12 Ways to Grow Your Facebook Fanbase Using Timeline

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Facebook Timeline’s new promotion tools for musicians

As many bands and brands have discovered to their horror, Facebook Timeline does not allow fancy landing pages that collect email addresses or that encourage likes in exchange for MP3s.

Facebook now forbids calls-to-action and other direct marketing jargon on the cover photo. So in lieu of customization, how can you increase Facebook likes?

1. Be sure to prominently feature a like box on your own website so visitors can become Facebook fans without leaving the site.

2. Facebook ads are cheap! Ahh, now we see one of the big reasons for this mandatory switch to Timeline. By limiting our branding options to the features of Timeline, companies (and bands) are more likely to buy ads. But let’s not be bitter; Facebook ads CAN be effective. Run a few ads that lead folks to your Facebook Page. See how it goes. Hopefully they’ll click “like.” Check out our article on running Facebook ads for more info.

3. Make sure your Facebook band page URL is clearly listed on all your CDs, posters, websites, etc.

4. “Pin” important posts to the top of your page. The pinned post will stay there for up to 7 days.

5. Create compelling content– Umm… yeah. No big revelation there. It all really goes back to content. Share your awesome songs, poems, videos, rants, and tour diaries and your Facebook fanbase will grow on its own.

6. Use large images in posts– The images in your posts CAN have advertising and calls-to-action. Also, by highlighting the image, it can expand across the screen to match the size of the cover photo. That’s a lot of advertising space! Use it.

7. Use Facebook “Offers,” a new Facebook story-type. They’re similar to coupons; Offers help you put spread your promotional message to Facebook users by giving discounts.

8. Use the “Reach Generator” to promote a post from your Page. An average of 16% of your fans are seeing your content in their newsfeed per week. Now you can now pay to have that post displayed for a guaranteed 60-85% of your fans over the following month.

9. Use “Premium on Facebook,” (coming soon) a new Facebook ad tool that analyzes data regarding your fan page users and features your ad accordingly in up to 5 prime locations. Premium stories will appear on mobile devices too.

10. Post “Milestones.” Facebook has added a new post category that allows you to set a “milestone” for big events like label signing, big gig, album release, awesome review from Magnet, etc. Milestones, just as the word implies, mark your key moments across the Timeline. The dimensions for Milestone images are 843 x 403 pixels.

11. Feature the most important apps/tabs at the top, and customize the thumbnails. You can display 4 of them on the Timeline Wall. There is an expandable section where you can display up to 12 apps at one time.

12. Forget about Facebook for a minute. Remember that better songs, better gigs, better performances, and better videos are what is really going to drive folks to your Facebook Page. But you’re not going to create that compelling content if you’re staring at a computer screen all day.

It’s almost Spring! Get out of your dingy basement and put on a fresh t-shirt. Go for a walk. Fall in love. Life is what fuels art. Only occasionally is it the other way around. So go out and live. Put that lived experience into your art. Put that art on your website. Post what’s on your website to Facebook. Share it. Repeat.

[For more information on Facebook Timeline, see “Using the New Facebook Timeline Features to Market Your Music” and “How to Set Up Facebook Timeline for Bands.”]

-Chris R. at CD Baby

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  • Facebook "Offers" appears not to be functional yet. The link takes you to the general Help section and a search for "offers" turns up nothing useful.

  • VERY helpful. Never heard of the Reach Generator before. Is that feature live?

  • Definitely Won't Pay to have content show in newsfeeds. There are way better things to invest in – like putting out another CD, getting that new mic, performing free shows, giving stuff to great fans…
    If we've got great music, great content and a friendly face it will be found and probably not really through facebook.

  • Linda

    Wondering if anyone has had a positive experience with FB ads?
    I've yet to find someone I know who has ran them that has not said they were useless.

  • Made all the difference for me. Acquired around 4000 fans in about a week. I followed most of this: http://www.allfacebook.com/band-facebook-fans-201

  • Hey Linda,

    They work incdredibly well for me. I started with 45 fans and now have 1,400 at the moment…You have to play around and try different texts and pics, audience intererest and target locations. It took me a while, but this one works 🙂

  • Pingback: Top 3 Articles About Facebook Timeline: A Last-Minute Roundup | DIY Musician()

  • Joelinus

    Is there any platform that tells me, or will CDBABY tell me-?
    -WHO is purchasing/downloading my mp3 songs?
    You cannot build a sustainable fanbase without knowing real contact info for fans.
    the nice thing about CD Baby is they DO tell me for physical CD sales,
    but will they do that for downloads from the WIDGET?? please say yes!

    • For widget sales, it works the same as physical sales– if the purchases wants to remain anonymous, we allow them to. But if they are ok with their contact info being passed on to the artist, we do just that.

  • Throneofvengeance

    Great article Chris! Love the last bit. Linda we have had a positive experience, playing out of town there has been a few times where people have told me they heard of our show through Facebook ads.
    -Throne of Vengeance

  • Elishema

    Hey Chris, thanks for sharing this insightful information. I haven't switched over yet, waiting till the last minute, but this information will certainly help me get a handle on this new facebook timeline. And I am going to definitely take your advice about getting out more, and living a little. Life is too short to spend it all in cyber space!!!

    R&B Pop Singer Songwriter
    Music Of Empowerment http://www.elishema.com http://www.facebook.com/elishemaforever http://www.twitter.com/elishemaforever

    • Yes indeed. Though I've been bad at taking my own advice lately. Need to get off the computer for the weekend.

  • Tom Morris

    can i ask what you spent on your ads? i'm trying to determine what makes the most sense.. I dont want to overspend and i dont want to waste money because i didnt commit enough for it to make a difference.. ALso what type of ads did you do?

  • Joshua

    you are correct…like any advertising campaign, you need to be ready to make an investment. if your SOV / Frequency is too small, you are wasting your money. Facebook impressions are very cheap, but conversions are much harder to get. If you can start with $200 to $300…you will get a sense of what might work. Also, make sure the image and call to action are clear.

  • HI, I wonder how I can split our band site from my personal site on facebook?

  • What do you mean by "split?" You should be able to have both a personal profile AND a band page that you can administer from the personal account.