Facebook Marketing For Musicians Guide
June 27, 2019
Facebook marketing for musicians is still valuable, even when Facebook has lost plenty of users under the age of 30 to Instagram. Consider that marketing pros use Facebook more than any other networking options. That’s because Facebook is a fantastic marketing tool.
A Facebook survey revealed that for people who use both feeds equally, Facebook better satisfies their need for empowerment, recognition and connection, and Instagram more strongly fulfills their desire for fun, relaxation and discovery (don’t worry, a lovely post about Instagram for Artists is coming soon!).
Basically, where you post might come down to the type of content you’re developing. Facebook allows you to embed longer videos (e.g. an interview) rather than the 15-min stories or 1-min feed videos you might do for IG (e.g. a quick behind-the-scenes look before the show).
So while building out your brand on Facebook, this handy guide describes a facebook strategy for musicians full of tips and tricks you won’t want to be without. Let’s get started.
Facebook Marketing for Musicians Setup
The very first thing music artists on Facebook need to know is that you need a page, not a profile. What’s the difference? Oh, geeze, so much. Artists on Facebook with pages can allow band mates, managers or collaborators to edit and use the profile. They can figure out a target audience in Facebook Insights:
- What’s the biggest age group of your audience?
- What genders?
- When do they visit your page?
- How often do they visit your page?
- What do they do while they’re there?
You can see graphs for which posts work and which don’t.
But most importantly, it’s actually against Facebook’s rules to use a personal profile for anything other than an actual person. Not to say you aren’t a real person, but the goal is to drive some business with your page. They can shut your profile down if they find out you’re using your profile as a band or music-related business.
So obviously artists should have a page. How do you do that? Super easy.
Go to www.facebook.com without logging in. Beneath the signup form, there’s a link to “Create a Page.” Click that, and go through that process to make a band account (even if you’re not a band). Now you have a page!
When you click that, it’s going to ask you to pick a kind of page. In your case, it’s this one. Don’t pick “Entertainment” or “Brand or Product” thinking you might stand out. All that will do is confuse Facebook when it tries to send music listeners to you.
Facebook Optimization for Artist Pages
After this, Facebook will send you through a series of steps. The first is to fill out your ‘About’ section. One of the worst Facebook practices for artists is to ignore the ‘About’ part of your page. That’s the part where you explain what your music is about, who you are, and all that. Fill it out like you’re your own biggest fan with some history and a clear voice
Once you have a solid ‘About’ section, upload some great images for your photo library. Select a portrait for your page and a cover image, and you’re ready to start your actual Facebook strategy for musicians.
Your cover image can be more than an image, though. You can make it a video of a performance. Or you can put a line of text in it hinting at an upcoming announcement. Use it to talk to your people. They like when you tell them things and the cover image is the first thing they see when they come to your page. Make sure to match branding on other socials as well.
Next, place links to like, every social media account you have for your music. Pinterest? Link to it. SoundCloud? Link to it. Instagram? Link. Twitter? Link. Pinterest? Link, link, link. There are HTML tabs you can add to actually show your feed from these platforms on Facebook — so you’re not asking a viewer to leave a platform they like and are already engaging on.
What if you haven’t got Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Soundcloud and the like? It may seem too overwhelming at first to create accounts at all these places. In the long run, though, you’re definitely going to want to link, or network, all these things to your new Facebook page.
Not to mention, you don’t want someone else to take your name on the other platforms. It happens all the time. That’s why you see huge performers with silly names like, @MichaelJackson_music_real and such. If MJ had gotten in there sooner, he’d own a much better Instagram name.
Oh, and let’s say Facebook goes dark (hey, it could happen) or becomes like MySpace, losing users left and right to a new platform, you’ll want to make sure your fans can find and engage you elsewhere.
You want to take users beyond just engaging with your posts to actually getting traffic back to your website where they can then learn even more about you, buy merch or tickets, and join your e-newsletter list. Oh, that’s an HTML tab you can have on Facebook as well — so they can directly opt-in. Nope e-mail is not dead (there will be a blog post about that later as well). That’s why it’s super important to link, or “anchor,” your artist page to a real website.
Facebook marketing for musicians doesn’t depend on a home website, but you can tell Facebook thinks they’re pretty important. After all, they put the option right up front when they give you tips on how to make your page useful and attractive.
This is something to keep in mind when building your own website, putting the most important information to the left (since we read left to right) or at the top (since we read top to bottom).
If you don’t have a site, you can make one free at this site or this one, among others. A site is your hub, the ultimate real estate, so put some time and effort into making it look good from a user-experience standpoint. You’ll be getting your music to new listeners and on playlists in no time.
Some examples of artists who’ve done a solid job on their Facebook pages include Octiive artists such as:
Note, too, that even after you start with a great Facebook page, you’ll want to keep updating it with fresh material. Facebook gets better all the time. Lots of pages still don’t have video for their featured image at top. That’s because it’s a pretty new feature. Regardless, these are solid examples of what your page should include.
Best Practices for Musicians on Facebook
Once you’ve got your Facebook page set up with plenty of links to your other social media accounts, images and videos of your music and your people, and all the other things we’ve described, you’re ready to use it.
Here are some quick tips on how to get the most out of your page:
- Always reply positively.
Someone comments, reply positive right away. Even if they post to say they don’t like your music, it’s a good idea to reply right away with something smiley, like, “Dang, very sorry you didn’t like the show. I’ll guest-list you for the next one if you like!” or, “That’s too bad — I try to make every song better than my last one. Here’s hoping the next one is more your style!”
You can set up for monitoring comments just to keep the trolls out, but there’s nothing worse than someone leaving a comment and having you delete it. You’re just asking for them to jump on another platform and talk all about how you denied them the right to voice their thoughts. If people feel you’re filtering out comments, it looks less genuine.
- Post often, post quality.
When I say post often, I don’t mean bombard your audience. The Facebook feed doesn’t move as quick as Twitter. You should post something every day though. Facebook marketing for artists means posting. One strategy is to create consistent themes or categories for what you post, so you offer variety and mix in more sales related items like merch, tickets, streams with fun games and behind-the-scenes imagery.
An example is below:
You can put together a calendar with these categories on them and start collecting a queue of content. Also, make sure to leave room for in-the-moment live streams. As mentioned, fans really want you to be genuine and raw rather than scripted. That’s how you make super-fan connections that will start promoting your music for you.
After you get more than 30 followers, you’ll be able to look at Facebook Analytics (more on this later) to see when most people do things on your page. Post stuff on varying days and times initially — so you can test which day/time combo works best for you when it comes to increasing engagement. And note that it may vary depending on type of content or audience being targeted, meaning be careful not to make blanket assumptions or generalize.
Do major artists do this because it works for them? Of course they do. Even if she’s just hanging out on the balcony, Gaga thinks it’s worth her time.
- Use videos.
A study by Buzz Sumo says that “Video posts get at least 59% more engagement than other post types. Although photos are widely accepted by marketers to be one of the most successful post types, video outperformed photos by 73%.”
[Edit: Aaand by the way, you can totally use the Octiive x Rotor service for just 25 bucks right now to make your own official music video in about half an hour and have a ton of fun doing it. You don't even have to learn how to do it. Just let us walk you through it step-by-step!]
So maybe we shouldn’t be surprised when Octiive artist Silvi Fort posts a video and it hits over 7k views in six weeks.
- Use polls.
One of the coolest things about Facebook that none of the other platforms does a good job at is polls. Polls are one of the most effective Facebook practices for musicians. In fact, Neil Patel says that while 1st place goes to videos, 2nd place goes to polls.
A Facebook strategy for musicians is much more complete with polls, because they’re super elastic. You can make polls on Facebook with videos, photos, or just words. They can go in your story or your news feed.
But where the value really lies is in the data. If you’re smart about what you ask, you get direct feedback from fans with minimal effort such as what content they like the most that you post, what venue in what city they prefer to go to so you can make sure to book it on tour, or which song they like best on your latest album.
And maybe more importantly than anything else on this short list:
- Use Facebook Insights
Facebook Insights or Analytics is a giant section for pages only where you can learn all about your audience. Think of Facebook Analytics or Insights as your War Room. This is where you can figure out the ages, genders, locations, and so much more about your listeners. Once you have those things figured out, you’ll have a much better idea of how to talk with them.
On your Posts tab in Analytics, you can see when your audience is online, like this.
You can tell from the graph that most of your fans hang out on your page at 10am. That means if you post at 10am, you’re more likely to get likes and comments.
Since Facebook boosts posts which get activity in the first 20 minutes, you’ll want to post something at that time whenever you can. But that’s just an example.
Now that we’ve gone through the ins and outs of your new page (deep breath) you should be using Facebook Messenger, too (exhale). Read on to find out why.
Facebook Messenger for Music Marketing
As the above graph shows, many people prefer Messenger to regular Facebook. Other sources say many people even prefer Messenger to email. In any case, Facebook marketing for musicians should include Messenger, and here are some ways you can do that.
- Use Facebook ads which open up a conversation with you or your management.
It’s a thing — you can totally buy Facebook ads which open a conversation on your Messenger app with fans or people who might become your fans. Never underestimate the power of talking with your audience one-on-one. They love that.
Ain’t got the time? Get your label or manager to do it. Ain’t got a label or a manager? No problem, just …
- Make a free chatbot to deliver your content on Messenger. It’s not hard to do.
Chatbots are easy (and pretty fun!) to make online. They’re also free. If you spend enough time on yours, people will enjoy interacting with your bot. It doesn’t have to be fake, either. You can tell your audience it’s a bot and ask them questions to direct the conversation. If your bot is creative enough, your fans will love hanging out with it for a little while.
- Engage your fans at events. Go to shows and festivals and message your fans there.
Lots of people enjoy using their phones at events to get some time “alone” for a few minutes. If you’re performing, you’re probably performing with other artists. There’s nothing wrong with sending out a group text on Messenger to the people who said they’re at the show. Say something like, “Artist X is killing it right now!” And if anyone replies with a question, hang out with them online a little. (Just don’t vanish into your phone completely. It’s still a live show).
- Get quick responses to your performances, videos, and official releases.
One thing Messenger does really well is give you moment-to-moment reactions. If you can engage your fans on Facebook Messenger, they can tell you right now what they’re thinking. Later they may hear talk or see something online which changes their minds about your latest video. If you send out a Messenger blast right after it goes online, though, you can talk to fans right away to get their input. Golden.
So, all of the above is free. But what about paid? Let’s talk about that.
Paid Facebook Marketing for Musicians
All of that is great for free, but what if you’ve got some cash you’re willing to spend? Is it worth it?
Recent studies say yes, if you can afford to do so, and it doesn’t have to be very expensive. Although we could talk for hours about paid social, we want to keep it as simple as we can for those who may be completely new to the Facebook ads space. So let’s just assume you’re going to spend some money on paid Facebook advertising, and look at some best practices.
- Do focus your message on your end goal. Do you want more fans or more album sales? Are you trying to get people to your show? Don’t pay without focusing on your goal.
- Do target the right audience. Use Facebook Insights to figure out who you need to reach, and don’t forget to target those who like similar artists. Once you start running ads, the more robust data in Facebook Ads Manager will serve you well. It offers breakdown options to segment:
- Those who have taken a desired action like leaving Facebook to make a purchase on the website
- Age and gender
- Time and Day
Keep in mind that your organic audience may vary from those that engage with ads.
Why does this matter?
If someone is buying more of your tickets and merch, you probably would spend more to serve other tickets and merch announcement ads up to them in a retargeting campaign — because they’re more likely to purchase them in the future and your cost per acquisition (i.e. cost getting someone to meet the goal within the campaign) goes down. That means you spend less.
1.) Do experiment with your ads to see what works better and worse. You can try running a video ad against a single image ad, or offering a particular merchandise item over another. You can use Facebook Product Ads if you have merchandise on your website or try out dynamic ads that switch up copy and imagery based on criteria you set so they have the most relevance to the individual seeing.
2.) Do start off advertising to as many people as possible, though, to learn who your ads work for. Once you know your audience, dial it back down. Don’t start with a hundred people, or you’ll not learn much from your Facebook Insights.
Then, pick a target audience that is neither too broad nor too narrow. Think, “Do I really need to reach a million people to get ticket sales for my next show? Or would 1000 people in that town make more sense?” Don’t just advertise to as many as you can.
If someone is in a particular region, I can serve up only event announcements that are in their area. I can’t stress this point enough: the more relevant and segmented the content you serve up is, the better results and more you save on advertising.
3.) Do make sure your ads have high-quality images. Can’t stress this enough. If your image is even a little blurry or low-budget-looking, it’s going to work against you. Don’t advertise to people that you’re bad at making a public image.
One mistake we’ve seen a lot of people make is use the same image for both IG and Facebook, both mobile and desktop, or for all placements. The same goes for the copy you add. Look at the previous and make sure you size accordingly for these variables.
4.) Do let your paid Facebook ads run for a while before you tweak them or stop them. If you start messing with them a week after they start, your Facebook Insights won’t mean much. Don’t get impatient and screw up your precious data.
There’s something we like to call statistical significance or confidence level, which is basically taking the impressions or reach and the results and figuring out if it was a big enough sample to justify a conclusion. Don’t worry, you don’t have to know statistics to do this. Just use this handy calculator, input the data, and see if you get 95% confidence level or higher. It also helps you see if any clear winners or losers for content and offers you’re testing.
A Wrap-Up on Facebook Marketing
In the end, the truth is that today’s indie musicians just can’t do without Facebook marketing for musicians. That’s exactly what many artists come to realise when they try to ignore it, too.
In their article, “DIY Bands Can’t Quit Facebook Even If They Want To,” Paste Magazine cites artists like Speedy Ortiz, Cheekface and Corey Flood who admit Facebook is a necessity they’d like to not use if they could, but they can’t.
It also quotes concert promoter Morgan Schaffner of AdHoc who says, “People’s decision to attend a show is often based on social reasons, and Facebook does truly make it very easy to see which of your friends are ‘attending’ a show… I think it’d be very challenging to as easily find such a large target audience.”
So now that this guide has helped make it easy, and since Facebook has always said they’d keep it free, what are you waiting for? Facebook marketing for musicians is just a few clicks and likes away.