Posted by Dan Steer
3 days ago I started a Facebook page for my music. As a social media trainer, I thought it would be good for me to practice a little more what I preach, maybe learn some more. This post tells the story so far…
By the way, if you haven’t liked the page or shared my first video song yet, do it now 🙂
…seriously: Go there now. Its nearly Christmas, after all…
A Facebook page is a great tool to create visibility and reach customers, reinforce brand and create conversation about your products and services. Doing it well is key and with these posts, I hope to give you an insight on what that means…
Step 1: Define your objectives before you get started
As with any marketing campaign, its important to know what you are trying to achieve. Clear measurable objectives will give you direction for your page activities, motivate you and give you guidelines to see if it was worth it.
In my case, I want to build visibility for my music activities and position myself as a story-telling musician who writes nice songs and can actually play live. I have set the following targets:
- 100 page likes in 1 month; 1000 likes in one year
- Reach minimum 200 people per video post to the page
- Book a gig via a Facebook connection within the first year
- Sell 100 copies of my “Greatest Non-Hits CD” via Facebook (when I finally finish it)
- At the moment, I have not set any other measurable objectives about the number or type of comments received on the page, although I do intend to use that content to gather feedback on my songs
Step 2: Create your page
This is easy enough. Go to https://www.facebook.com/pages/create and follow the steps. To think about:
- Don’t cheat with the options. Be honest about the type of activity you are creating.
- Add a simple description. If you are doing it for business reasons, make sure you are “on-brand” and include relevant keywords to potentially improve SEO results.
- Choose a URL that is as descriptive as possible and includes good searchable keywords for people to find you. I chose DanSteerMusic as, frankly, if you were searching “Dan Steer” and “Music” that’s pretty clear. Of course, the trick is to find an address that is still available…
- In the settings of your page, if you want to have conversation and “open posting” leave the options so that people can freely post things
- Add a page “profile” picture. If you don’t do this, people will not recognise you or your page in their timeline. And frankly, it just looks really unprofessional.
- Add a banner – I was lazy here, but at least its something (if you don’t know why I said that, why didn’t you visit and like my page yet!!!?!)
- You will be given the chance to invite people already. Don’t do this yet!! Read on ….
Step 3: Create some simple first content (before you invite people to like the page)
This is important. If you invite people to like the page and there is nothing there, why would they like it? In my case, I added a first video of one of my songs, performed live in the bathroom 5 minutes before. (Intrigued? You shouldn’t be, because you should have looked at the page already!!!).
Make sure your first content is not something like “Oh look, its me, I’m on Facebook”. You need to stay on-brand for your product or service, especially at the start.
Step 4: Now you can invite people to come and see the page. And you should.
As Jan Vermeiren said in “How to Really Use LinkedIn”, the success of any network or community depends on the golden triangle of asking, giving and thanking. More on that in a moment .. … for now, just go and ask every “on-brand” Facebook friend you have to like the page. They won’t mind.
Facebook offers you the opportunity to use an email contact list to invite people to the page. If you are running a business and you have a good contact list, don’t do this yet. Wait. It can be your secret weapon when you have something really classy to share, like a competition or event. Save that until later, because your contacts surely don’t want you to spam with email…
Step 5: Plan a blend of first content
It is my opinion that your Facebook content should be a nice blend of visual, text, video, short and long comments. I also think that you should not be “saying” the same thing all the time.
This is particularly important for people who are selling products – don’t just keep pushing your product. Go for a blend of 70:20:10…
- Make 70% of your posts about the brand – if you are selling shoes that are about “outdoor adventure”, “fresh air” and “fun” post things about “outdoor adventure”, “fresh air” and “fun” – who cares if it mentions shoes or not? Your fans will make the connection…
- Make only 20% of your posts about your products. This way people won’t find you too pushy.
- Include 10% of more personal or employee related stuff. Its OK to say you are celebrating someone’s birthday in the office today. Its important that there are faces behind the product.
Step 6: Think about when and where you will publish things
There are good moments and bad moments to publish content to Facebook. And you also need to consider the workload. My advice?
- Follow these guidelines from Mashable about when Facebook users are most active
- Don’t forget that what you publish will disappear from people’s timeline at a rate that is relative to the number of active friends they have. This is the half-life principle. So you will need to find the fine line between repetition of your posts and spamming people.
- Plan your posts in advance. Do this once a week, thinking about what you will publish and when. This is a good practice to maintain a good blend. It’s also more efficient in the long-run.
- If you are posting for multiple time-zones, don’t leave out people. For my professional Twitter account, I am posting for Europe and the US, so things are still going on until about midnight.
- Try using a “hub” like HootSuite to schedule posts in advance.
- Cross-pollinate your posts. Add a Facebook button to your website and link people to your Facebook page via other social media like Twitter or LinkedIn.
Step 7: Back to that golden triangle principle…
As you start up your page, it will be important to really ask, give and thank in order to create engagement. Since different people are engaged in different ways on social-media platforms, its important to work on this. I’ve been a bit short on giving in my start up, but I have done a few of these:
- Identify people in your network who have lots of friends and ask them to share the page. Be precise in your request, eg “Can you please share my last video from my Dan Steer Music page and ask your Facebook friends to like the page or share the film themselves?”
- If anybody likes or comments on any of your posts, you must thank them. Do this with a comment and mention/tag their name when you do so.
- If someone likes your page, send them a message and make the same request outlined above.
- If someone shares you page, like their share.
These actions should become religious as you manage your page. If people don’t feel engaged, they won’t bother coming back.
Step 8: Measure things and adapt your activity
After 3 days of activity, here are my results:
- 35 page likes
- ..of which 29 come from my own circle of Facebook friends (I’m SO happy about the 17% of strangers ! )
- My first song video was liked 7 times
- ..and shared 19 times
- .. and seen by 363 people
- My second post (a text link to another site with a few songs on) remains un-liked, has been seen by 17 people and shared once
The point of measuring is to see what works. I’m not going to make any assumptions just yet (its too early) but after a while, it will be important to assess:
- What moments work best for your posts?
- What kind of posts get the most interaction (likes, shares, comments)?
- Which posts drive the most traffic to your website, sell the most products, improve your SERP ratings etc…
- Who is sharing your content and who is not?
At the moment, I don’t have enough likes on my music page to correctly view Facebook “Insights”, but that tool is incredibly useful. Here’s an overview of what you can learn from “Insights” about which post-types work best.
Step 9: Don’t give up!
If you’ve done all this and you are satisfied with the results, keep going and consider some of these ideas to promote your page (for free):
- Mention it in your email signature
- Use that email contact list for a “big push”
- Cross-pollinate on other platforms and in the real world. For example, if you have a shop, put your Facebook address on the receipts. If you have a Twitter account, mention the page in your profile…
- Run a competition, where the winner is the one who gets the most likes for something posted to your page
- Talk about your page
I hope this page was interesting and you can find some good ideas for your own page creation and maintenance. I am going to keep experimenting and hope to come back in a few months with a more indepth set of tips on what really works and what doesn’t after the initial set-up.
I won’t ask you again to like my page.
Thanks for reading,