Facebook has not only revolutionized the way we share our world with friends and family, but for independent musicians, it also provides an extremely easy way to build up a community of fans and market to them. Facebook advertising is also very cost-effective, perfect for those with limited budgets.
Here is how to leverage Facebook in your music marketing efforts.
Build Your Fan Page First
Although Facebook is notorious for continuously changing their formatting and features, it appears the Timeline function is here to stay. This is a good thing for bands, as there is now much greater real estate available on screen for music marketing.
First, there is the enormous “cover photo,” the exact size of which is 825 x 315. Design an eye-catching banner, using the afore-mentioned size specifications to avoid cropping. While you cannot directly advertise here or put a call-to-action per Facebook’s terms of service, you can get creative and incorporate things like special messages, tour dates, fan pictures, etc.
Next, upload lots of content, especially concert photographs, videos, behind-the-scenes shots and interviews. A Fan Page works best when it provides exclusive content not found anywhere else, as this encourages fans to not only share your content, but also to check in regularly to see what other interesting things you might post. Don’t be afraid to get a little personal and update often.
By building your Fan Page first, you have a destination which you can drive visitors to using both Facebook Ads and Sponsored Stories, which we cover next.
Facebook ads, which run to the right of the News Feed, are extremely cheap and offer tens of thousands of impressions for just a few pennies. With nearly a billion users on Facebook, the potential reach is incredible.
The real power of these ads, however, lies in their ability to laser-target a certain demographic. It is possible to design an ad and have it display only to people in a certain age group, location, or that have demonstrated interest in a certain keyword. For example, you can set your ad to display to 18-34 year-olds that live in New Jersey and like Bon Jovi. The sky’s the limit with how specific you can get here, saving money by showing ads only to the right public. Check out some best practices here.
A relatively new feature, Facebook’s Sponsored Stories will take an interaction performed by one of your fans, such as liking one of your posts, and display it in the News Feed of their friends. There is currently no other way to place an advertisement in the News Feed itself, so this approach is expected to generate much more engagement than a regular ad. Having good content that Fans would like to share is crucial here, as only things posted by you on your Fan Page qualify for use in a Sponsored Story.
Facebook advertising — a cheap, effective resource that should be explored as part of any music marketing planning.