Many of my artist friends recognize the power of Facebook pages and the great potential for word of mouth promotion through the platform. Plenty have wondered out loud through public Facebook status updates why people that profess to be fans and supporters of their music never seem to engage with it on the platform. One of those artists is Ill Spoken:
I’m here to tell you that there’s a really, really, really good chance that nobody is seeing the status updates you post to your Facebook page. The reason? Facebook doesn’t think they’re that into you. Yes they “Liked” your page which could be taken as an explicit expression of interest but according to Facebook, that’s not good enough.
Facebook has a content filtering system, named Edgerank, it uses to determine what content its users should or shouldn’t see. What’s taken into consideration are things like relationship – are you related to the user, close friends, or a co-worker: Engagement – how many people commented, Liked, or shared your update: Type of engagement – a comment is more valuable than a share, a share is more valuable than a Like, a Like has the value of Zambian Kwacha, and many more factors.
With a Facebook page for your business you don’t have any relationship with a user that’s anywhere near the value of a friend, family member, or co-worker. When it comes to engagement it’s a “what comes first, the chicken or the egg?” type of deal. You need people to engage with your updates in order for Facebook to allow them to be seen. In order for people to engage with your updates they have to see them. It’s a peculiarity that coincidentally works in the financial favor of Facebook as the company suggests investing in ads to “maximize delivery of [your] message in news feed[s]” according to an article on Adage.com titled “Facebook Admits Organic Reach Is Falling Short, Urges Marketers to Buy Ads“
Additionally, when you post update to your Facebook page for your business, Facebook leaks the content to a small percentage of your fans to test for engagement. If the small percentage of your fans that were allowed to see your post don’t engage with it, Facebook hides it from all of your other fans. Making this worse, is Click Farms which are companies that exist to generate fake Likes for pages in exchange for a fee, covered in this Youtube video titled “Facebook Fraud”.
In an effort to mimic regular Facebook activity, people working for Click farms will click to Like pages they haven’t been paid to Like. What this means is, every Facebook page for business probably has a good number of fake Likes. As a result, the small percentage of your fans that Facebook initially allows to see your updates could largely be comprised of fake accounts. It’s unlikely that a fake Facebook page would engage with your post and that lack of engagement would doom your post from showing to everyone else.
Where as “Selfies, Lunch photo shoots, and vines with cute cats doing dumb shit” actually appear in the News Feed of users, post from artists’ to their fan page about their new single does not. This is attributable to “Selfies, lunch photo shoots, and vines with cute cats doing dumb shit” being posted to personal profile pages and not fan pages. Artists can post their music to their personal profile page but your personal profile page consists of friends, family members, and co-workers that may care about you as a person but not be particularly fond of you as an artist. The people that are fans of your art, Like your fan page.
This brings us to another matter. Many artists have fan pages that consist of the same friends, family members, and co-workers that populate their personal profile pages. As I stated above, these people may care about YOU as a person, but may not be particularly fond of you as an artist. The reason they support your art isn’t because of your art, it’s because they’re supporting a friend, family member, or co-worker.
There’s a difference in the way you would post messages targeting fans and the way you’d post messages targeting friends. Friends, co-workers, and family members will respond if you need help. If you say you want to reach a certain number of Youtube views and ask everyone to watch your video to achieve that goal, the people in that group are likely to respond. If you just posted your new video with verbiage that speaks to the artistry, what the song is about, etc. Only people interested in your art are likely to respond.
The reason your Facebook page for your fans isn’t working for you is because Facebook doesn’t want it to, at least in regards to free promotion. The company wants you to invest in advertisements. Through ads you can unlock the full potential of Facebook pages and utilize it to effectively grow your audience. It’s just a matter of not being too pissed off by their otherwise unethical practices to take advantage. If you do decide to venture into the use of Facebook ads I encourage to learn about advertising online first. Here on the site we offer a course on the Fundamentals to Advertising Online that can provide you with enough information to not go in and lose your shirt.
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