Today artists, bands, labels, even promoters do their marketing on Facebook. Technology has become “social” and social media can create unforeseen opportunities as a communication, distribution and sales channel. It is not easy to figure out how all this works despite there being millions of social media “consultants” and wanna-be gurus. A lot of knowledge is needed, especially in technology, design (not decoration), psychology and social science. If this expertise is lacking, misunderstandings can happen easily and the potential is wasted.
Tip: in a hurry? Skip to “Let’s get to work”
Facebook and Pages
Facebook is the dominant social network in today’s world; the site allows musicians to fully harness the power of the social graph. What? Well, I mean Facebook friends. Why? Because music is a very social vertical. You would rarely go to a concert alone. If you like a song, it is very likely you will share this experience.
Facebook offers a special product that musicians can use to sell music, promote live shows and engage with their fans. It is called Facebook Pages. Facebook has also published a special manual for music artists and bands where you can find very useful tips.
How musicians’ Facebook Pages look today
To be honest, they look quite “MySpacey”. Artists and bands try to flood their pages with a lot of content without having a clear vision of how the page should look and how it actually works. It really reminds me of a MySpace over-decorated web site though. Facebook is a different story. The whole social network was designed with the focus on the users’ needs. Each element of the Facebook site is deeply thought-out and easy to use. Ok, enough theory.
Let’s get to work
Take a look at Facebook Page of Skafander and see what we can improve.
- Keep it simple, stupid
This is the most important rule and also the reason why Facebook has outgrown MySpace. In other words, less is more. Do not try to post everything you find interesting. Think about your fans, if they will find it valuable. If you are writing a text, keep it short and break it up into a few paragraphs. Sometimes you can see a really long story at the Info tab. Who reads it?
- The Page and the tab are two different things
Please note that the page, or the Facebook Page if you like, is the entire web page. The tab is a part of the page, every page usually has a few tabs. There are native Facebook tabs like Wall, Info, Photos, and then the administrator can also add a custom application tab like our own tab Concerts. Musicians often add different, so called, “band pages”. In most cases these tabs, despite being called “pages”, bring the MySpace touch and feel into Facebook. For fans this is a frustrating experience. There is simply too much content which is not presented in a user-friendly way.
- Tune up your welcome tab
The fan lands at your Facebook page and sees … Wall? If so, try to think about forwarding your fans to the Info tab instead. You can also create your own welcome tab using the Static FBML application. However, a basic knowledge of HTML is needed in this case. Otherwise just set up your default landing page at the page admin section (Manage Permissions):
- Each tab should focus on a particular content type
Do not mess up apples and oranges. Separate all your effort into tabs and put each type of content into one tab. The info tab presents a brief introduction and links to other tabs. Wall includes the latest news and posts from fans. Music tab offers latest tracks with easy Share and Buy options. Concerts tab shows upcoming live shows with Buy tickets links. Store tab offers merchandise; users can pay with Facebook Credits among other ways.
- Avoid duplicating
Duplicating creates confusion. If you take a look at the first picture, you get the idea. Should I share this or that one? Now there are two walls, right? How about Photos? So prevent fans from asking such questions. Just give them a single choice of tabs with clear labels. They will be happy to navigate easily through your Facebook page by switching the tabs.
Done. Now what?
If you have completed the steps mentioned, you have now got to the never-ending track of continuous development. Sure, sounds terrible but now it’s important to measure results and see what can be further improved. You want to get results, correct? So keep on making your Facebook Page better.
Jan Horna (@janhorna) is the guy behind ConcertIn which is a music/tech startup based in Czech Republic, Europe. Concert goers can discover live music at http://www.facebook.com/concertin.