Facebook is officially now the most visited site in the US – beating Google to the top spot for the first time. And with 70% of its users outside the US it’s fair to presume the website dominates browsers across the globe (with some exceptions). So you have a Facebook page for your band, right? You’ve given it a logical URL, you’ve installed some cool landing page applications. You may have even done some Facebook advertising to attract people to your page. Hopefully you have a decent number of page likes. So what now? How often should you update your page? How much is too much? What content should you put into those updates? When is the best time to update your page? In this post we’ll answer these questions and give some advice on what a good Facebook strategy should be like.
How often should I update my page?
There are different schools of thought on this. Post too little and you are in danger of getting lost in peoples’ news feeds. Post too much and you will irritate your Facebook followers. From our experience managing Facebook pages for artists we have found that 3-5 updates per week is usually the right amount. Avoid the temptation to post minutiae on Facebook – keep that for Twitter (which is designed to be a rapidly changing environment and needs a different approach). Of course you can be flexible with this number; if you have just released a record, are touring or are on the promotional trail then update your page more often, just so long as the content is of interest to your followers. A good rule of thumb is never to update your page more than 5 times a day – at this point you are wandering into spam territory.
When should I update my page?
The best time to update your page is (unsurprisingly) when most of your fans are on Facebook. A recent study has shown that there are three times during the day when usage spikes: 11am, 3pm and 8pm. The study also found that morning updates more effective than those made after 12pm. And updating on weekdays is far more effective than at the weekends when people are out of their regular routines. So a posting strategy of 11am on weekdays should get the best results. But be careful – if your fans are international then you need to take account for time differences. If the majority of your fans are in the eastern US but you live in London then you need to calculate what time you need to post. Take the stress out of it and schedule your updates with HootSuite.
What content should I put in my updates?
This might seem like a silly question, but it’s actually a really valid one and a question bands should spend a little time thinking about. We have a few tips for you here:
Tip #1 Not all of your content should be self-promotional
Okay, you are using Facebook to promote you and your music and the ultimate goal is to convert your followers into people who support you financially through music or ticket sales. But you need to also keep in mind that the people who will see your updates in their news feeds have demonstrated they like you enough to become your fans on Facebook. They are familiar with your music, they may already own your CD and have gone to several of your concerts. Therefore your messages to these people should not be a Buy! Buy! Buy! A good ratio recommended by social media professionalSteve Woessner is 6:1, that means six ‘this is what the band are up to’ updates for every one ‘and our new single is available from iTunes’.
Tip #2 Respond to comments
Facebook is called a social network for a reason – you need to be sociable and interact with your Facebook followers, not just push content at them. If you post an update at 11am check your page a few hours later and reply to the comments your fans have left.
Tip #3 Share your personality and inspirations
You haven’t posted anything in days but you’re struggling to come up with something to update your page with. One of the things we do when embarking on managing an artist’s social network profiles is ask that artist to list out the things which have inspired them and their music; their favourite songs, films, books even. This list proves a great resource when you want to update your page but have nothing really new to say.
Tip #4 If content is super cool, make the most of it
You’ve spent a long time and perhaps a lot of money making a new video, so don’t just plonk it up on Facebook without ceremony. Try to create a ‘teaser’ campaign before you release the video. For example, posting behind-the-scenes photos the week before you release the video and ‘coming soon’ messages are a good way to increase suspense and pique interest. Similarly if you have an album of 40 great photos from a gig, split them up into two albums and post them separately. Remember, photos are important; we have found that photos are consistently the most visited part of any bands Facebook page. Check out your page insights and see for yourself.
Tip #5 Say thanks
It’s often forgotten but thanking people is actually quite a powerful way of reinforcing connections. When you’re touring it’s always good to post a thank you update after each gig. Even if just 1% of your total Facebook fans were at the concert in question, that 1% will feel special for having attended and are likely to comment on your update, which will in turn publish to their own Facebook profiles.
So, to conclude; putting thought into how you are going to manage your Facebook page is worth it. It’s not very rock ‘n’ roll, but being organised about what you want to say and when you say it will make your life easier. Hopefully these simple tips which we’ve learned from experience will help you get the most out of your page.