Facebook for Musicians: FAQ #1

I have been receiving lots of great questions about the original Facebook tips for musicians post, so I decided to start addressing some of them directly on the blog.

From Richard S.

Hey Noah—

I agree with your general points; potential fans flock toward quality on their own terms. I also agree that the constant stream of facebook events can be annoying. But…

I checked my facebook page and it turns out that it doesn’t allow me to invite any of my ‘likers’ to events made by that page. The only way I can publicize an event made by a page is to make a status with the event in it. This does not guarantee that everyone who ‘likes’ my page knows about when/where I’ll be performing.

My conundrum: whenever I have a performance and do not invite all of my personal facebook friends to an event, after the gig a number of people say to me “dude, why didn’t you tell me you were playing in _______?” What would be a good way to eliminate that problem? Would you recommend I limit gig notifications to an e-mail list? etc.

Talk to you soon!
Richard S.

ANSWER:

Hi Richard,

Thanks for the comment. Having email list is a great way to remind people about your shows. If you have a website, make sure that it’s easy for people to 1. sign up for your email list, and 2. join you on your social media platforms. There are also other steps you can take to maximize the amount of people who follow you online. For example, under every YouTube video, ask people to find you on Facebook and put a link. That way, anyone who likes your music on YouTube has the chance to follow you on Facebook and receive all of your statuses and updates.

Other important tips to consider:

1. When you post. Make sure you post at times when the most people are online and active. I personally find that this is between 9:30pm and 12:00am given the musician demographic.

2. How often you post. You want to post at least once a day. However, the way Facebook works these days, your post will get lost if you don’t get lots of “likes” and comments, so it’s OK to post multiple times a day, every couple of hours (though I would change up the posts. Don’t just post the same thing over and over). You’ll probably reach different people each time.

I think for most musicians who read this post, there will have to be a transitional period between using their normal Facebook profile and their Facebook page. It takes time to build up your “likes,” and not all your fans will “like” your new page right off the bat. However, social media is really a word-of-mouth business. By providing value to those who follow you online, they will spread the word (or “share” it) and you will gain new fans.

The most important tip I can give you is to be as creative as possible. Before you write a post, think beforehand: “What would make me click on this link?” “What can I say about this that will provide value to those who read it instead of just straight up promoting my show?” That’s really what good marketing comes down to in general. Doing something surprising, creative, or valuable. You want to stand alone. When people thing “singer,” you want to be one of the first people they think of.

Example:

1. Post your event to your Facebook page and Pin it to the top of your page so that anyone who visits will see it first.

2. Come up with a really hilarious and creative poster/picture for your show and hopefully people spread it around and hundreds of people will be drawn to your page. (By the way, pictures have been proven to be the most viral form of media on Facebook.)

And there you go. Many people who like the poster will be drawn back to your page, where they will see the event at the top and hopefully join.

Hope this helps. Let me know if you have more questions.

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Twitter Tips for Musicians

Do you ever wonder how to market yourself as a musician by using a site like twitter? Because I wondered for a very long time.

So here’s how to use Twitter to your advantage.

Twitter is great for a couple reasons:

1. Everything you tweet (a tweet is basically like a little status update) is searchable. That means that Google will find your tweets if you include keywords in them (see the earlier post about using keywords if you don’t know what they are!).

2. Twitter is a constant gigantic conversation. If you look in the right places, you can meet lots of interesting people who could really help you down the road. (That being said, if you don’t look in the right places, you’ll find a lot of spam and people who really don’t care about what you’re doing.)

Some extra basics for new twitter users:

  • A tweet can be many things.
  • Everyone can see any of your tweets.
  • If you click reply, then you communicate with someone else by mentioning them in your tweet so that they see it. This doesn’t stop anyone else from seeing it.
  • When you click retweet (two overlapping arrows under a tweet), this basically just repeats what someone else tweeted as your own tweet.

The basic point of twitter is to gain followers and interact with them. You have to be constantly sending out tweets and “replying” to other people’s tweets. If you like someone else’s tweet, then you can “retweet” it out to the twitter world form you account.

How do you get followers? Well, there are lots of ways to get followers. Like all social media, what it comes down to is making sure you direct people to and from your twitter account. So, for example, if you have an email newsletter, make sure you have a link to your twitter account in the letter. If you have a website, make sure you have a link to your website on your twitter profile.

The only other sure way of gaining followers is by following people in the first place. There are some tricks to doing this effectively, however. I would highly discourage you from going out on twitter and following tons of random people for no reason.

Here’s a step by step. We’ll use the fictional example of jazz pianist John Sailor, who lives in New York, NY:

1. Make sure your profile description is concise and to the point. John’s will say: “Jazz pianist from New York, NY.”

2. Search for people with whom you have a common interest. John will search for keywords like “jazz pianist,” “new york jazz musician.” When you’re sorting through people, click on people’s names to make sure they use twitter frequently and aren’t spammers. Follow them.

3. Make sure to engage with anyone who tweets to you by replying to them and retweeting their tweets.

4. After a few days, you will need to unfollow the people who didn’t follow him back. Go to tweepi.com and sign in using the free version. You will click “flush.” This will allow you to unfollow people.

5. Follow back any people who follow you, after you make sure they’re not spammers, that is.

5. Repeat steps 1-5 and make sure you continue to tweet regularly!

Important extra tips:

  • If you sign up for a Hootsuite account, you can schedule lots of tweets in advance so that you don’t have to be on twitter quite as much.
  • Try changing your profile description every once in a while. This might help you attract new followers. For example, maybe John grew up in New Haven, Connecticut. He should put this in his description before he goes onto twitter and follows people from New Haven.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please go to the top right of the home page and click “follow.” Much more to come!

Facebook Tips for Musicians

Lets be honest. For most musicians out there, facebook is still just a great way to send out ridiculous event invites that absolutely no one cares about (i.e. slowly lose more and more fans). “But isn’t that what I’m supposed to do?” You ask. “How else will people know when and where I’m playing?” Well I have news for you… if you are using your facebook profile to send out event invites to anyone other than your good friends, you are probably pissing people off, or at the very least, just getting ignored. THIS IS WHY FACEBOOK CREATED ARTIST PAGES. If you are an artist, go on facebook and create an artist page. DO NOT SEND ONE MORE EVENT INVITE FROM YOUR PERSONAL PROFILE.

Why is an artist page any different? Because anyone who will receive information from your artist page has “liked” you already, thus saying essentially that he or she actually WANTS to hear about what you’re doing. DISCLAIMER: Do not make a facebook page and then harass everyone to get as many likes as possible. It’s QUALITY vs. QUANTITY here folks. You want people who are actually interested to “like” your page. This leads to the next point. If you read CrushIt, you’ll have this hammered in throughout the entirety of the book. How to get fans: be honest, be sincere, be yourself, and most importantly, be consistent. Social media is a constant conversation between you and your fans. You never want to ignore them. You always want to be sincere. You want everyone to feel like they’re part of the conversation. You want people to like you. And “like” you.

Follow these 3 simple rules at all times:

1. Answer everyone, and answer them in a timely manner. This means answer people’s comments on your facebook posts, etc.

2. Be sincere. Don’t post anything for the sake of posting.

3. Post content (videos, links, writing, etc.), but only content that means something to you. Tell your fans why you like it. This will actually end up showing them why they should like it. This can include funny or interesting videos of yourself, things you’ve written, or just links to stuff that you enjoy.

Finally, be patient. Don’t expect to get a ton of fans all of the sudden. If you’re consistent and sincere and post interesting content, your fan base will grow.

Some extra tips for getting fans:

  • Make sure you have links to all of your social media on the home page of your website
  • Put your facebook link on your business card.
  • Put the link in your email signature.
  • Bring a sign to shows with a small paper to join the email list, and say “Find me on facebook” with your link.
  • Start voicing your opinions and making a presence online by commenting on other people’s facebook pages (if you’re a saxophonist, post SINCERE comments on other saxophonist’s pages so their fans can find you. BUT DO NOT PROMOTE YOURSELF ON OTHER PEOPLE’S PAGES.)
  • Comment on blogs and websites related to your subject.
  • Put in a google alert for keywords that match your subject matter (if you’re a pianist who loves bill evans, put in a google alert for discussions surrounding Bill Evans). You can then follow these words and track conversations about them. Then comment and leave a link back to your facebook!
  • Use keywords and phrases in your posts (if you’re a jazz violinist, keywords might include: jazz violin, jazz violinist, how to play jazz violin, jazz violin composer, you get the point.)

If you want to check out some more detailed info about social media, I highly recommend these sources:

  1. http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/
  2. Likable – A book by Dave Kerpen
  3. Crush It! – A book by Gary Vaynerchuck

Hope it helps!

If you like this post, please go to the top right of the home page and click “follow.” Much more to come!