Just the Tips is a weekly column of helpful tips to help musicians promote their music on the internet by Doug Arley. Doug is a web developer and project mananger for an Orlando based web marketing company where he helps professionals nationwide manage their online reputation on a daily basis. Whether it's developing a social media presence, or setting up artist website, Just the Tips has something for every aspiring artist.
Every Thursday, I find myself incredibly bored while starla heads off the One Hour Compo. I’ve worked in web marketing for a year, and every day I see a video game remix artist or some other musician who’s trying to promote their music, but just doesn’t know how. Just the Tips is weekly-to-bi-weekly article on how to take control of your web presence and promote your brand. I say brand because that’s what you are: A brand that you are trying to sell. Maybe you’re selling it for free, maybe you’re collecting digital downloads, but you are selling your name above all all else. If you are serious about your music, and serious about getting it heard by everyone out there who might want to hear it, these will be some helpful hints to getting the most out of your web presence.
If you’re an artist these days, there’s 2 things that are absolutely required: A YouTube profile, and a Facebook Page. Even more so than a website, these 2 things are going to get you the exposure you want. That isn’t to say you shouldn’t have a personal music website, because you should, but a Facebook Page and a YouTube profile are 2 simple, free, things you can set up quickly and easily. As you can probably tell by the title of the article, today I’m going to focus on Facebook Pages, but in the upcoming weeks expect more tips for setting up a YouTube account. Be prepared to get yelled at if you don’t own a custom domain name for your website at the very least, but again, that’s for another time.
Today, Facebook released it’s new Pages layout, so thought it’d be a good topic to talk about. When I say Facebook Page, I don’t mean your personal Facebook profile. Facebook Pages, previously “Facebook Fan Pages,” are Facebook Pages for your brand. Why is it important to have a Facebook Page? Well consider that over 500,000,000 people were using Facebook by late last year. That’s 7% of the population of the entire planet, and over 25% of the people using the internet. Quite literally everyone, and their mother, is using Facebook these days. So how does this help you as an artist?
- It’s additional web real-estate. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: There isn’t much legitimate real-estate on the web that can’t be turned into good real-estate. When someone searches your name on Google, you want to have as much relevant information available for them as possible; Facebook pages, personal websites, blogs, twitter, heck even MySpace is bouncing back now a days. So long as you curate your web presence, it can only help.
- It’s much simpler, and professional, than having people add your personal Facebook profile. You’ll see all the time pseudo-celebrities with thousands of Facebook friends, but what if you don’t want your entire network to know you and your fiancÃ© just broke it off? Or that you’re in the hospital for someÂ embarrassingÂ injury? Or even those photos your friends took when you passed out last night? These things aren’t justÂ embarrassing, but they could be damaging. Sure you can set up lists and privacy filters, and you should regardless. If you do it right, it is much easier, and much more effective to let your Page handle this.
- It’s very easy to collect followers. Facebook is probably the easiest way for you to get people to follow you, and your music. A simple “Like” and suddenly they’re getting up-to-the minute updates from you when ever they’re on Facebook and, let’s face it, they’re on Facebook all the time. While at work, while at school, on their phone, while driving. ITZ SO EZ. (Note: I’m PRETTY sure you can’t be held legally responsible for someone reading your Facebook updates on their phone while driving, but I’m not a lawyer so this is not legal advice.) You can even embed your Fanbox on your website and collect followers that way. This is infinitely easier than expecting people to follow an RSS feed, or have a twitter account, or even worse, have to continually check your website for updates manually.
- Social Proof. It’s a proven fact that people are more likely to trust the opinions of someone else they know. Social proof is one of Facebook’s biggest draws when it comes to marketing. Chances are if 6 of your friends are a fan of a certain artist, and you know and trust their tastes, then you may consider listening to that artist yourself. The same goes for your followers and you.
- Facebook advertising is THE BEST out there. Now you might not be considering advertising yet, which is your own decision. I personally find it acceptable to put away a few extra dollars a month to help promote my brand. I understand it’s not in everyone’s budget, but consider this: Facebook allows you to target the audiences you’re looking for, specifically, and you only pay per conversion. You heard that right, you only pay if someone likes your page, thusly becoming a new follower, and becoming a subscriber to your content. How specific can you get? You can target people who are between the ages of 14 and 30, male and female, in the United States, the UK, Australia, and Japan, who are fans of OverClocked ReMix or ThaSauce Network or deadmau5 or zircon or whatever else your sound is, that aren’t already fans of you. Depending on what you’re looking for your price-per-click will vary, but it will likely be less than a dollar per conversion, you can set a max amount of budget that you have for ads, and they can be started or stopped at any time. Did I mention that every click is a real life new follower who sees all your updates? Yea.
- Analytics. Analytics. Analytics. What are analytics? Analytics are something VERY important for managing your brand. They are essentially stats that tell you whether or not what you’re doing is working, and how well. Facebook analytics Â tell you how many impressions your posts got each day, and also how many actions (likes/comments) each post got per impression. For those who don’t know what an impression is, it’s basically when ever a page loads and your content is on it. So basically how many times your updates have shown up in other peoples feeds. You’ll probably be surprised when you see how much exposure you’re getting through Facebook.
So that’s all I have for you this week. If you haven’t already, hopefully you will go out and make a Facebook Page for yourself right now. Set it up, have fun with it, dip your toe into the waters a bit, and see how it goes. Next week I’ll be telling you how can get the most out of your Facebook page, how to post engaging content, and what engaging content actually is, how to keep people coming back and, most importantly, how to turn this all into ROI.
If you have any questions at all, be sure to post a comment. (and please excuse the forum theme, it’s a work-in-progress.)