Facebook continues to change its interface, algorithms and policies without much notice, and in so doing, upsets a lot of its users. This has a way of confusing a lot of people too.
However, with 1.4 billion users, it’s still a very important place to build an online presence as a musician. What you need is a strategy and a solid understanding of the platform.
And this brings us to the core of this guide, which has to do with fan pages and personal profiles. What are they, how are they different, and why do you need them? Do you need just one, or do you need both?
Let’s take a closer at using a Facebook fan page vs a personal page, and which is best for your music career.
What’s The Difference Between A Facebook Fan Page And A Personal Facebook Profile?
There is considerable difference between the two entities, and, in my opinion, understanding the distinction is critical to your success as a musician on Facebook.
According to Facebook, your personal profile is for non-commercial, personal use. You can ‘friend’ other people and follow public updates from individuals as well as brands.
Fan pages are designed with businesses, brands, and organizations in mind, and come packaged with unique a set of tools. Pages, of course, are managed by people that have personal profiles.
Another fairly obvious distinction is that you have ‘friends’ with a personal profile, but not ‘likes’. The opposite is true of a fan page.
Having a higher number of ‘likes’ on your fan page (if you’ve earned them legitimately) demonstrates social proof. The higher the number, the more likely others will join in and say, “me too!”. Having a higher number of Facebook ‘friends’ only proves that you like a lot of noise on your home feed.
Isn’t It Harder To Get Exposure For A Facebook Fan Page?
In short, yes, but don’t make any judgments before you take the time to understand the facts.
There are blogs and podcasts out there telling musicians that the so-called “pay to play” model is broken, that you have to pay for the exposure you used to be able to get organically, that musicians are getting the short end of the deal on Facebook, and so on. Some even say it’s time to quit Facebook.
If you’ve ever used Facebook advertising before, then you know that – in some ways – they’ve actually done us a favor. Ads can be used to target specific demographics based on location, gender, age range, interests, behaviors, and more.
I recently experimented with a campaign to get video views myself. I set the budget to $2 per day and had it running for one month. The result? The ad reached 5,407 people, and the video got 1,952 views. I don’t know about you, but I never got that kind of exposure for my content previous to the pay model, so claims about reaching the same number of people organically seem pretty dubious.
In addition to that, you can still use the Page Plugin to have people ‘like’ your fan page on your website. You can also use your fan page identity and go around liking, sharing, and commenting on posts. That can get you quite a bit of exposure, even if you don’t spend a lot of time doing it.
Basically, you just have to change the way you think. If you’re willing to adapt to the times, you can still get your Facebook fan page seen by a lot of people.
How Many Facebook Fans Do Musician Need?
Before we go any further, let’s look at how many Facebook fans musicians actually need. It just so happens that I’ve created a video on that:
Why Do I Need A Facebook Fan Page?
Ok, so let’s look at why you need a Facebook fan page vs a personal Facebook profile or group.
If you have a lot of engaged followers on Facebook, you can get more people seeing your content, plain and simple. That can result in more album sales, more people attending your concerts, more people voting for your songs, more people opting in to receive your newsletter, more traffic for your website, and so on.
In essence, building a following on Facebook is no different than building it anywhere else. You could have a sizeable Twitter following, email list, or a large number of website visitors. The medium doesn’t matter as much as how engaged, how interested, and how active your followers are.
But let’s be honest; there aren’t too many sites out there with over 1.4 billion active monthly users. There’s no way you’re going to reach them all, but the good news is that you don’t have to. 1,000 true fans is enough to build a sustainable career.
Fan Page Or Personal Profile?
Since I haven’t actually answered the question yet, let’s take a closer look at whether you need a Facebook fan page or personal profile. If you had to take a guess, which would you think is more important?
Okay, I admit; that was a bit of a trick question. The right answer is both. Yes, managing and maintaining two separate presences on Facebook will take more work, but they both serve a unique purpose.
You need your personal profile to connect with your friends and family. Not that they’re necessarily going to be your biggest fans, but some of them are going to want to buy your music or come out to a show. Plus, it’s always nice to have a crowd that’s warm to you to reach out to whenever you’re performing at important events.
You need a fan page for people that like your music specifically. Your fans aren’t just limited to people you know. There are many others out there that would happily ‘like’ your page and engage with your posts given a fair chance.
When you have both a fan page and a personal profile, you’re also able to cross-promote. With any marketing initiative, your goal is likely to reach as many people as you can, and by utilizing both of your properties, you can spread yourself wide and far.
Now you should be equipped with the knowledge you need to succeed on Facebook. Don’t forget, however, that you need to keep your focus.
If you’re already building a presence on other social networks, apps, or platforms, adding one more thing to your roster could prove tedious and time-consuming. Spread yourself out strategically, because consistency is key to succeeding on any social network.