Advice for Emerging
ARTISTS & MUSICIANS
Regardless on what your personal views are on Zuckerburg’s creation; Facebook is quite simply the ‘go to’ place for me to have a gander at a band/artist I’ve been recommended by someone or something.
Thanks to this I’m on Facebook every bloody waking day of my life. So much so that my ‘Friends’ on there must think I’m borderline addicted at being in the loop with what they’re all doing; which mainly consists of making me feel fat and lazy (“Steve’s just completed a 83km run!”), jealous (“Andrea’s just checked into a hotel spa & resort you can’t even dream of affording!") or desperately alone (“That lad who was fatter, lazier and poorer than you has just got engaged!”).
But away from reading a certain member of my extended family pour his heart out on his timeline and discussing things he really, really, really should be keeping indoors; I’m going from band to band listening to their music and trying to discover more about them along with the rest of the great unwashed of the music industry.
With this in mind, here are ten things you should be doing to appease the hoards of major label A&R people who are digitally queuing around the corner of the internet to hand you a cheque for several hundred thousand quid to make your wildest dreams come true (if your wildest dreams include being in debt for the vast majority of your life and having to mime along to your new single on ‘Lorraine’ on a Wednesday morning with a cracking hangover from the previous night’s shenanigans).
Oh, and you might as well go and ‘Like’ Sentric Music’s page shouldn’t you?
1. Get your URL nice and concise please
If, when written down in an email, you’re Facebook URL is the size of a small people carrier then you need to head over to www.facebook.com/username and sort it out.
Try, if you can, to have your username the same as it is on all other social networks therefore your fans know that all they need to do is add the same phrase at the end of each site in order to find you. Ergo; facebook.com/sentricmusic, twitter.com/sentricmusic, soundcloud.com/sentricmusic etc.
2. Let me be able to listen to your music please
I’d guess that around 1 in 6 Facebook pages for bands I go to don’t have any music on there available to stream. Baffling really. It’s not like you’re short of options these days…
Here at Sentric we use ‘Topdeejays’:
Then there’s BandCamp (as modeled by John Smith)
3. Please don’t make me ‘Like’ you, that’s my decision thank you very much
Never, ever, never, ever, ever, never, ever, never make ANYONE EVER ‘Like’ your page in order to listen to your music. It is a terrible, abhorrent thing to do, akin to minor treason should be punishable by a fine of some sort. If you think of doing it, stop yourself, close your eyes and imagine your mum looking at you as a child saying; “I’m not angry, I’m just disappointed.” That should be enough of a deterrent.
The only thing which is acceptable is to allow people to listen to your music and then offer them a track as a free download if they ‘Like’ your page & give you an email address. I’ll let you do that.
4. Make it look nice please
Immediately bookmark this link: The ultimate social media image sizing cheat sheet. Bit handy that isn’t it?
Having your page ‘look nice’ is a lot more powerful than what you might realise; it looks professional and makes the user believe what they’re currently looking at/listening to is a polished article. All those tab buttons are customisable and you can utilise your cover photo to promote your latest tour like Cattle & Cane have done here:
Or tell your fans about your upcoming LP like Canterbury have done here:
5. Let me know about your gigs please
I’ve listened to your music, decided it’s great and I’d love to know if you can do that middle eight with the harmonising three way guitar solo live as well as you do on record. Therefore let me know if you’re gigging in the near future so I can come take a picture of you do doing it and post it on Instagram. There’s SongKick (as modeled by Antonio Lulić):
6. Use the ‘About’ section to tell me about yourself please
You obviously think your music isn’t too shabby (I hope) so therefore your biased hyperbole is no good to me.
Quotes from reputable sources such as traditional press or known music websites/fanzines are great. You don’t need to put full reviews up; just choice pull quotes which show that the right people are both hearing your music and, more importantly, enjoying it.
Also mention any significant radio airplay you’ve received in the past as that’s always a turn on to read. “Our single XXX was played by Huw Stephens on BBC Radio 1 and Lauren Laverne on BBC 6Music as well as a number of regional BBC stations” etc.
Basically: Tastemakers respect tastemakers’ tastes. Tasty.
Also - Contact details of you and your team (management, PR, label, publisher, agent etc) if you have them are pretty handy here. As are links to wherever else I can find you online (Twitter, website, Instagram, SoundCloud etc).
7. Let me see what you look like please
Good up to date photos or a video will do nicely here. If I’m spending a day rooting through new music I’ll always watch a music video before streaming a song because a) in theory it should be one of your strongest songs or else why on earth would you go to the hassle of making a video for it? And b) I get to see what you look like and deep down we’re all voyeurs aren’t we? Aren’t we? We are. Thought so.
8. Please remember that your friends might not be your fans
Please remember that these are two different things; if your friends choose to ‘Like’ your music page then that’s their grave they’re digging which you can then dance upon with your spamming and whatnot. If they like you as a person, but for some inexplicable reason not the 8-bit-hardcore-glitch-hop you spend your weekends locked away in your bedroom creating then keep that off your personal page (to an extent of course, if you manage to land a number 1 album I’m sure they’d forgive you giving that a mention)
9. Be social please
If you’re talking about other people/bands/companies then be sure to ‘tag’ them in the post. Check out the picture below for a post we did on the Sentric page for May’s podcast; see how all the band names are in blue? That’s because they’re hyperlinked. This means…
- The page tagged gets a notification that they’re being talked about which means they might ‘Share’ it to their followers
- It allows your fans to click on the name to take them to the page mentioned so you’re spreading the love
- To tag a page use the ‘@’ symbol and start typing the name of who you want to mention (like the Liverpool Sound City example in the below picture), be sure you ‘Like’ the page first as well:
You can tag up to 10 pages per post y'know. Anymore and you might get POST traumatic stress disorder. Ha ha ha. Sorry.
10. Only show the tabs that are relevant please
"Too many bands have a gigs tab with no gigs on it. Remember that the tabs are there to promote you, so don't let them become dead ends and switch them up to reflect what you are currently working on.
In my opinion one of your tabs should always link to your music, whether this is your Soundcloud, Bandcamp or iTunes to provide something for your fans to hear.
The other two tabs could be anything you want; Gig Dates, Merch, Email Sign Up/Free Track, Competition Entry, Blog, Instagram, Twitter, Pledge Campaign, YouTube etc.
If one is out of date or not relevant then switch the focus elsewhere, promote your Instagram to boost your following, grab some emails with a free track giveaway, or push users directly to your website for your latest tour blog. Keep the content fresh and it will ensure fans will always return to check out what’s new."
Wise words – he’s clearly learned a lot sat next to me.
So there you go! This covers the basics; you can use Facebook analytics and advertising to devastating effect if you know your way around it, but I don’t. So that’ll come at some point in the future.
If you agree/disagree then let me know by the usual channels. If you like this post why not go crazy by sharing it on your Facebook page and tagging us in the post like I talked about in point nine. Call it homework.
- TAGS: Facebook
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