There is a new and exciting tool in the world of social media marketing that should not be underestimated. Not only that but it is a product that you have access too, and if you’re smart have already been engaging with. It’s free, which might be the best part. The weird groupthink aspects of course need to be considered, but that is neither here nor there. I’m speaking of course about Facebook groups. Now it is important to differentiate these from your more traditional Facebook pages which you probably already have and do your best to update several times a week. The Facebook group is a much more potent tool, and it is one that Mark Zuckerberg and his henchmen are working hard to push on you every day with a wealth of notifications and a focus on conversations that are meaningful, legitimately growing brands rather than leaving you high and dry searching for absolution in a world of low engagement.
The key advantage of course of the Facebook group is that it is much more of an opt in space for superfans of your band to engage. Not only that but they WILL get notifications from it and it WILL pop up in their feed much more so than this horse shit Facebook page stuff. I’m not saying you shouldn’t have a Facebook page, but it is much easier to engage with your superfans with a Facebook group. Not only that, but even casual fans might get drawn in if you are able to build up a positive community that feeds off of itself and serves to become something productive and fun. On top of this, as I mentioned before, this is a space for conversations. Outside of the fact that this seems like a way for Facebook to be able to undercut Twitter, it also means its a space where you can more easily directly engage with fans. Not just because they can respond to your posts and see your personal pages a little bit more easily but also because they can post their own content there – and this feeds into the next most important part of having a good Facebook group – the community focus.
Anyone can make a Facebook group where they just constantly post stuff praising themselves and trying to increase their brand. That’s not really to your advantage though. The key of a good Facebook group is to make the fans themselves feel loved. The idea is to build, not another platform where you tell your fans what you are doing like you do on your Facebook page, but rather a platform that legitimately allows them to engage with the brand and even inform its evolution. The key with the most successful Facebook groups is that they just act as an extension on the individual musicians personalities. They share memes and fun posts from their day to day lives. They share their favorite music and art just as much as they try and talk about things going on in the scene. There is a sense of progression that needs to happen when you are developing your brand so that fans feel like they are a part of it. It keeps you from being just another band and instead becoming buddies with your fans, further incentivizing them to get involved with your work.
Of course for any of this to work you need to have people already interested in your band and quite frankly interested in you. If your personal Facebook posts aren’t already getting engagement then posting in a group with a bunch of people you manually add isn’t going to do anything to benefit that. You need to make sure that your personal brand is the sort of thing that people are going to want to interact with first. If they don’t right now then you need to build that separately. This could mean looking at friends who do get a lot more interaction and emulating them in your own way, or just retreating into a world of books for a while and trying to make friends with the sort of people who like to interact on social media and talk about ideas. This builds you up as more than just another artist and instead turns you into a figure that is talked about and who brings something to the table beyond playing in just another band.
In short – Facebook Groups provide the ideal place to have interaction with other people and I have seen them help a lot of bands and labels reach a new peak by giving their superfans a place to connect and share their work. I’ve also seen ti help smaller bands use it to build up a community around what they are doing and using that community to feed into itself in order to provide a better future for everyone involved. You need to be able to provide meaningful content though that doesn’t just focus on your own shit but instead gives people a place to be themselves where you simply control the dialog a little. The most successful groups that I have seen have even been able to grow themselves just by providing a space for folks in their genre to interact and letting it grow from there. It makes you a scene leader – a worthy goal if there ever was one.
Sure these things can blow up in your face, but it’s not really a hard thing to set up a Facebook group and coming up with the right sort of content to share is rarely a question of anything more than just frequent sharing of fun non musical content and asking people about what they like. It should serve as an extension to personal pages and give artists another place where they can engage with you and realize that your band is more than just a band but people like them who are excited to do everything that they can in order to win over one fan at a time and be able to build that into something more substantive.