As Facebook's algorithm changes, it's becoming harder for artists to stay connected with their fans as the service gravitates away from posts by businesses and media and towards what it perceives as more personable meaningful interactions.
Guest post by Bill Leigh of Eventbrite
Things are changing at Facebook — and it means you’ll have to work harder to stay connected with fans.
In January, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook’s News Feed algorithm will now prioritize content from families, friends, and groups. For music brands and concert promoters, that means it will be more difficult to get music fans’ attention. That’s because Facebook will be pushing less “public content”: posts from brands, businesses, and media.
What’s behind the change? The company wants its users to have more “meaningful social interactions,” so the time users spend on the platform will be more valuable.
But that’s not so valuable to you as a promoter or venue owner. You want to to stay engaged with music fans and potential customers by keeping your posts in the News Feed flow. Here are a few things you can do to beat the algorithm.
Step 1: Emphasize interaction
The new algorithm will elevate posts that “spark conversations and meaningful interactions.” That means comments are king.
So don’t just announce shows; engage fans with open-ended questions that spark conversations. Then, keep the discussion going with comments of your own.
Step 2: Ask fans to choose your content
See First is in the Following menu, which is near the bottom of your page’s cover photo. You can also get to the Following menu by simply hovering your mouse pointer over your name or profile picture; a pop-up will appear, and the Following menu is part of it.
You can ask your fans to add your page to See First in a standalone Facebook post, but a better approach might be to remind people occasionally in the comments of popular posts.
Step 3: Use Facebook Groups to reach fans
Families, friends, and groups are the three specific areas Facebook says it’s prioritizing with the new algorithm changes. You can take advantage of groups to stay in regular contact with your fans.
Join a Facebook group of local live music fans, or start one of your own. You could even invite the participation of other local promoters. Putting on a music festival? Start a group for fans of the event, to get the discussion going and stoke some excitement.
Step 4: Make the most of advertising dollars
The best way to keep your Facebook music event and brand pages in front of fans and ticket purchasers is to pay for it. Facebook ads, sponsored content, and boosted posts are more necessary than ever.
Fortunately, Facebook may have the best audience targeting of all advertising platforms. Here’s a quick overview of Facebook’s audience options:
- Use a Saved Audience based on Facebook’s native targeting criteria, which lets you target aspects such as interests, behaviors, demographics, and location.
- Build a Custom Audience using your own downloaded lists of e-mail addresses, whether made of past purchaser data, website users, or e-mail leads.
- Facebook can also create a Lookalike Audience based on your Custom Audience using a matching algorithm.
In addition to promoting events through your own Facebook account, you can use advertising account permissions to create ads on behalf of others — like artists and venues — to appeal directly to their fan bases.
Step 5: Sell tickets directly on Facebook
Having a Facebook event page is vital, but you might not realize you can sell tickets directly through that page. Redirecting fans to a separate ticketing page adds a layer of complication, which reduces ticket sales. Studies show that selling tickets directly on Facebook can double your sales compared to having a separate ticketing page.
Want to learn more about effective Facebook marketing and how to convert fans into ticket buyers? Read How to Master Facebook Advertising and Sell More Tickets to learn how to stay connected with fans while boosting ticket sales.
Bill Leigh is a writer at Eventbrite, where he focuses on helping create successful live music events. He is also the former Editor-in-Chief of Bass Player magazine. When he’s not working, he splits his time between “dad mode” and “rocker mode.”