For those who aren’t familiar, I run a electronic dance music website where we constantly post the latest music and news in the industry. At the end of January, I decided to take my knowledge of web design, digital marketing, and my knowledge of the music industry to help up-and-coming producers. I will also be cross posting all of the articles here as while the information is made for electronic dance music artists, it can be easily translated into any other industry.
It was a month ago today that I wrote about the original Shaping the Next Big Artist base article about Social Media in general that briefly discussed Facebook. I do want to fully disclose that in 2014, I researched heavily about Facebook pages on my personal blog. Of course, quite a bit has changed, but the majority of information there is still relevant and how to handle it. Although, I have now used Facebook Advertising system and will be able to help you with that as well. I can arguably say that Facebook is the most important social media to have, yet the most difficult to build. Facebook has so much potential for your pages.
As I said in the Social Media post, there is an average of 1,500 posts that are eligible to appear in a Facebook user’s feed each day. Potentially, this could reach up to 15,000.  When I first wrote my article on my blog, an organic reach for your page was 6.51%.  When I updated it months later, they said that Facebook’s page reach was in the process of going down to 1% to 2%.  Today, above 1% is good. 0.5% to 0.99% is average. Below 0.5% means you need to change things.  Scary? Right? I know. Although, I will explain why that isn’t a bad thing, how to combat it, and everything in between.
I do what to note that the majority of statistics aren’t all recent, unfortunately. It used to be that Facebook disclosed some of their information in their annual report, but they haven’t in a number of years With that in mind, just assume that there is a margin of error.
The First and Only True Rule of Facebook
Any and all content that you post on Facebook, you must think to yourself the following: “Would I be willing to pay to boost this content?” If you say yes, post it. If you say no, don’t post it. I say this not because you should boost all your posts (though it doesn’t hurt whatsoever especially if you have the budget). It is all about consistency and quality. The two go hand-in-hand. I will go into further detail this below, but I wanted to come out and address this immediately.
History of Facebook Pages
To properly explain Facebook pages, I must give you some history. I will give you an abbreviated history for the sake of keeping your attention and for the fact that you want to learn how to improve your page if you have one already. Facebook pages were originally created in November of 2007.  They were treated solely as advertisements and it wasn’t available to just anyone. This eventually changed in March of 2009. Mark Zuckerberg had this to say about them. 
Starting today, we are announcing new profiles for public figures and organizations. Once called Pages, these new profiles will now begin looking and functioning just like user profiles. Just as you connect with friends on Facebook, you can now connect and communicate with celebrities, musicians, politicians and organizations. These folks will now be able to share status updates, videos, photos or anything else they want, in the same way your friends can already. You’ll be able to keep up with all of their activity in your News Feed. This means that you can find out that Oprah is reading a book backstage before a show, CNN posted a breaking story or U2 is working on a new song, just as you would see that your friend uploaded new photos from her trip to Europe.
Breakdown of Page Statistics
As of December 31st, 2012, there were more than 50 million pages with ten or more likes.  If you told me now that there were 10 times the amount today, I wouldn’t be surprised being the difference is 4 years. At the time Facebook released the statistic, there were 1.06 billion monthly active users with 618 million being daily active users for a percentage of 58% daily active.  Today, that number is 1.86 billion monthly active users with 1.23 billion being daily active users for a percentage of 66% daily active.  This makes Facebook the largest social media site (in terms of monthly active users) by far and number three site of all time globally (behind Google and YouTube).
As of April 2013, the average Facebook user in the United States like 70 pages.
Creating a Page
I really shouldn’t have to do this, but for the fact that I want to cover everything, I will talk about this. There are four steps to make a page look top notch.
Step 1 – Images
We need our pages to have the profile photo and cover photo. Your profile photo represents you anytime you post and it is your little icon when people search your brand. Ideally, this is a photo of you or your logo. Although, I am not one to tell you what to post. This is a potential fan’s first look at your page and they need to recognize that this page is yours. Profile pictures display at 170×170 pixels on your Page on computers, 128×128 pixels on smartphones and 36×36 pixels on most feature phones. Make sure the photo can scale well. Can be bigger. Just make sure it scales. 
This is a really cool feature of your page. This is what a majority of artists use to feature their latest track or festival. This is your billboard – your digital billboard. Use this to your advantage to advertise yourself. Cover photos displays at 820 pixels wide by 312 pixels tall on your Page on computers and 640 pixels wide by 360 pixels tall on smartphones. Cover photos oad fastest as an sRGB JPG file that’s 851 pixels wide, 315 pixels tall and less than 100 kilobytes. 
Step 2 – Fill Out Your Information
Your Facebook is good as the content you put. Although, there are plenty of behind the scenes things that people use. There are a ton of sections such as the about section to fill out. Give your story. Tell people about yourself and your story. This is more used by industry people or people trying to get to know you more. Posts are good, but there is more than posts. It asks for your short description, your long description, members of your group (if it isn’t just you). Spend 10 or 20 minutes and fill it all out.
Step 3 – Organize Your Layout
Along with the about me, there is photos, videos, events, etc. Set them up to what you want to use and what you don’t want to use. Facebook Pages allow you to set it up in many different ways. You can also use custom tabs if you so choose. I know third party sources like Eventbrite have custom tabs if you want to add it. This all depends on your needs.
Step 4 – Content, Content, Content
This is the meat and potatoes. We need content. We need posting. Consistent posting. Whether it is your images of you in the studio, on stage, with fans, whatever it may be. We need content. You need to do some text. Add some videos. We’re in the 21st century. We need media and mixed media. The hierarchy of media works like this.
- Live video. Facebook is really promoting live video hard. They send out notifications to your followers and it only grows with more people who enter in and engage with you. There are tons of options for this where you don’t necessarily have to use your phone. They allow programs and your computer. You can livestream your computer as your producing or live stream a set as you perform for a crowd. There is this copyright issue with that, but that is at your own discretion.
- Regular video. Video was the most engaging media on Facebook prior to Live. Although, one will argue that regular is better than live. The only downside to this is autoplay can skew results. Regardless, you rather have video.
- Photo. Photos are engaging. Photos get results. People still love photos on Facebook especially with tagging others and such. You can post photos as posts, but also in comments which if you’re creative can work to your advantage.
- Text. I don’t ever recommend just plain text, but it still is valued on here.
- Link. Links aren’t really valued well on Facebook. Think of it from their perspective. They’re trying to keep people on their site.
We Talking About Content
The 20% is you sharing other people’s work. Maybe, you’re sharing a photo of another artist that may relate to you. Maybe you’re sharing a festival that you’re in or a small show. This is where you’re showing that it isn’t all about you, but in reality, it expands who you truly are.
The last 10% is all you. This is you posting that track. This is you selling tickets. This is you selling your EP. This is you asking people to vote for you for a remix contest. This is where you ask your fans to support you. When you build a repertoire with your fans, they want to support you. There is a reason people drive eight hours to see their favorite artist. There is a reason people buy fan merchandise. There is reasons people get tattoos which are for the most part, permanent. They support the artist through and through. You need to build that repertoire.
As I said in the Social Media post,
This isn’t something you may want to hear, but if you want to pull in fans, you need to produce content. You need to be a content machine. Once again, you cannot get away with posting the same thing on all your socials. That’s the lazy way out. You need to post similar, but unique content. For instance, what becomes popular on Instagram doesn’t necessarily become popular on Twitter. What people love to see on YouTube is different than Facebook. You need to tailor your content to each medium. Is it extra work? You bet it is, but original content is what will drive home the best fan. You also need to understand what is the priority focus of the media on these different sites. Here are some examples.
Tips to Content
Here are some tips using the information of the 70/20/10 or the Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook when it comes to Facebook.
- Be consistent.
- Be relevant. This may sound silly, but it works. There are a ton of viral music. Mannequin Challenge. Harlem Share. Hit the Quan. Cat Daddy. Whatever. Use that to your advantage. Same thing with like the Ice Bucket Challenge.
- Base your posts on time. Facebook provides when posts are considered most popular. Schedule your posts around these times. This isn’t mandatory, but only helpful. Needless to say, they change frequently.
- Keep your text short. There is a reason why people love Twitter. It is short and sweet. They’re not reading a blog, but rather a status. Stick with 150 characters (give or take).
- Be relevant. This should be understood. If you’re about electronic dance music, you wouldn’t talk about carpentry. If you’re about cars, you wouldn’t discuss women’s fashion. At least give a relation to your topics.
- Be up-to-date. Your industry is constantly changing. Stay up-to-date.
- Have some value. No one wants to hear what you are eating for breakfast unless your page is about breakfast. Imagine what your fans want to see. Give it to them.
- Entertain. Be funny. Use video. Memes. Make sure you’re doing it right if you do. There is a reason why sports pages go viral because they playfully taunt other teams and fans. There are limits to this. See below where I discuss this in detail.
Memes – Yay or Nay?
I get this so often. I see that people are even hiring others to make memes. This is a very difficult subject to address. Do memes work? Yes. People love memes. It translates emotions and a story through a silly photo. Here is my problem. People lean on memes hard to provide engagement. Unfortunately, it doesn’t necessarily translate well. What I mean by that is that if you’re posting memes and they’re not original or related to you, you’ll get engagement, but you’re not getting a quality fan. This will mean when you post the 10% of your music and such, they won’t care. They want the memes and you’re trying to build your brand and share your music. I can understand if you make yourself into a meme, but those don’t translate well as a majority of them are just forced and bad. One could argue that if you do relatable memes and provide a description on how it relates, it could be considered solid content. Although, people read memes as it is short and sweet, not your story. I am against it. This is personal, but my reasoning makes sense. I don’t think you need to cheapen your Facebook Page.
Let’s Get Creative
Facebook allows for you to get creative. Creativity flourishes. Creativity will allow you to get more fans because people share creative content. My absolute favorite example of creativity when it comes to Facebook is Mashd N Kutcher. Those guys are geniuses. Remember when the Mannequin Challenge came out? Everyone and their mother had a video. They were able to combine it in a live show with Party Thieves and it went viral. My friends who never heard of Mashd N Kutcher heard of them after that video.
16,000,000 (16 million)+ views. 416,000,000 (416 thousand)+ likes. 210,000 (210 thousand)+ shares. That is the definition of viral. They just took what everyone else did and made it their own. It relates to them as they were performing as showing their skills. This is why they have a million plus likes.
Another example that comes to mind is Snails posting a photo of himself and asking his fans to photoshop him.
The reason this sticks out is that the responses were incredible. Bonus was this got picked up by a ton of blogs for even more publicity.
Obviously, these things can’t be done by everyone all the time because they’ll become moot. Although, it doesn’t stop you from posting other content. Laidback Luke uses his Facebook page to post his vlogs which are very entertaining.
He posts them on Facebook despite the fact that having them on YouTube makes some profit with Adsense and Facebook doesn’t provide any profit. Although, the content is gold and people thoroughly enjoy them.
Will People See Me?
This is the part of the article where I would have talked about EdgeRank and the formula Facebook came up with. I even discussed it on my personal blog. That said, what I didn’t know then, EdgeRank was dead. Well, sorta. Facebook posts used to have three things in order for it to become big on the news feed.
- Affinity — i.e., how close is the relationship between the user and the content/source – a friend, a family member, co-worker, stranger?
- Weight — i.e., what type of action such as comments, likes, etc. was taken on the content?
- Decay — i.e., how recent/current is the content – posted yesterday or last week?
That was the easy times. Now, according to Lars Backstrom, Engineering Manager for News Feed Ranking at Facebook estimated there are as many as “100,000 individual weights in the model that produces News Feed.”  Just like Google SEO and Bing Search, we don’t know how it truly works and that is so no one can manipulate it. Plus, it changes frequently. What worked this week may not work next week. A good example of this is the live voting videos and now photos. This is in fact against their brand rules.  Up until 2014, the hot thing to do was download gates where you had to like the page to get a free track. It got out of hand and that too was banned.  You can’t ask for liking a status, but you can ask people to like your page in the comments.
Here are 3 tips outside of everything I talked about already to help with your reach.
1. Inform your fans that they have a page feed that is separate from their news feed so they can see the content from your page (along with all the other pages they liked).
This is really simple. It helps you along with your competitors (if they liked them too).
2. Have your fans become “super fans” by changing their notification settings.
There is this neat feature when it comes to pages (and profiles). You can alter your news feed manually by changing how you follow a page or person. Ask for your super fans to do what you see above – “See First” in their news feed and All On in their notifications. From then on, they’ll get a notification that you posted and will be on the top of their news feed.
3. Drop Some Money and Advertise.
Facebook’s advertising system is crazy. I mean, it is absolutely crazy. You can target individuals based on their demographic, interests, behaviors, and so much more. They have a ton of tools such as:
- Conversion Tracking: Track what your fans are doing after viewing your Facebook Ad.
- Custom Audiences: If you have an email list, you can use Facebook ads to target them.
- Lookalike Audiences: You can target Facebook users that are similar to your fans.
- Audience Insights: When you create ads, you get a ton of analytics. You can better target your audience based off these ads.
- Website Custom Audiences: If you have a website, you can target those who visit your website.
- Facebook Exchange: You can retarget ads for those who’ve checked out a certain part of your site.
Facebook is Here to Stay
I really hope all this information can really help you develop your Facebook page into something amazing. People tend to swear off Facebook because it costs money to get anywhere. Truthfully, with good content and $5, you’ll be fine. Money just expedites everything, but it isn’t necessary. Facebook is here for a while. This isn’t a social media that will come and go. A billion plus users means you have a lot of people you can advertise to. There is so much you could do and achieve with Facebook. I didn’t really go in-depth in Facebook Advertising and I apologize. It is very difficult to write about such a topic outside of what I just explained because it is so personalized. I can’t give you tips that I use because it could be different than yours. That said, everything I explained in here for content will work ideally for posts or advertisements. If you want to learn more about Facebook Advertising, they have a free course called Facebook Blueprint. It is a phenomenal resource to help you become good at it. Although, it isn’t necessary to build a fantastic account. It comes down to content, content, content. “Content is king. Context is God.” Gary Vaynerchuk.