Facebook. You already know it's the most prominent social media site on the planet.
You probably also know that, in addition to having a personal profile for yourself as a person, you can also create a "fan page" for your band, your music company, or yourself as an artist — or anything else for that matter.
Having a Facebook fan page can be a great promotional tool. But like any tool, it can be used ... or abused. In this post I will focus on the most common blunders as I walk you through the "5 Biggest Facebook Music Fan Page Mistakes."
Here we go ...
Big Mistake #1
Not Claiming a Customized URL
When you first create a new fan page on Facebook, it gives you a funky web page that reads something like Facebook.com/pages/lkzvf09786e3r0pu-ie3r3658
Not very user friendly or easy to remember. The good news is, you can create a customized address for your fan page, such as face.com/yourbandname. Here's how:
When you are logged in to Facebook, go towww.facebook.com/username. Then follow the instructions to create a custom URL. For example, mine iswww.facebook.com/elianatorresmusic.
Important note: As I understand it, you need to have more than 25 people "like" your fan page before it will allow you to claim a custom URL. So if you just created your page, you'll need to drum up at least some fans before you are extended this privilege.
Big Mistake #2
Engaging Only in One-Way Communication
Many artists make the mistake of using their fan page as a place to make announcements — and that's it. So you see a lot of updates along the lines of "I'm playing here Sat night," "My new album available now on iTunes," or "We just got reviewed in this magazine."
That's cool stuff worth sharing, but it's not very engaging. So think more in terms of a two-way conversation. One simple way to do that is to simply ...
Ask your fans for feedback!
On a regular basis, ask questions on your fan page: "What should we play at our next show?" "How should we celebrate the singer's birthday next week?" "Which of these three songs do you like best?"
Also, show your personality. Share your sense of humor and quick wit (assuming you possess these qualities, of course). Make your updates lively and engaging — not just dry announcements.
So ... Ask, ask, ask! Show your personality. Make it a two-way conversation.
Big Mistake #3
Not Responding to Comments
Okay, so you took my advice and you are posing questions and asking for feedback. And people are responding on your page. Great. Now what?
You must acknowledge them!
When people take the time to leave a meaningful comment on your fan page, you will create a lot of good will by commenting back. At the very least, click the "like" link related to the comment, which will appear in that person's list of notifications.
Find some way to acknowledge that you saw and appreciate the comment!
Big Mistake #4
Always Promoting and Selling
Nothing turns off a fan more than a constant barrage of sales messages (and this is coming from a guy who sends out a lot of sales messages :-) Use your fan page status updates to communicate with your fans — not just promote to them. Share interesting stories and links, new music, and other cool things you have done or discovered that they might be interested in.
A good motto to keep in mind is "Share and serve, don't always sell." Memorize that!
Big Mistake #5
On the opposite end of the spectrum from Always Selling is ... Never Selling. And this is a major screw-up too. Some creative types are so worried about being perceived as greedy or pushy that they never make people aware they have stuff for sale — they never give fans the opportunity to support them financially.
Don't screw up in this area too!
So, while you're delivering value, asking questions, engaging with your fans, and interacting with them ... don't forget to make them aware of the cool things you have for sale. Don't go overboard with sales pitches, but don't shy away from them entirely either. Strike a balance.
Give your fans an opportunity to help and support you!