I’ve been using Facebook since December 2006 and have been working as a social media marketer, manager and internet promoter of authors, musicians and other artists for almost three years. I’ve learned a few things along the way about how to create a great Facebook page. I learned a lot about this by being regularly present on one of my favourite Facebook pages since its inception in May of this year: the Awesome Women Hub which was founded by Robin Rice and has been extremely successful (today they are at 10,859 members) because of the generosity model she uses for it.
The generosity model is essentially that the page is a place where you are encouraged to post about YOU. The Awesome Women Hub page is dedicated to women entrepreneurs and it is a place where they are welcome to go to talk about themselves in a personal way as well as about their business without spamming anyone. It’s a feminine entrepreneurial collective filled with good will, encouragement, and support. It’s also a very inspirational, positive place to be and Robin Rice knows what she’s doing when it comes to creating a great Facebook page, as does her business partner, Randy Grossman of Randy Grossman’s Amazing Musician Portal.
Here are some of the things you can do to increase membership on your page:
• BE PRESENT! Show up and post on your page every day if you can but at least a couple times a week
• Ask questions
• Provide engaging content
• Inspire your readers
• Offer GOOD information
• Host an incentive contest or giveaway
• Host a “virtual tea” event (an event where you invite people to join you on your Facebook page to discuss a specific topic or just to get to know each other)
• Give your page members something back, including allowing them a place to share their voice.
It’s that simple. I’ve been doing this with my Scully Love Promo page and I haven’t had the page for more than 6 months. I’m almost at 800 members. Most of those people are not my personal Facebook friends and I don’t know them. They join the page and I believe they stay because of the content I provide. I rarely send email updates and I try to offer them something useful (like notes and free PDFs about social media) once in a while aside from just posting links to information.
The one thing that I don’t agree with Robin Rice about is that you need to brand your name with a clever phrase attached to it, although it may not hurt. Every author and musician client I work with uses their name as their brand – all authors and musicians’ names are their brand. Why should that be different on Facebook? I mean Elton John doesn’t have a Facebook page that says Elton John’s Magical World of Tinkling Ivories, now does he? No, because he’s Elton John and people recognize his name. Everyone who is an author, musician or artist has to brand their NAME, not some phrase that includes their name. “Music IS the message and the musician IS the brand – anything else is extraneous and blurs the message.” My job as a social media manager is to foster awareness of the brand and message and I do that by promoting brands via social media.
You might not be the same person in five years. Do you want to have a phrase that’s attached to your name – stuck to it as your brand – in five years on Facebook when you may not be in that same place anymore? I wouldn’t. Now, for example, if you want to think of something that encompasses everything musically that you are involved with: solo, duo, trio, band, different genres of music, etc., then calling yourself West Coast Chanteuse Maureen Washington isn’t horrible. Unless you already are a household name, maybe it is a good idea to somehow distinguish yourself on Facebook as a singer/musician by including words in the phrase that support that.
I think it’s important to have all your social media ducks in a row, including your website. Musicians should still be on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and YouTube and have their own website as well because each of those sites does something different and is used for a slightly different purpose. Facebook is the most powerful of all the sites and it should be managed properly.
You just have to be patient, be REAL, and work hard at it.
So, how do you build your Facebook page membership and increase those numbers? The key is to show up and post great content and get your friends and other authors and musicians, etc. to support you by having them suggest your page to their network. Give them a good reason for doing this…do it for them as well!
This Christmas you can spread holiday cheer, good will and bring great joy to your Facebook friends at NO COST by simply choosing your favourite Facebook pages (not your own) and actually suggesting them to your friends! It will make those friends VERY HAPPY and you will have a Merry Christmas too!
Sometimes people who friend me on Facebook on my personal profile also delete me as a friend – maybe because I invite them to lots of pages – I don’t know. However, if they don’t like me for who I am, too bad so sad. Their loss.
So, the bottom line is, use your social networking sites in the right way and remember that social media is just that…social!