One of the most obvious ways to start building a presence for your music on Facebook is by setting up a fan page.
Your Facebook page is a place where you can share updates, post photos, add videos, accumulate “likes”, and more.
One thing is for certain – a fan page doesn't make for a very good artist website. Only a small percentage of the people who “like” your page will ever see your updates. But if you're looking to build outposts at various locations across the web to drive traffic back to your own website, then it's a good thing to have.
Here is a simple step-by-step process on how to set up your own Facebook page.
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Step #1 – Lay The Groundwork
If you're on Facebook, click on the “Home” link at the top, and find the “Create Page” link in the sidebar. Click on it, too.
Now you will need to choose what kind of page you're creating. It should be very obvious which of these to pick, but just in case, your options are:
- Local Business or Place
- Company, Organization or Institution
- Brand or Product
- Artist, Band or Public Figure
- Cause or Community
Having chosen “Artist, Band or Public Figure”, you will need to choose a category (“Musician/Band” is a solid option), and enter your band or artist name. When you're ready, click “Get Started”.
Step #2 – Enter Your Details
Facebook will now prompt you to enter some details about your page. It might seem tedious, but I would suggest offering as much content as you can provide. Even Facebook says: “Add a description and website to improve the ranking of your Page in search.” To me, it seems pointless not to have a website and be marketing on Facebook.
So talk about your band or your music in the “About” section, remembering to enter all relevant keywords (genre, band or artist name, instruments, etc.). Don't worry – you can edit it later. Provide your website address, and create a custom URL for your Facebook page so it's easy to navigate to. Just enter your artist or band name. If it's particularly long, consider using the initials of each word (i.e. Music Industry How To would become MIHT).
When you're done, click “Save Info”.
Facebook will walk you through a few additional steps at this point. The first is to upload a profile picture. This is pretty straightforward. A square image works best in this context, and it's perfectly fine to go as big as 1080 pixels by 1080 pixels.
Having uploaded your profile picture, you will be asked to add your new page to your Facebook side bar, or “Favorites”. This is recommended if you plan on building up the page and your community over the long haul.
Finally, you will be asked to define your audience. The more specific you can be here, the better, but if you aren't sure, just make your best guess. The “Interests” field is the most important, since you can enter bands or artists that you sound like.
Hit “Save” when you're done.
Step #3 – Populate Your Page
Facebook will now prompt you to “like” your own page. Go ahead and do that.
You probably thought we were done, but we're just getting started. Now it's time to:
- Upload a cover photo.
- Create a call to action.
- Provide more details in the “About” section.
- Post an update.
Before you even start promoting your new page to your fans, it would be wise to get these things done:
1. Make your cover photo 815 pixels wide by 315 pixels tall. For best results, you can either create some contrast between your profile photo, or blend it. You can also use this cover photo space to promote whatever is important to you – like your latest album. If you aren't a Photoshop whiz, but still want something specific done up, there are services out there that can help. Do a quick Google search to find the latest.
2. Next, create a call to action. There should be a button sitting above the cover photo that reads, “Create Call to Action.” Click that. Facebook gives you a few different message options to choose from. “Book Now” or “Sign Up” are always solid choices for musicians in my opinion, but you be the judge. Make sure to have the button direct to a page on your website with relevant content.
3. If you followed the last step, then you already provided Facebook with some basic details about your music. But guess what? If you go to the “About” page, you will see that Facebook gives you a lot more fields you can fill out. You can enter your genre, band members, hometown, bio, awards, influences, and much more. Please take care in entering as much detail as you possibly can, and fill out all provided fields if possible.
4. Finally, post at least one update (click “Page” in the upper left hand corner if you ever get lost – this will bring you back to the main page). It could be something to the effect of, “our Facebook page is finally set up!”. Now you're ready to start promoting your page.
Step #4 – Add Apps
This is an optional step, but one most musicians will likely want to take at some point. You should be aware that you can install apps on your Facebook page and add custom “tabs” – basically quick links just under your cover photo – that direct people to your music, your mailing list, your downloads, and so on.
For example, sites like CD Baby and ReverbNation have apps that you can add to your page. The apps you install all depends on the services you already use, but it's a good idea to take advantage of these to encourage people to buy your music or take some other desired action without ever leaving your Facebook page.
Although engaging your fans on a continual basis certainly has some value, you can't live on “likes” alone, so it's always good to encourage visitors to do something that will actually benefit you. Just remember not to spam them.
Getting your Facebook page set up is not hard to do, but it can be a little time-consuming. Regardless, if you're going to do it all, you might as well do it right. Your page should not look like a ghost town when people arrive at it. It should be showing signs of life!
Hook your fans early. Then they may even check in at your page on an ongoing basis without ever being asked.