The Finishing School | Facebook Etiquette

[bs_well size=”md”]

Ahhh… Facebook.  The social networking behemoth.  The sprawling global time waster.  The easiest conduit to the largest number of people.

Facebook is a total mixed blessing.  Long gone are the days where simply setting up a Page allowed you to grow your following.  At this point, many of the tried and true methods are needing an overhaul so I’m going to break a few down for you here with 4 facets of your online presence you may need to have a look at.  Food for thought![/bs_well]

Engage People

I find most people who are unsuccessful promoting themselves on Facebook are either doing one of two things incorrectly.   They’re either saying nothing at full volume, or they’re doing something cool but not letting people know.  Both are poisonous to your efforts of gaining momentum.

Most creative types – and I assume that most musicians qualify in this category – are not natural born marketers, and so this is one area where many people try to simply emulate what they see other people doing.  The reflective question of “will this approach actually work for me” doesn’t often come up.

When looking at how artists with major traction and followings promote their presence, remember: they have already attained critical mass.  This basically means that their following is already large enough that pretty much whatever they do will receive traction, get spread throughout the online community, and garner them attention.  If you aren’t there yet, you’ll need to think about this when adopting their techniques.

Promoting your page with no real content, spamming people’s walls to Like your new track,  mass messaging people to buy your new remix on Beatport; these can all be examples of being the loudest guy in the room for no reason.   Be very careful when doing any of these.  This is your audience’s  first introduction to you.  Make sure what you do isn’t the equivalent of direct mail, or you tagging the side of their garage at midnight with an ad to buy your shit.

Share your art, don’t shove a product.

Likewise, if you have something to offer get it out there.  And really, this is where you can excel and engage – ask people what they think of a track of yours instead of forcing feeding it to them.  Post your thoughts on what you’re working on, confess your downfalls, and ask for tips from the people who follow you.  Share your art; don’t shove a product.  In short – be an actual person working on actual things.  Your audience will appreciate it.

Find Your Heroes

Use social networking for actual networking – there’s a novel idea.  One of the greatest aspects of Facebook and the like is that people who were previously unreachable can now be reached.  Radio hosts, famous DJs and producers,  and even software developers.  They’re all out there to find if you look hard enough.

The key here is to network “softly.”  If you want someone’s attention ask them for it, don’t yell at them from afar with a megaphone.

Let’s pretend that you get 20-50 cold calls a week from younger producers.  48 of them are people messaging you with a link to Soundcloud and nothing more, and two people message you saying  something along the lines of “Hey mate!  Love your material, I’ve been a fan for ages and I’ve got something I think you’d really be into.  It would mean a lot to me if you’d have a quick listen.”  Which people do you think get the attention?

When you make a connection with someone, remember:  “This is a real person.”  Sure, there’s a few trolls, but the people in your network (even the famous ones) probably have messages from their cousin, their ex, their drinking buddy from college and many more things all arriving in the same inbox.  You don’t want to be spamming them.  Contact them when you really think that they’ll dig what you’re doing .  At all costs, avoid multiple messages about the same topic, without some kind of indication that they’re aware of your existence.

Avoid The Event Button (Unless It’s An Event)

When Facebook first introduced Events, it was open season.  A lot of people developed very creative (mis)uses straight out of the gate.   Since that novelty has worn off however, this feature of Facebook  can get pretty overwhelming.  From DJ’s declaring their new “mix release” to be an “Event” to thinly veiled advertising campaigns, the Facebook Event app has lost legitimacy, to the point of being an annoyance.

For example, as a touring DJ and producer I receive something along the lines of 500 event invites a week.  Guess how many I look at?  If you said zero, you’re right.  And I’m in the majority when it comes to DJ/producers.

So why still use it at all?

Well, it’s a great way to convey a ton of info about something and fast – event time, place, etc, along with ticket prices and so on.  The key is to not do mass invites.  Mass invites get you on peoples block lists.  In a short span you can become recognized as a social media offender, and not a legitimate promoter.  If you want people to join an event, invite them personally.  Ping them with a message telling them about it, point them at the event, and only then ask them to tell their friends.

It’s more work but 10 people who are actually interested in what you’re doing are worth an infinite number that aren’t.

Selective Group Invites

Facebook group invites are another spot where social media offenders put on an asshat.  A mass invite to your entire friend list using a script is a great way to attain some utterly pointless followers.  People receive so many of these that it’s merely white noise at this point, like Candy Crush Saga invites.

A better way to get people on your page: Provide actual 

A better way to get people on your page?  Provide actual content.  Free tickets to a show, a download of a new track, remix parts and other similar usable goodness. Now the Page becomes the spot where people can expect more of the same.  These are useful techniques and allow you to post on your personal account about what you’re doing on the Page too.

As an added means of getting people onboard, Facebook promoted posts will allow you to reach out to new people in more visible ways to show off what you’re up to.  As long as it’s sans-megaphone.

It costs money but actually gets results if you do it right.  Again, you’ll need to offer something – simply promoting a post saying “Like My Page” is a great way to burn through money for no reason, but offering a mix set or tracks will get peoples attention.

Promotional tools are great if used well – watch this space for more notes on how to avoid getting the banhammer.