Oof – this is a hard one and one that I think haunts a lot of people trying to get somewhere substantial in the music industry. It’s the sort of thing that a lot of bands end up being confused by and thus don’t even bother with at all. This is problematic because you kind of need Facebook ads if you want to get anywhere these days and the bands who ignore this are almost invariably the bands who end up getting stuck and having nothing happening to them. It’s going to be tricky to piece this chapter together too because I want this to be as easy as possible for you. I’m not going to delve into the tricky world of Facebook Power Editor and all that bullshit – what I will talk about though is some basic ad setup that will be more than enough for your average band trying to make a name for themselves and start to get somewhere. So let’s get to talking about the potential of boosting posts.
Before we get into the details I want to emphasize – you need to do this. I know that it’s dystopia and I know that a lot of your peers might tell you you don’t need to do this, but you really do. This is the thing that makes social media so fucked – if you’re a band who are trying to make it and don’t have a large advertising budget things are going to be very tricky, but not impossible, for you. It just means you need to be a lot more creative. So let’s pick this apart and try to understand what makes this whole thing so important and how to do it effectively.
You need to make sure that you are boosting the sort of content that it makes sense to boost. This can include things like upcoming shows and new music or music videos. Music and music videos are great because they help to satisfy a few key things in any bands career. Between those pieces of content you satisfy the two types of ads that you need to be running. One type of ad needs to be targeted at pre-existing fans who need to be informed about the kind of stuff that you have coming up. This includes shows and new music obviously, among other things. Simultaneously though you need ot be using pre existing content, that is to say already extant music videos and music in order to draw new people in. You need to have content saying things like “Starkill – Symphonic Metal coming to YOUR town!” with a video that autoplays in order to get people buying into what you’re trying to create. The people want new music, it’s up to you to give it to them.
Now on to how to boost posts. Simply type the content for your post and then click ‘Boost post” in the lower right hand corner of your text bar on Facebook. From there you need to go in and choose your audience. If you’re reading this article then the odds are you don’t have a pre set audience so go in and select ‘Create New Audience.’ This should take you to a different menu. It’s at this point that you really need to start thinking about things like demographics and where things promise to get a little bit tricky if you’re not thinking about how to execute on them properly. While their might be fairly obvious things like location (obviously you don’t want to put national level targeting for a show in Missoula) you also have to think about larger overall themes in what you are creating in order to optimize the people you are reaching out to.
This can be a little bit tricky, and not just because Facebooks demographic creator is fucking annoying to navigate (No suggestions there, sorry!) You need to really stop and think here – since obviously you want to have an optimal demographic size, Facebook tells you how many people you’re reaching, but unless you’re firmly in the green on the meter they provide you are wasting your time. Of course this can be tricky because while on the one hand you might want to target all people in North America, GAS, and BeNeLux who like “Metal” that’s also going to be a ton of people. So let’s break this down.
In terms of geographics, assuming you are from the US, Canada, Western Europe or Scandinavia I’d encourage you to target exactly those regions. If you’re a smaller band you should focus even more regionally on your province or state as well as maybe the adjacent ones. From there I generally encourage bands to try and focus their efforts on people making $40,000-$150,000. You want to be hitting people with some amount of spending money but not so much as to be exceedingly difficult to access them or for their interests to be radically beyond the norm. Simultaneously, in terms of likes (on the first level) I generally try to go for the broadest subgenre that you could be a part of. So if you’re a rock band who sound like Queens Of The Stone Age and Mothership you would put “Stoner rock”. Then I think it’s generally wise to narrow it down in the “Must ALSO like” section and list a few bands you are tied into. Larger ones of course. So in this situation it would be Queens Of The Stone Age and Mothership. This should help you get a demographic of people who know about the relevant bands in the genre but also who are matching other key criterion.
The final key of course depends on whether or not this is an advertisement meant for outreach or one meant to boost awareness with people who have already liked your page. This is an easy option to check off and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Again – your outreach ads needs to be carefully set up so that you are hitting people broadly who would definitely be interested in your band or who are in a region where you might be playing a show and in bands similar to yours. By the same token your internal awareness ads need to be set up with goals in mind too. They need to have the goal of converting sales or simply making people engage with a new piece of content. It can be tricky, but it’s always worth it.
So we got through – this was a tricky post to get through – hopefully this makes sense. I chose not to include screenshots because things are constantly changing with this particular aspect of Facebook but the grand scheme that I outlined above has been fairly consistent for the last few years so you should get some mileage out of it. Regardless of anything the setup seems fairly logical and should be able to help you keep developing your brand and your band in a way that is helpful and productive – not just feeding into the same staid circle jerk of poorly set up boosted posts that hurt so many bands.