[Editors Note: This article was written by Hugh McIntyre. Be sure to read his takes on the ‘4 Best Twitter Practices for Artists in 2018′, too!]
At this point, Facebook can feel like something of a joke in the social media world. Sure, it’s still the biggest platform, but it almost feels like it’s going the way of Myspace, as it has gone from a place to interact with friends and find cool bands to where you avoid comments from older aunts and uncles.
While it certainly doesn’t have the same luster it used to, Facebook remains incredibly important, especially to those with a business, and as a musician, you’re a business (whether you think about it like that or not).
The planet’s largest social media platform has been around for a long time, and yet there are still too many issues I see artists failing to tackle, even though many have grown up with this company playing a part in their lives!
Pay attention, and you can still get a lot of good use out of your page!
Once it became industry practice for every musician to have their own website, they became go-to spots for most people to find tour dates and discover where they could buy tickets. Every artist who has a standalone website (which is still something I suggest) should continue to list their upcoming shows and link out to ticket sellers, but that might not be the number one place where fans will be searching for your next performance any longer.
Facebook has made it incredibly easy to post one-off shows or list entire tours, and there’s no excuse not to be keeping this space updated. In fact, whenever you have a new engagement that’s confirmed or whenever a detail changes, Facebook should be the first outlet that receives your attention.
To make things even easier for artists, there is now a plugin with Bandsintown, so any shows added on that platform or details altered will immediately be visible on your Facebook profile as well. Killing two birds with one stone with this partnership is a no-brainer.
Fill Out Your ‘About’!
This is perhaps the biggest missed opportunity I see when it comes to musicians using not just Facebook specifically, but all of social media. As Facebook profiles have replaced traditional websites for so many people, that means that you as a musician (or your team, if you have people you’re working with who help you with these types of things) need to spend extra time and think long and hard about what information you have on your Facebook page.
Every page (not personal profile, but more on that later) has an ‘About’ section, and that is where all of the essential info goes. Facebook has made it incredibly easy to share everything that anyone could need to know, whether they are a fan, a booking agent, a journalist, or maybe even a brand who might want to work with you in some capacity.
First, you should have a bio. It doesn’t need to be long, but it should be detailed. Your fans will get to learn more about you, and journalists can do some research before they write about you and your tunes.
Trust me—there have been many times in my career when I have had a difficult time locating any info on up-and-coming acts, and whenever they have several paragraphs about their history and their current release in this area, it made my job easier and helped me write a better piece about them.
Second, you must include contact info. There are slots for you to enter any email addresses, websites, or even phone numbers you could want…and not doing so at this point is really a terrible idea, especially if you are just starting out.
What is the thinking behind not including any email here, whether it’s your own or one for someone who works with you? The number of opportunities you might be missing could be staggering. Also, it’s a fantastic way to link out to Spotify, Instagram, Twitter, your store, and anywhere else you want to send fans.
Share Almost Everything On Facebook
Certain social media platforms are created just for a specific type of media—YouTube is video-only, Instagram is photo-only, and so on—but Facebook is a great place for all of that content to live.
You don’t need to go crazy and update your page non-stop, but feel free to share content posted first on other sites to your Facebook profile, so everyone can see it. Photos, videos, text, links, you name it.
In fact, it’s become even easier to make this happen seamlessly with a service called If This Then That, which allows you to connect your Facebook to fellow social media titans like Instagram and Twitter. When you update one, it automatically posts on Facebook as well. It also includes a link, so those looking at the latest photo you shared on Instagram will not only see the image, it will also have a short link that allows everyone to click through, which can help up your follower count on that site as well. (Ed. Note – TuneCore Social is also a great solution for scheduling posts!)
Don’t Use A Personal Profile
I can’t believe I need to be saying this in 2018, but I continue to run into this faux pas frequently.
When you create a Facebook page for your musical endeavor, it needs to be an actual page and not the same kind of account your mom has. Yes, they are different, and yes, you need one that is separate from your private, personal account.
Before you create anything, read this, which explains the difference.
Hugh McIntyre writes about music and the music industry and regularly contributes to Forbes, Sonicbids, and more.