There are a plethora of “hacks” that one can use to get their event or page in front of a great many Facebookers out in the interwebs. The problem is that many of them are violations of the Facebook terms of service (TOS). Even if the particular method you may use to “trick” Facebook into putting your promo in front of more people isn’t a policy violation , it may well be extremely annoying to your fans. Let’s get you sorted, read on.
Pages v Profiles
The biggest peeve of mine is the ever popular “I’ll just use my business [or stage] name to make a profile” …not cool! Why? There is a completely different feature set involved when using Facebook as a person as opposed to using it as a page. For one thing, pages cannot send you a friend request. This seems like a small thing, but if you think about it a friend request is much more “in your face” than an invitation to like a page or a suggestion from a friend (since you have to actively say “no, I don’t want to be your friend” or the request persists indefinitely).
The second restriction on pages is that they cannot post to personal timelines, imagine if Pepsi decided to post something to everyone’s timeline who had liked their page…if they set the visibility to “friends of friends” then the post would be seen by half of the planet (possibly a slight exaggeration, but you get the point).
Another reason, this one entirely positive (from a business perspective), is that people can post to a page without having to send a friend request and be accepted as a friend. This may sound like a slight drawback. “But what about negative posts?” you are probably asking yourself. Negative posts really have little bearing on a business’ image. What does hold serious sway is how you respond to them. For an extreme example of this, please refer to the article Applebee’s Overnight Social Media Meltdown: A Photo Essay, which is a perfect “how-not-to” guide toward dealing with negative comments. The point is that you can only glean more interaction by not having to approve your fans before they can post to your timeline, and as the old adage can be paraphrased “there are no such things as bad comments”.
These things seem like the sort of rules that could be bent slightly…but they shouldn’t. It becomes an issue of “where do you draw the line” really. I’ve seen many small businesses do this out of either ignorance or assumed simplicity, it is a mistake to do this and Facebook can revoke your account for it. Facebook’s rules for profiles clearly state: “You will not use your personal profile for your own commercial gain”. This means that even if you perform as your real name (or your business is named after you) that you are violating the TOS and stand to have your profile deleted.
To create a page, simply follow this link. You’ll be glad you did…perhaps not immediately, but when your competitors are just creating their pages and you already have a strong following built, you’ll thank me.
Ok, made my page. What next?
There are a few “housekeeping” chores that need to be taken care of when you first create your page. The most important of these actually requires your page to have at least 25 “likes” and involves changing your Facebook page’s URL (the web address) to something other than an unintelligible string of numbers (e.g https://www.facebook.com/damageddj instead of https://www.facebook.com/pages/XXX-Machina/234284283377289). To do this:
- Go into your “Page Settings,” click on “Edit Page” and then select “Update Page Info.”
- Click on “Basic Information” in the left column.
- Below “Username” click on “Create a username for this page.”
- Enter your desired vanity URL. Then click on “Check Availability” to make sure it hasn’t already been taken.
- If it is available, a box like this will appear — click on “Confirm” to finalize your URL change.
Things you can do to generate page likes & reach
Mention other artists in your posts
This will increase both your, as well as their, page reach. This is an easier way to spread your reach out than getting people to share your posts (since everyone has absolute A.D.D. about Facebook stuff). This can be used as simply as:
“I’m really looking forward to the show tonight at [@mention the venue]. I always enjoy playing shows with [@mention the other artist(s)] and I am very much looking forward to playing with [@mention the headliner] who’s music I very much enjoy!”
In order to mention another artist:
1) Go to their page (eg www.facebook.com/damageddj)
2) Click the gear icon at the top right corner of their timeline.
3) Click “Like as your page”
4) Choose the page which you will mention them from.
5) Click “Save”.
You can now mention them in your status posts. Note: you can do this when acting as any page you manage as well as your personal profile. If you want to like a page as more than one of your pages simply refresh the page after completing the process once and you will be able to like the page as another of your pages.
Like us on Facebook
Use a call to action. Place a “Like us on Facebook” on your promotional materials. This can be as simple as the aforementioned text, possibly with the URL to your page along with it. There are a few other methods I like to use as well:
QR Codes are 2 dimensional barcodes which everyone will have seen somewhere. They make a long or complicated URL as easy to enter into a device as snapping it’s picture. There are several QR code readers available for Android, iPhone, Windows Phone, as well as desktop and tablet OSs. For a complete breakdown of QR codes, please read the Wikipedia article pertaining to them as a full discussion is well outside the scope of this post.
- QR code with a direct link to your page. The above QR will take you to my Facebook page for Damgood.
- QR code that will take the user to a “Like Page”. If you scan this QR it will take you to a page which will allow you to just click a button and like my page instantly.Try it out.
- Vanity QR codes are QR codes which have some artistic value (or rather they are visually pleasing or representative of your brand). This QR code functions identically to the first one even though they do not resemble one another visually at all.
I use QR Stuff to generate my QR Codes, but there are several sites as well as standalone applications that will create them. The “vanity” QR was produced by Visualead (these you have to pay a small fee for).
Actual physical promotional materials
I realize I put this toward the bottom of the article, but it is possibly the most important part of any marketing unless you already know a large network of other artists who are willing to promote your page on their own (often, sadly, not the case…simply because you are technically in competition with one another…I know, it shouldn’t be that way but it so often is because people will squander the good will of the audience just to hoard a few fans). Flyers are the obvious example for this section, but there are other options that are equally as viable such as:
- Stickers: This one is a favorite among the older generation (the ones who also flyer consistently). A word of advice: do your homework before ordering a great many stickers from one printer and always always always have them printed on something durable!!! Your stickers (ideally) will end up being slapped on all kinds of gear and DJs are not known for the care with which they treat their flight cases (etc). Even if the stickers are on a controller (or on a CDJ if you’re lucky) they will see some wear and tear. Stickers are great though because you can slip them into someone’s flight case or backpack and they can find their way half way around the world (see: the sticker I dropped in Rednek‘s flight case…which he still may not have found). My stickers (design by Jon 7):
- Business cards: this is one of those things that you will see more with the “sell the hell out of myself” DJ crowd, but it is no less important. Your business card (just as in the actual business professional world) defines you to many people who only meet you for a few seconds. As many promoters (very very sadly) will not listen to your mixes even before they book you, it is incredibly important to have this communication tool on hand at all times. Most people I know use Vistaprint (who also offers a range of other print services) or Club Flyers but regardless of the printer you have cranking out the materials, make sure your design is on point. Do not fall into the trap of using the one stock graphic of a pair of CDJs (particularly if you play on a controller…it’s just misleading & may bite you in the ass if you are expected to use gear you aren’t familiar with & practiced on).