Like many artists, you’ve probably used Facebook for a number of marketing-related tasks: promoting a show, debuting a new track, or sharing that awesome new band photo. But even casual Facebook users know its pitfalls, including how easily content gets buried depending on the ‘book’s ever-changing algorithms.
Social media is ever changing, evolving to prioritize different types of posts and content depending on a number of factors — many of them arbitrary. But Facebook’s latest algorithmic update is especially poignant as it promotes posts from friends and family under the premise of “bringing people together.” While this is seemingly great, it also means that Facebook is deprioritizing posts from brands, businesses — and, moreover, artist’s Pages.
As the update rolls out over the next few months, you may see engagement on your posts change or decline. We turned to our recordings’ team Director of Digital Strategy and Marketing and resident social-media expert Jessica Savage to find out what artists can do to make sure their followers still see their posts. Here are her five best tips and practices to implement as soon as possible to make sure you’re prepared for this major algorithmic shift.
1. Train followers to click the “See First” button on your Page
Post photos or create a fun 30-second video showing fans where that button is on your Page. Let your following know about the changes, and urge them to make sure they click that “See First” button if they don’t want to miss important details from you.
2. Build your email list – it is more important now than ever
This is something the AWAL digital marketing team stresses is so important: Your email list is your most important marketing tool. Social media platforms come and go (RIP Myspace, Friendster, and Vine), but email will always be around. Every artist should have a sign-up on their website and Facebook to join a mailing list. If your list is growing slowly, or you need help getting started, consider running a contest giving away free merch or tickets to incentivize fans to sign up for updates. Giving a little now is worth having a captivated audience you can always tap later.
Kobalt/AWAL artist VÉRITÉ prioritizes driving fans to her mailing list by making sure it’s visible on her page’s nav bar.
3. Start a Facebook Group for your Page
Mark Zuckerberg and the Facebook Newsroom mentioned Groups several times in their announcement, and they also said that meaningful conversations happening within Groups will be promoted to the top of the news feed.
Kobalt/AWAL artist Steve Angello has a Facebook group for his fans that has over 3,000 members.
Give your group a community-centric focus around the culture of your music. It’s a great place for fans to post things about your music and meet each other — and when you do have something to promote, your members will be more likely to see it. To encourage fans to join, make this your headquarters to launch new content first before taking it public.
4. Start doing more live videos
Live videos get six times the engagement of normal videos. Fans love to interact with you and talk to you, and when you promote it ahead of time and create an event out of it, it makes it even more exciting.
Kobalt/AWAL client The Naked and Famous do a great job of switching up their content by adding live video into the mix.
You can also use this as a tool to announce a tour or give fans a sneak peek of album art or new music. Start a monthly acoustic series or give fans a tour of your studio. Even a simple Q&A will mostly likely spark some engagement.
5. Post more personal content that could inspire a dialogue with and among your fans — and be spontaneous!
Facebook is hinting that spontaneous posts (as in posts not scheduled in advance) that elicit meaningful discussion will be shown in the news feed, along with posts that spark “meaningful interaction,” i.e., lengthy comments. If you’re only posting links to stream your album or buy a T-shirt, you need to seriously reconfigure your strategy. Post “mini-blog-type” posts, personal thoughts, more text, and photos that you think will resonate with the culture you’re creating around your music.
AWAL artist Greyson Chance wasn’t shy about opening up to his fans in a long-form, personal New Year’s reflection. He reaped the benefit with over 3,000 likes.
When you’re an artist promoting yourself and your music on social media, it’s crucial to stay on top of these algorithmic changes. Social is one of the key ways to connect on many different levels with your audience, and it’s worth taking a moment to ensure you’re prepared for any major or minor changes in the pipeline. As always, we’ll always be there to help keep you informed and help you adapt and succeed in this ever-changing digital landscape.
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