or from people who are interested in the music, but don’t take initiative when it comes to spreading the word.

DO Look At Stats

Facebook did a great thing for bands and businesses when they added the “reach” and other stats to pages. If you can get people talking about you, that’s a sign you are gaining popularity and a fan base. Try to get as high a ratio of “talking about this” to “likes” as possible. Those are your true fans. You can count on these people to share your content and reach people who might not have heard of you yet. Facebook keeps track of both the people talking about you and how far their posts reach.

Get Started:

Understanding “Talking About This”

100 Ways To Promote Your Band

Seth Godin Agrees

What do you do to keep your presence on Facebook interesting?

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