Using your own Facebook group to promote yourself isn’t the only way to grow your brand with the function. In fact – early on, it’s probably wisest to start to build your name by being active in other peoples Facebook groups. These can range from anything from genre specific groups to ones run by other bands. Now, while this can be tricky, Facebook groups, you must remember, were essentially formed to replace internet forums. If you create content that would work in the old school internet forums it will probably work in Facebook groups. Simultaneously, frequently posting in Facebook groups for pure self promotion is sure to make other people think that you are a dick and leave you in a lurch. Counterbalancing these things is a key aspect to online branding.
The first thing to keep in mind is that it is usually wise to identify where the movers and shakers in your genre are interacting if you want to be a mover and shaker yourself. On Facebook this frequently means adding a bunch of the right people as friends and then commenting on their shit and looking to see what groups they talk in. It’s sort of like how on Twitter if you’re not just constantly tweeting with people trying to do shit, then its a waste of time. Try and find a reasonably hip person who you think would be willing to help you out and ask them where they go to interact with people on Facebook. Odds are they will guide you along and give you some advice for a community that you can contribute too. While there aren’t a ton of these yet, the ones that have been done effectively act as a potent promotional platform and allow people who know how to be real to profit and grow their brands.
Tied into this – be sure that if you’re going to post in someone elses Facebook group, especially a group for a band, that you understand the demographic. If you want to be taken at all seriously then you need to be an active member of the group too. I’ve seen people promote their bands in other bands Facebook groups, but most of the time they were friends with the band and they knew that they wouldn’t freak people out by doing so. Even if you don’t intend to promote your band in another bands group though, you should still interact, especially if it is a band whose fans are directly relevant to you. This is just another way of proving that you are a meaningful part of a scene and that not only are you directly contributing in a healthy and cool way, but also making people realize who you are. They WILL click over to your profile and try to find out more – so make sure that things are easy to access once you lure them over.
When you’re posting in groups be sure not to just comment on shit but also to make meaningful contributions. Ask fun and interesting questions, post cool pictures you’ve taken, do that kind of stuff. At the end of the day – the people who join these groups are typically music nerds. If you’re not giving them things to nerd out over then they aren’t going to care. If you do your due diligence and ask provoking questions and cultivate a fun and interesting persona, then people are going to want to interact with you. This is just how relationship building works. People in ‘the scene’ as it were judge you by your contributions to ‘the scene’. It’s crucial if you are trying to win over one fan at a time, which you are, that you go out of your way to show that you are a contributing and positive member of the music scene. I know that this can take a lot of work and time, but that’s the fucking point. Everyone would do it if it were easy.
Of course – it is fairly easy if you can stay committed. Not only that, but even if your band breaks up and you quit music you will still have friendships that last a lifetime. You still have gotten to be a part of something meaningful and contribute to a world that is greater than any one of us. I know that you were hoping to get to play to a legion of adoring fans, but sometimes you take what you can get. If you’re not in this to make friends and go on adventures then you’re pretty far off base. Again – I know that being an active part of these groups takes time that you might not have. It requires a willingness to engage in social media and to be constantly ‘on’. This isn’t fun for some people. I get it. You have the unique ability to make it fun for yourself though by becoming a member of the community and guiding the dialog towards something that you are interested in. Ultimately the choice is up to you – but take some time and dig in.
Facebook groups are presently being pushed very hard by the company so it would be wise for you to engage. While the ideal is for every band member to be active in groups we all know that frequently it just boils down to the main dude posting a lot. This is one of those aspects of main dude theory that we don’t frequently see, but part of being the most visible member of a band involves going out and working on stuff like this. If you’re the dude at the end of the night shaking hands with the promoter you also need to be the dude who is easily recognizable on the internet as from ‘that band’. This is just how we interact in 2018, you need to get on it for better or for worse.