A Facebook Page is a great way to attract new audiences and potential members to your music group. At the time of writing, there are about 702,000 people on Facebook in the UK, between ages 18 and 65, that expressed an interest in Choirs; 506,000 that like Orchestras and a staggering 27,818,000 that like Music. These are all potential audiences that you can reach if you know how to target them.
But the social media magic will not happen unless you put some passion, and a moderate amount of time and work, into running an engaging Facebook Page for your music group. Here are some tips you might find useful.
1. Are you sure you have a Page?
Check that what you’ve created for your group is a proper Facebook Page and not a personal profile or a group. The advantage of Pages is that they offer more tools to generate and measure engagement. To find out how to create one, have a look at our guidance on getting started with social media.
2. Make it pretty.
When someone goes on your group’s Page, you want to give them an immediate reason to explore and engage. The easiest way to achieve this is by making sure your profile picture and your cover image are attractive. To find out more about producing more engaging photos, have a look at our top photography tips for music groups. Facebook now allows you to use a video instead of a still photo, so you might also want to have a look at our top video tips.
3. Don’t forget your About info.
The people that follow or visit your page will mostly interact with the posts you publish. But what happens if they want to find out more about your group? Make sure to include your website, contact details and other relevant information.
4. Use the CTA button.
Under your cover image (or video) you will find a customisable Call-To-Action button. Link it to your online donations page or the Contact Us page on your website, or get even more creative! It is a great opportunity to generate engagement.
5. Only share your best content.
Be selective about what you post. Your Page’s fans will very easily unfollow or unlike it if they are bombarded with content they don’t find interesting. Put yourself in their shoes before you post. However, this shouldn’t mean that you should just sit and wait for some interesting content to come your away. Actively seek out things to post. And make sure that every element of the post is well thought out. Use the most engaging images and videos, and a copy that makes your audience stop and pay attention.
6. Don’t talk only about yourself.
Your fans will most probably follow your page because they want to find out about future performances, but you can keep them engaged by publishing other music-related content that they will enjoy. Music quotes, jokes and memes, articles about the power of music, campaigns about music education… all of this helps them keep your group in mind.
7. Keep it varied.
Facebook doesn’t display every single post you publish to every person that follows your page in their News Feed. “Of the 1,500+ stories a person might see whenever they log onto Facebook, News Feed displays approximately 300. To choose which stories to show, News Feed ranks each possible story (from more to less important) by looking at thousands of factors relative to each person,” explains Brian Boland, VP Advertising Technology at Facebook. Pages that regularly publish different kinds of posts (photos, videos, links, questions, events) have their posts ranked higher and can get more visibility.
8. Find out when your Page's fans are online.
Facebook Pages offer very detailed statistics in their Insights section. It is very useful to know on what days of the week and at what times your Page’s fans are regularly online, as that is a great moment to publish your posts. They will be ranked higher if they are more recent. In general, use the stats on the Insights section (you can even download them as a spreadsheet) to analyse and optimise your approach to social media.
9. Learn to schedule your posts.
It’s actually very easy. Instead of pressing the Publish button when your post is ready to go, click on the blue arrow button and select Schedule. Choose a date and a time that’s more convenient for publication, and keep in mind when your fans will be online. The scheduling tool allows you to programme several posts throughout the week or month, which will allow your Page’s fans to keep engaged without requiring you to be on Facebook all the time.
10. Consider boosting posts.
To boost a post is to pay Facebook in order to guarantee that it is displayed to a certain number of people. This can be people that already follow your Page, their friends, or other users that you target according to geography, gender, age or interests. Let’s look at an example to see why this could be convenient to you. Imagine that you want to promote a performance of Mozart’s Requiem by South London Community Orchestra in Bromley. You can make sure that your post is displayed to people who like Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, classical music, other orchestras, and that live 20 miles from your venue. Usually boosting a post will attract an impressive amount of likes, shares and clicks on your link. The amount you pay doesn’t have to be prohibitive. A £10 boost would help you reach between 4,000 and 11,000 users. You can also target your unboosted posts to make sure they are mostly seen by specific audiences.
11. Encourage a conversation.
Respond to comments on posts and private messages you receive on your Page (you can switch off private messages if you wish). Post questions for your followers to interact with. With anything you share, try to spark a conversation by asking your Page’s fans what they think about it. You could also ask them to send in their own photos and videos, and you can then publish the best ones. All of this leads to engagement that will increase your posts’ ranking.
12. Remember your tags and your hashtags.
One of our most successful posts in recent times on Facebook was the announcement of the Adopt A Composer pairings for 2016/2017. We made sure to tag all music groups, composers and partners, and this led to them sharing the post too, which brought in a good amount of likes, comments and shares. However, don’t abuse this, or your Page’s rank will suffer. Try tagging only people that are directly involved in the post you are publishing. Also, remember to use hashtags to connect to topics that are trending on Facebook (for example, #BBCProms or #MusicEducation).
13. Go live!
Don’t be afraid to do a live broadcast during one of your group’s performances. Facebook loves Pages that do live streaming, so it will send a notification to all your Page’s fans that you have just gone live.
14. Use Facebook video.
Many users would rather upload their videos to YouTube and then just share the link via social media. That makes sense if you are trying to attract subscribers and views to your group’s YouTube channel. But from time to time consider also uploading video straight to Facebook. Your posts’ ranking will get a decent bump!
We hope you find this Making Music resource useful. If you have any comments or suggestions about the guidance please contact us. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the content of this guidance is accurate and up to date, Making Music do not warrant, nor accept any liability or responsibility for the completeness or accuracy of the content, or for any loss which may arise from reliance on the information contained in it.