During the weekend my Facebook page reached 5000 likes 🙂 Even though I am fully aware this is only a number, it still felt like a bit of an achievement. Also I got a request to give some tips for those of only starting to build their following on Facebook, so looking back now I have few tips to share. There are definitely things here I wish I would have known from the start, and by writing them down maybe I can help others on their path. So let’s get straight in to it, glass take notes 😉
Get the basics right
In the beginning you will be scared to do anything, it’s natural. And when you post something, you will be disappointed if it does not pick up some steam fast. So I’ll encourage you to get the basics right for now. Make sure your page has a profile photo, and I insist this is a picture of you! People look for someone to relate to. If you don’t follow this piece of advice right now, you will regret later. Then get the cover photo sorted, this is the larger photo on your Facebook page. Here you have more room to elaborate on your brand. I have a picture of my guitars fingerboard, as my acoustic guitar is such an important part of my music. You can also put your logo on the picture. Images are important, so spend a bit of time on these.
Then there are few simple things you can do at the beginning, just to boost your own feeling of “things are moving along.” You can invite your friends to like the page, they are a great help in the beginning stages of the process, just so that your page does not look too lonely to the strangers passing by. But let me make this clear, your friends more than likely are not going to be your fans! So don’t dwell on that too long.
Content is the king!
What you want to do from the very first day onwards every day, rain or shine, is to share quality content! By this I mean stuff you think the people you are trying to target as your potential fans would like. There is a very solid 80/20 rule in social media marketing. This means, 80% of your posts should not be about marketing you, but stuff your fans might like And the 20% should be about you. In my experience blogging is one of the best ways to do this. If you are not big in to writing, try vloging (video diary kind of thing). This serves two purposes, it allows you to share stuff that might not be directly about you, while still driving traffic to your website. I blog a lot, so I might have 12 links to my website every week, while only one or two of them has to do directly with my music. Most of it is me sharing, advice, thoughts, other people’s music… This is your content, get creating a lot of it!
The second thing is cross promotion. I cannot over emphasise the power of Twitter. Get on it and fast! I’d assume at least 20% of my Facebook likes come from people who first discovered me on Twitter. But you need to let this cross promotion happen naturally. Asking people to give your Facebook page a like is fine, but only if you give them a reason to do it (before we continue, I’d like you to think about that last sentence for a while). Don’t go on to Twitter just so you can build Facebook following. Instagram is a good one as well. You can link it to your Facebook page, and share images through it. Besides, Instagram has some great tools to make even you’re not so good photos look much better.
Now let me remind you at this point that if you as an artist do not have your own website, stop right here. Get a website before you even try to build following on Facebook. Not having a website makes you look unprofessional! And no number of Facebook likes will change that… First things first, website!
So let’s assume you have a website. Now the one tool I wish I would have known about from the start is SumoMe. This app rocks! You install it on to your website, and it will give you a set of tools to spread your stuff on social media, build a mailing list and get people to like your Facebook page. You can read more about SumoMe HERE.
Last but not least, well targeted Facebook ads are extremely powerful and cheap way to get a head of your game. Don’t confuse this with buying likes from those nasty click farms, they are waste of money and will harm your Facebook page. I know you are saying right now that you don’t have budget for the ads… You can start from $1 a day! So what did you spend a $1 dollar today, that you can live without? What did you spend $7 this week that definitely was not as important than the success of your career in music? Can you miss one night out this month and instead invest $31 to your career? You see, building it is not enough. People will not come, unless you tell them about it first.
Lat but not least, be real. don;t pretend to be something you are not. et people know you are a struggling musician trying to make it, share the journey with them. Reply to every comment. Talk to people, like you would in real life. Being genuine in the world of social media will take you far. Also you will come across few haters along the way. Do not engage, do not feed them what they want. Just simply block them. Your Facebook page is YOUR sand box, you set the rules, and if people don’t play by them, kick them out.
So there we go, that should get you to a good start in building a strong Facebook page. If you want me to elaborate on any of the points here, just let me know and I can get more in to details in a future blog post 🙂
The author J.P. Kallio is a singer songwriter
To get EIGHT of his songs for free go HERE