I’ve been noticing something interesting with social media lately that has driven me to write this article. It’s stemmed from multiple factors. Even though I can’t say for sure, I get the impression that Facebook is choking out bands more than ever before now and I’m wondering if I should move my own social media presence to the Twitter-verse. Beyond that – I think I may have found one of the keys to free organic Facebook followers. It’s a bunch of stuff to process at once and I sincerely hope that the writing process of this article doesn’t come across as scatterbrained as the inception so evidently was. Social media is a nightmare sometimes, and it’s our job to soothe it and make it work for independent bands of all shapes and sizes.
The first thing to realize, and something I’ve touched on before here is the simple fact that pretty much nobody who isn’t looking sees your Facebook posts – so why not just post all the time? It’s not going to get more views because you only post once a week, trust me. However – if you post regularly and frequently, not only will more people see your posts but also when people go to check your page they will see that you are active. Most music industry folks realize that Facebook is a joke unless you pay for sponsored posts. They aren’t likely to hold you accountable for having fewer likes. However, if they see your dedication to maintaining a constant stream of content then you are a little more likely to get the right people nodding and smiling in your direction.
There is of course an upper limit, as there with everything. You don’t want to become the sort of person who just spams people all day teasing “Big announcements” No you need to be able to contribute to something larger than yourself. All of this needs to be constructing a narrative, and even if that narrative is “Wow, our drummer is a dumbass sometimes” at least that’s something and at least that will get people starting to think about you and your dumbass drummer. There are a lot of weird existential struggles when deciding what kind of stuff you want to post to your page, after all – this is a representation of you!
One thing that seems to be doing strangely well (Admittedly it shouldn’t be THAT much of a surprise) is memes. My clients in Tengger Cavalry have managed to get a ridiculous amount of shares for unsponsored posts, simply because they try to share funny memes fairly regularly. Is it totally relevant to the band? Not really, though they do tend to be about metal. I understand why you might think that it is thus out of line to be sharing those kinds of things, and in certain contexts it might be. But look at it this way: I’m friends with a hardcore band called Ground from South Jersey, they have two and a half thousand Facebook fans. Imagine my surprise when one day I woke up to see I had multiple friends in Britain sharing Ground’s meme! Of course the band also managed to take a nice little leap in likes as a result of this, and they gt their without paying a cent. It gets your name out there, sure it isn’t ideal, but anything that boosts Facebook likes and that weird “Talking about this” stat is going to be helpful in the long run.
I’m not claiming to be any sort of meme architect, I personally don’t share memes on my own page, but I, like the majority of you, see hundreds if not thousands of memes every day. We all know people are sharing these things like STDs. It’s an unavoidable fact of life, and in fact perhaps the highest form of communication available today. So why not tap into it? It is perhaps not a proven method, and certainly an unorthodox one, but hopefully it will at least get some momentum going in your favor. That doesn’t mean you need to be a meme page and a band page, but it does mean that you need to take advantage of these things that were crafted solely because of their viral potential. They don’t even need to be your memes that you are sharing, because such is the nature of the art form. Even if the first attempts don’t take off one of them eventually will, and getting a few hundred shares of a picture that links back to your bands page is never a bad thing.
I hope I don’t come across as crass in recommending meme sharing to people. I know that they are a legitimate art form to a lot of folks. I mean – in many ways they are an elevated form of humor uniquely suited for this time and place. I get that. What I’m saying is why not take advantage of them? Of course – there are other things that you need to incorporate too. For example bands who are able to post regular photos from practice or meetings tend to do very well – if only because it shows you are constantly busy. Tour selfies are another one of those things that gets peoples blood pumping. Anything that captures the romance of being in a band is almost certainly going to get you at least a little positive attention and things moving in the right direction.
At the end of the day – social media is going to remain a nightmare as long as you can buy likes and sponsor posts The old time days of youthful anarchism that Facebook once held so dear are long gone in a wash of corporate interest. I mean, we are using their service, so we can’t really complain. I just find this whole thing a bit weird and frustrating, as should you. As with many other aspects of the industry we love in recent years it has sunk into the sort of thing where we are forced to rely on gimmicks. If you can take advantage of those gimmicks though, then you are on your way to creating something greater.