You may have noticed something if you have a Facebook Page to promote your band – fewer and fewer people are seeing it. It’s not that people have decided to “dislike” the Page. It’s that they honestly, truly, can’t see your band’s Facebook posts anymore.
What once used to be a ripe old 50% of your fans might now be closer to 30%. Embarrassing things like “16 People Saw This Post” show up in Facebook’s sophisticated analytics captions.
Why’s all this happening? Because Facebook wants money.
All the News that’s Fit to… Read?
Very, very recently, I was puffing myself up, talking about how bands can use Facebook to promote their stuff with memes, photos and overall fun, quirky things. Because on Facebook, people respond the best to that. That’s why so many Facebook Pages solely reserved for viral photos have popped up and grown with the velocity of that ice stuff from Cat’s Cradle.
With a single drop of algorithm, Facebook melted that strategy, utterly, leaving only steaming, withering Pages in its wake.
The latest Facebook algorithm changes have emphasized “real” news pieces and essentially Vanished memes and photos with funny captions. That’s why you might instead start seeing older posts that have flowered with the vibrant fauna of comments, discussions and insults between strangers via their real-world identities.
The changes don’t affect the viral alchemy of Buzzfeed or Upworthy. They instead encourage Page Managers (i.e. “incentivize prospects”) to pay Facebook to boost the stuff they’ve already been posting. To show to the fans they already had.
Every time Facebook makes a change, it seems like there’s a victim alarm that goes off. People moan that they aren’t going to pay for Facebook. Bands roll their eyes and decide to chase after the alluring engagement of Tumblr. Sure, they want people to pay for their albums and music, but why should they pay for Facebook?
Here’s why you need to stop whining about your Facebook Page:
1. Fans Aren’t Earned.
You know in your heart that you didn’t exactly work for your fans. Did you really break a sweat inviting friends to Like the Page or slip in an obligatory “Like us on Facebook!” during a show?
Probably not. Your Facebook fan growth is organic. It’s something that flourishes from an intrepid fan’s journey through your online presence after discovering your band. Thusly, Facebook is just something you made with a few clicks.
2. This Cleans Up Facebook.
If you were getting sophisticated with your Facebook strategy by posting viral images and stuff from shows, that’s good. But you were far from the only one posting stuff into a fan’s newsfeed. Now the stuff that does show up is going to get more clicks.
3. This is a Good Time to Experiment with Other Channels.
Facebook is a third-party platform that has no obligation to you. They’re being pressured by itchy-fingered shareholders to maximize revenue streams from a client base targeting 1 billion customers while trying to ignore the steady decline of teen users and active users in the US while struggling with an inflated share price that already has Mark Zuckerberg shrugging off some shares.
Only rely on channels you control. The content from there should be distributed through your other social media channels. Channels you control: blog, website, email.
Email is really good and I really think it’s better than Facebook. This gives me more evidence for the case.
Other channels to try: Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Imgur.
You have two options to nudge your band’s capsized Facebook Pages back onto the floaty side. For example, my band isn’t popular at all. But if we pay $20 to boost a post about a show, Facebook estimates that the post will reach 3,200 – to 8,600 people.
That’s probably a gross exaggeration, but even if the post reached 10% of that number, people in the Boston area will see it and, just maybe, click it.
You probably pay more for gas to get to shows than you do for Facebook promotions.
Option two is better, although I think bands should be doing both: content. Create compelling, interesting content that doesn’t just get seen on Facebook.
First, post the content on your blog. Then shared it on Facebook. If the stuff gets popular on your blog, then it’s more likely to show up on Facebook, because Facebook will identify it as a “quality news story.” That’s why Buzzfeed is still alive and kicking on Newsfeed, but the meme image Facebook Pages are not .
You’re a musician. Picture:
- The Content (blog post, show pictures, music, music videos) as the Instrument
- The Blog as the Cord
- Facebook as The Amplifier
The instrument makes noise no matter what. Without the instrument, the amplifier is nothing.
To end on a phrase that really makes the rest of this post extraneous:
Facebook is looking for content that is on a website – not just on Facebook – and has been shared, liked, viewed, and shared a lot. Make stuff like that.
Want to learn more? Check out For Bands.
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