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What’s the surest way to reach your fans on Facebook? Live video.

Years back there was a good chance your followers would actually see your posts in their Facebook feeds. Not so anymore. Now you post something, watch how it performs, and then consider paying to promote that content to followers who didn’t see it “organically,” which is still worth doing for your most important posts because Facebook remains, despite challenges from newer apps, the most powerful social media platform.

The past is the past. The present is Live.

To many DIY artists Facebook has seemed over the past six or seven years like some cruel stepmother taking away all our toys. Granted, these never were OUR toys to begin with; Facebook was just letting us borrow them. But we had them long enough to forget they weren’t ours.

Yes, Facebook reduced our reach, reduced it some more, and frowned on posts with external links (especially YouTube links) — but that’s in the past. Today, in Facebook’s frenzy to become even more of a native-content giant, there is an opportunity for musicians.

Facebook loves when you upload video directly to their platform. (I mean, they’re launching a standalone app for video creators!) But even better, they love when you “go Live” and stream video real-time to your followers on Facebook.

This too could change one day but RIGHT NOW the best bet for reaching your fans without paying is to use Facebook Live (on your smartphone or desktop webcam).

Ten ideas for musicians on Facebook Live

What events can musicians live stream to their Facebook followers? Our friend Dave Ruch wrote an article about Facebook Live you should check out. In it he offers a few suggestions:

  • Do a live Q&A from your living room
  • Tell an interesting story about some of your material
  • Film some “behind the scenes” stuff on your way to a gig, or before you perform
  • Broadcast a live gig
  • Even if you have a text-based post, make a video about it and include the text in the body of the post

To Dave’s ideas, I’ll add:

  • Do a needle drop (and premiere your new tracks — or at least tease them — via Facebook Live)
  • Use Live to keep fans informed about the progress of a video shoot, crowdfunding campaign, etc.
  • Solicit feedback, or test new material in front of your live online audience
  • Horse around (seriously, these videos of bands just clowning are some of my favorites)
  • Create a series that’s related to your music (cover song Tuesdays) or one that’s unrelated to your music (the best tacos on tour)

How do you use Facebook Live? I’d love to hear in the comments.

For a detailed guide to using Facebook Live, go HERE.

And go HERE to read how one band used Facebook Live (and a lot of preparation) to turn their concert into an exciting online event.

In this article

Join the Conversation

  • Matt Wheeler

    I do occasional Facebook Live pop-up shows. They are similar to my monthly Concert Window shows, but are less structured. I still build a theme – my three newest (unreleased) songs, for example, or 3 cover songs from my favorite Iron & Wine album, and then play a song request or two. It’s a good way to sustain interest in my music between shows, and one big advantage is that so many people are already on Facebook, and many wouldn’t otherwise make it out to a show, especially if they live far away. Plus, the recorded video stays up on Facebook, & can be watched & shared later.

    • Cool. Do you “go live” from your personal profile, or your artist page?

      • Matt Wheeler

        I’ve done both, and the engagement level seems about the same for each. I’d say my most viewed and liked one was through my Matt Wheeler & Vintage Heart band page.

  • How often is “periodic?” Do you live stream on a schedule, or just whenever you get around to it?

  • Great point. Thanks for adding that.

  • You can archive your live videos, so they’re not just… lost. As for different time zones, maybe you can keep to a schedule where the live streams change time (like, one week is for North and South America, the next week is for Europe, etc.)

  • Great idea. If you think of it, let me know how it goes after you do the album launch live stream.

  • I think there’s a balance. If you neglect for too long FB might assume you’re disengaged. Post too much and you’re annoying to your audience.