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Using Facebook for your business or music career (Part 1)

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I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. Very frankly, I hate the social side of it for the most part. I see things (such as political nonsense) that gives me angst and makes me want to respond. Sometimes I do respond and that usually does not turn out to be a good thing.

My current strategy for staying sane on Facebook is to hide posts of any “friends” that I don’t really know and also anyone that posts a lot of political stuff or other stuff I don’t like. There are a few casualties of that because I really like some of those people and/or agree with their political stuff. I just ending up reading the wars in the comments and get too tempted to jump in, and I have decided it is not worth it. There is simply not enough time in my life to argue with people I barely know.

Sometimes I post stuff that people object to for various reasons. I have a very simple rule for that. If the only time I hear from those people is when they are picking apart something I say, I delete their comments and eventually block them if it continues. I don’t mind people disagreeing with me but I do not really want to invest time in people that only bring negativity to my life. People do not have a right to post their negativity on my profile even if it is 2017.

Honestly, I would be happier avoiding Facebook completely but I can’t. It is simply too valuable for what I do in music and otherwise. I want to give you a few thoughts about that today. In this post, I will discuss Facebook pages (business or professional pages rather than personal profiles) and in the next, will discuss Facebook advertising.

I have to confess that for the past few years, I have been really down on my Facebook page (found here). In fact, I have basically ignored it and I note that my number of followers (31,000) has not really changed in two years. The reason I have been down on it is because Facebook started hiding professional page updates on news feeds. While at one point I might have gotten updates in front of up to 75% of my followers, the number dropped to next to nothing for a while.

I have friends whose business disappeared when that happened (at least until they figured out new strategies). As an example, Jesus Daily at one point was the most popular page on Facebook with 30,000,000 followers. At one point, they wanted $10,000 for a single advertising post on their page because they could drive so much traffic. However, today, a typical post on that page gets only a few hundred likes. Their reach has been absolutely decimated.

All that being said, it was still a very stupid move on my part to give up on Facebook. Facebook still does what it is supposed to do and does it quite well. No, it is not a place to really try to sell anything. However, it is a place where you can get very significant exposure with little if any investment on your part outside of your time.

If you are trying to sell on Facebook by posting links and ads on your professional page, you are probably not going to do well. Your reach (number of people that see your update) will be abysmal unless you pony up money to Facebook to increase it. On the other hand, if you post free content that can be either useful or funny or valuable, you may not initially sell much but you will generate exposure.

I made a commitment to myself a few weeks ago to start posting again on my professional page. I am posting videos (performances and free tips) and jokes primarily. Here is the results of those couple of weeks (this is actually 28 days and as you can see, I started somewhere in the middle).

Now, some of these numbers are quite unimpressive. I would actually be ashamed to show them to you but I have already admitted I have ignored Facebook for a long time. However, note the two stats I highlighted. In two weeks, over 200K people have seen my content and I generated 41,000 views on videos. (A typical day on YouTube for me is 5,000 views so 41,000 views on Facebook is not nearly as high but still significant.)

My cost to do that? $0 and maybe 5 minutes a day to post content.

I can’t calculate the monetary value of that exposure. I do note that 200 people decided to follow the page during that time and that is somewhat significant. The main thing about the exposure is it is free. It is a no-brainer really even if I neglected it for a few years.

Here is another set of stats for a typical post. This is a joke (not even a very funny one) that I posted over the weekend.

Note that 167 people shared this joke with their friends. I consider “shares” to be the most important statistic here because shares get me in front of a new audience. In fact, of the 24,000 that saw this content, most probably have no connection with my page.

Over 1000 people reacted to the joke in various ways such as liking, commenting, sharing, or clicking. While there is little value in those actions as a whole, at least some clicked on my page and checked me out. And yes, 10 people got annoyed and hid my post. That is fairly insignificant collateral damage.

Now, note that Facebook offers me an “opportunity” to boost (advertise) this post. They recommend that I spend $100 to reach 90,000 people. Am I tempted? Um, no. I am not spending money to advertise a joke because the return on investment would be pretty low. Yes, it might get 50-75 more people to “like” my page but there is really not too much value there. Posting jokes is fine for generating exposure but don’t expect to cash in “likes” on a joke for so much as a McDonalds extra value meal.

On the other hand, I am not against boosting some content, and I did boost one thing over the past few weeks. Note in the first image at the bottom, I am running a campaign advertising the Heather Sorenson online master class this weekend. I have spent $75 on it and at present, it has reached 34,000 people and generated 500 engagements (mostly likes). It has also generated some sales (I know that from my website stats).

Here is a general rule about spending money on Facebook pages. Don’t do it for vanity. It doesn’t matter if you can generate a few thousand likes on a post. Anyone can do that by spending a few dollars and advertising in Asia. Likes don’t really matter in the long run. What matters is whether you can track something more tangible to that spend and that usually means sales. If in the long run your advertising does not generate revenue, what really is the point?

Boosting posts on your page is just one way to advertise on Facebook and I want to take a whole post to discuss that in more detail. While I ignored my page last year, I spent maybe $10,000 on FB ads and I will discuss that then.

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