While there are alternatives, Facebook is still the top promotional tool for most artists and labels. But the rules about what gets promoted on Facebook continually change making it difficult to grow your Page following. Ariel Hyatt and her team at CyberPR offer some solutions.
If you’ve spent any time trying to promote your music on a Facebook Page, I’m sure you’ve noticed something pretty frustrating – it can be incredibly difficult to grow your Page organically.
Once upon a time, if you posted your latest music video on your Page (which used to be called a Fan Page back in the Dark Ages), chances were that most of your fans would see it. But ever since Facebook went public in 2012, the company has made a number of important tweaks to their algorithms to help both reward engaging content and hide content that gets little attention. The result? Sometimes my own mother (who has about twenty Facebook friends) often doesn’t see what I post on my Page.
And so we come to…
THE #1 REASON WHY YOUR PAGE ISN’T GROWING…
You’re not playing the algorithm game.
Lucky for you, I sat down with our resident Facebook Marketing guru, Michael Shoup from 12South Marketing, to help us all better understand how to get Facebook to reward us and our content with mountains of likes and shares.
Onto the convo!
Michael: So, there are 3 big things that you can do to help get your Facebook page content seen by more people. We have used these tactics for tons of artists at our agency to build an entire Selling System that positions content in front of new potential fans and develops those fans into excited (and profitable) ticket-buying, Spotify-streaming fanatics.
What exactly are these 3 tactics you ask?
- Posting (and testing) Consistent, Compelling Content (CCC)
- Utilizing the Facebook Ads Platform to Grow the Audience for your BEST content
- Using the Insights Facebook gives you to Review and Optimize
Alright, let’s dig into these…
1. Posting (and testing) Consistent Compelling Content (CCC)
Ariel: What does “Consistent, Compelling Content” mean?
Consistent: Your content not only needs to be consistent in terms of style and theme but in terms of frequency as well. An effective Facebook fan page should have 1 post per day (2 if you are getting great engagement) and the content should be varied enough to keep it interesting, but similar enough that it helps to develop your overall brand.
Compelling: Keep in mind that if you want people to share your posts, you have to post things your fans would actually want to share. Knowing your fans and what resonates with them is key here.
Michael: This is actually the biggest thing I see artists and musicians get wrong all the time. While your music video may look amazing, if the subject matter, message, or even the way you promoted it doesn’t absolutely draw me in (yep, no more “Hey, I’m so excited to release this”) you’ve lost me… and you’ve lost Facebook. Any time you post, the Facebook algorithm will show your post to a small number of dedicated engagers and takes into account what percentage of them engaged with your content. Get great engagement in the first few hours? Facebook will show some more. But post a non-compelling, non-engaging piece of content and it’ll be pretty dead in the water after just a few hours.
At our agency, we use what we call the “Like to Share” ratio to help understand how well any particular post is doing. The goal is to get posts as close to a 1:1 Like to Share ratio as possible.
Why does this work?
Though we all want likes, a like is the simplest, most passive form of approving of your content. It’s easy to do with a thumb, and isn’t the best guide to understand what posts are and aren’t working well for your audience.
A share, however, is like your fan putting a flag in the ground and saying “I approve of this post and I want the world to know about it.” They liked it so much, they just HAD to tell the world about it. This is where the magic happens.
Most “good” posts you’ll see around a 3:1 or 2:1 Like to Share ratio, i.e. “30 Likes, 10 Shares” or “20 Likes, 10 Shares”, but the closer you get to that magical 1:1, the hotter that post is going to become and the more the Facebook Algorithm will reward you.
Ariel: Absolutely. Facebook is a SOCIAL network. It is not a broadcasting tool. If you spend your time on Facebook telling people about yourself over and over again like a broken record, rather than asking, conversing, and building real relationships, you’ll miss out on what Facebook actually has to offer. Find ways that your fans can not only interact with you, but can interact with each other, and you’ll really start to see some magic happen on your Page.
2. Using the Facebook Ads Platform to Grow the Audience for your BEST content
Ariel: It’s time to talk about the elephant in the room… paying to advertise your content.
I know, it’s sucky. But think about it – you are basically running a small business. The moment you start thinking about your music as a business, it becomes easier to swallow the fact that almost all of the songs you hear reach your ears is ultimately because someone paid to get them there. The world is so full of people who want to make music that it’s almost impossible to be heard over the chaos. Without an effective record label backing you, paid advertising is the best way to cut through the noise and find your tribe.
Michael: It’s true, but also, pretty exciting. With the Facebook Ads platform, you’re actually using the exact same tools that advertisers who spend millions of dollars are using. You’re playing in the big sandbox now!
Remember that Consistent Compelling Content we mentioned earlier that was so engaging people just HAD to share it? THAT’S where your advertising adventure begins.
Ariel: Facebook has made it fairly simple to Create a promotion for your page or even Boost a specific post, but if you REALLY want to get the most out of the Facebook Ads Platform, you’ll want to set up a Business Manager account to house your Ad Account, Facebook Pixel, Audiences, and give you some fantastic Analytics.
Michael: Totally agree. Ads Manager inside Business Manager gives you access to all sorts of new objectives you can’t access just by promoting or boosting a post front your Facebook Page.
So what do all of these objectives mean? And which should I use to promote my post?
What’s beautiful is that it all really depends on your end goal. Have a new video that you want to reach a new audience? There’s a Video Views objective. Have a post that takes people to an off-Facebook landing page or, say, Spotify? Try the Link Clicks objective. Facebook will take your desired objective and deliver your post to people within your Audience that are most likely to perform your selected Objective based on their past activity on Facebook.
Ariel: We should mention audiences here too as it’s a big part of how to grow and scale your fanbase. Sure, you could pay to simply make sure everyone who liked your page saw your post, but what if you could find more people similar to those who liked your page, and drop your post into their newsfeed? Facebook lets you do this by tapping into the power of their algorithm through Lookalike Audiences. In your Business Manager, just got to “Audiences” in the top menu and click “Create Audience -> Lookalike Audience”. From here, you can create an audience of 2 million+ Facebook users that have similar likes, behaviors, demographics, and spending patterns as those you like your current page. Bet you’re glad all your page likes are real now, aren’t you?
Just keep in mind that throwing money at Facebook won’t necessarily solve your problems by itself. If you’re paying to advertise your Page and posts and still not seeing engagement, go back and check that Like to Share ratio. It may be time to work on your messaging. Need some help with that? Michael and I have you covered.
3. Using the Insights Facebook gives you to Review and Optimize
Ariel: It is shocking how many people ignore the fact that Facebook actually GIVES you detailed analytics on your fan page. They do this for a reason! (See: Lookalike Audience building in #2).
Facebook ‘Insights’ will give you a detailed look at the demographics of your fan base (location, age, gender, etc.), and most importantly, what kind of content they are engaging with. Your content strategy never needs to be a static thing – it should be fluid! It needs to shift as you find out more about who your fans are and what they want. Using Facebook Insights is critical to a creating a strong page that performs well in Facebook’s algorithm.
Michael: If you’re a data nerd like me and want to take it one step further, Facebook has a new platform called Facebook Analytics that can give you all of this data and more about people who have engaged with your Page OR visited your website (granted you have a Facebook Pixel on it).
How can you make all that data actionable?
What if you could see the average number of engagements it takes someone before they listen to you on Spotify? Or how many sales were generated from any specific post over the last month? Would you perhaps try and create more posts like that?
The insight you can get here is hands down the most valuable part of using Facebook and should be reviewed and your strategy updated each week based on what you see here.
OK… So what’s the first step?
If you’re feeling both excited and overwhelmed, it’s ok. We hear you, and already have a solution!
As part of my new Cyber PR Labs series, Michael and I are teaching “The Artist’s Selling System”, a 3 part Masterclass on how to master your message, grow your fanbase, and generate REAL revenue using Facebook Advertising.
We’ll be giving 1-on-1 feedback about your messaging, helping you find content you already have that could be repurposed as an ad, and showing you the simple system Michael and his team have perfected over 10+ years and use to make hundreds of thousands of dollars for artists.
Check out all of the details and more here, and we’ll see you in the LAB!