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:
Likable – A book by Dave Kerpen
Crush It! – A book by Gary Vaynerchuck
Hope it helps!
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