You’re a Solo Artist Musician…Is Having a Facebook Fan Page Worth It?
I see a lot of musicians ask whether having a Facebook fan page is worth it when they already have a Facebook profile. Usually they are surprised to see when they post to their fan page, their interaction is much less than on their profile, so…why bother having it?
These people pose a good question, and after you’re done reading this, you can decide whether it’s worth having one for yourself or not.
(Note: If you are in a BAND you absolutely need a fan page.)
Should a Solo Artist Have a Facebook Fan Page?
To start off, let’s review how Facebook decides to distribute content:
Facebook’s algorithm weighs friendship connections more heavily than liking a fan page connection. If you see 10 posts in your feed, on average:
- 7 will be from friends/family
- 2 will be from pages you like
- 1 will be an ad
This varies from person to person but it’s a pretty reliable average.
Facebook says on average you can see 1,500 pieces of content every day. Their algorithm condenses that to roughly 300 posts that it thinks you want to see. This decision is based on a few things:
- How often you engage with the posts of that person/page. (Biggest factor.)
- How long ago the post was made. (Older posts get lower visibility.)
- What kind of post it is. (FB marketers chase which type of content gets the most reach. Ex. Video, text, link or photo.)
- How much engagement the post is currently getting and if a lot of your friends are engaging with it. (Generally, if the post is doing well FB shows it to more people. This is why you see a baby photo from a person you haven’t talked to on Facebook for years.)
Yes, it is true – your Facebook fan page doesn’t get as much reach as your personal profile probably will. Chances are you use your personal profile a lot more and have built more relationships which Facebook’s algorithm recognizes and remembers. In fact, over the years, fan page reach has declined from 16% to 10% and now hovers somewhere around 5-6% depending on industry. This is why building a highly engaged audience is crucial.
We can’t be obsessed with reach though, and point to declining numbers as Facebook trying to screw us. As more people join Facebook and share content, there’s simply more competition in the News Feed to be seen. It is what it is. I hate saying that phrase but it’s true.
As a musician, having both a profile and a page does seem counter productive.
It can also be annoying for your friends.
Why? Because no one wants to like your page and be your friend on Facebook, and see the same exact content doubled in their feed at the same time. Chances are you want to share that new song or Youtube video anywhere you can, and that’s OK, but you should space it out by at least 24 hours from profile to page. Let it breathe.
You shouldn’t be overly promotional anyway. This is even more annoying than posting the same thing twice from two accounts. If you’re using your profile or page to promote your music, follow the tried and tested 80/20 rule, which is when you post, make sure 80% is non promotional and 20% is promotional. (Yes, a video of you performing is considered promotional, in case you were wondering).
Keep in mind though, if your performance videos get a ton of engagement, and are entertaining or educational in nature, then by all means, increase the 20% to something that works for your audience. You may have built a following of people who not only want to see that type of content, but expect it as well. Give your fans more of what they want.
What about viral videos?
Lately I’ve been seeing pages post a lot of viral videos. They do this to piggyback on engagement and ask for likes. Don’t do this unless the viral video has something to do with music. Otherwise, you’re building the wrong audience! These people will now just expect to see more viral videos from you about cats or whatever it was you shared. They won’t give a damn about your latest single or video.
I’m not saying you should force yourself to upload a photo of what you ate for dinner, but just share something interesting about yourself, the world, or better yet…someone else. They don’t call it a “social network” for nothing, do they? Be real, be a person and not a radio ad. People join Facebook to mostly connect with friends, not have you rain down your promos on them every day. Don’t be that guy/gal.
Back to why pages can suck…
Facebook also recently announced that they are penalizing “overly promotional posts”. So for example, if you say something like this on your page:
“Hey guys download my new single today for FREE!”
…Facebook will probably crush your organic reach. (Note: Organic reach is free. Opposite of Paid reach.)
With all that being said, here’s why you may want to keep your Fan Page around:
The absolute best reason to have a page is if you decide to pursue serious marketing (Ex. run ads, promote posts, install apps for creating an email list). Yes this will cost money, but even $50 a month can do a lot.
If you are business minded about your music then managing a page is a no brainer. You can also use your page to interact with other pages, have those pages feature your page on their page, and get an extra listing in Google when people search for you.
Here’s just a handful of awesome things you can do with Facebook ads:
- Utilize Interest Targeting to promote your content to people who like similar artists, companies, magazines, festivals, websites.
- Add a Website Custom Audience pixel to your website, which automatically tracks everyone who has visited your site and matches their Facebook profile. You can then target these people with ads. You can even have the pixel track specific pages of your site, like a success page for your online store, a specific blog post, or form submission. Now you can actively target your biggest fans.
- Use Facebook Lookalike Audiences. This cool feature lets you tell Facebook to create an audience of people who “look” like your fans. Say for example, your Custom Audience of fans who bought music or joined your email list. Specify the top 1% for closest match or 5% for broader reach. Powerful feature.
- Do you have an email list? You should. Having a Facebook page lets you install an email signup box on one of your tabs. You can also upload your email list as a Custom Audience and hit those people with ads. You can also try targeting email subscribers who are not yet fans with page like ads for some really relevant results.
- Install a Conversion Pixel onto a page that has an action you want to track. For example, on the success page of your store or form for email signup. When you run a Facebook ad, you can tie it to the conversion pixel and track how many leads became customers, and track your ROI.
- A Facebook page lets you track your insights to see what’s working and what isn’t. You can log into your Admin panel and take a look at how your posts performed and get an overview of all kinds of things like when your fans are online, how old they are, where they’re from, what pages they like, how long they watched your last video, what content they hid in their feed…it’s insanely useful.
- If you really want to dig deeper into who your fans are, try using Audience Insights. You can’t do this without a page. Click here to see your ads page, then click Audience Insights to try it out. You’re not just limited to your page, but almost any page (with a large enough following) on Facebook. You can also research everyone on Facebook and create audiences of people you want to target.
It’s a lot to grasp, but once you get the hang of it, and results start rolling in, it’s addicting.
If you don’t plan on advertising, and aren’t really interested in digging into your post’s success, who your fans are, etc…maybe you just don’t have the time for it…whatever your reason…then don’t bother making a fan page. If you already have one, don’t delete it, you might plan on using it later and it’s not hurting you by leaving it.
I’d highly recommend “enabling subscribers” on your profile which will let you go past the 5,000 friend limit. These people will only see your public posts. It’s pretty easy to do. You can also embed the “follow” button on your site instead of the “like” button. Or both, like on my site.
While working nights in AC as an entertainer, he spent the days commuting to Rowan University, graduating at the top of his class with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing. He founded Main Stage Marketing LLC in January 2012, specializing in social media, internet/mobile marketing, and creative promotions. Dan has also continued to give back to the community through his work with charities AC Rescue Mission, Red Cross, Philabundance, and Shirley Mae.
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