I tend to not blog very often, but there are times when something crosses my feed and good or bad, I am motivated to write. Tonight was one of those times, thanks to a post from the Phoenix New Times’ music blog, Up On The Sun. What caught my eye was the very well-worded link bait about why the author will not like band Pages on Facebook.
What? How can this be? It’s a music blog, supporting the amazing musicians and bands we have in the Phoenix area. Why wouldn’t this writer want to continue that support in one of the simplest ways possible? When I read his 6 reasons, it was understood. It was more of an “I hate Facebook” post than anything else.
I happen to have some knowledge of Facebook, and also support the local music scene with my work at KWSS 93.9FM. I felt compelled to respond. Here are his six reasons, and what I think.
6. Extorting money from bands.
Wow, that’s quite the accusation. Should we call the po-po? Basically the reasoning is because of the algorithm, reach isn’t quite as good unless you boost posts or create ads, which cost money. While yes it is correct that paying for advertising will get more engagement, it is certainly not necessary. If you like a band’s page, and they have a good amount of activity (many local bands do, fans love to interact with them on Facebook, and vice-versa, here’s an example), you will see it in your feed. If not, you can choose to get notifications of posts, or even add the Page to a “Pages” list so you can see it in your news feed. If you know how to use Facebook properly, you won’t have to spend any money at all.
At times yes, spending a few dollars a day to promote an upcoming show or album can help, but Facebook is by far one of the least expensive ways to do so.
5. Doesn’t know what a band sounds like
I’ll give him this one. A semi-decent music player on Facebook pages would be a nice addition. However, if you click their About section, you will probably find a link to their website. I bet there’s a music player there.
4. Buying Facebook “likes”
I will give part of this to him. What it comes down to is again a lack of understanding of Facebook and what organic vs. paid likes are. Likes are definitely not the important part of a Facebook Page. Bands as well as anyone who runs a Page needs to have basic understanding of how likes work, and buying them doesn’t do anything. It’s how you engage with the audience you have, whether it is 50 or 5,000.
3 & 2. Liking a band name makes him look dumb, and everyone look dumb (I combined two here)
No, liking bands on Facebook doesn’t make you look dumb, but not supporting bands simply because you hate Facebook does. The idea is that he doesn’t want to like a band page because it looks like he supports a band that isn’t very good. Simple solution, don’t like their page! Of course you don’t have to like every band that asks. If you listen to them and like their sound, by all means like the page. It’s OK to be picky. Don’t be unsupportive of local music trying to get the word out for this reason. That would be dumb.
1. He doesn’t care.
If you don’t care, you shouldn’t be writing for a music blog. As much as Facebook is a place for mindless drivel, it is also a place of great information. More people get their news from Facebook than from other major news sources. You can get all kinds of deals and information about your favorite businesses from Facebook. When I want to know more about a place or find a location, I go to Facebook before Google. This is also true of band pages. It’s not only support, it’s finding out more about them, where shows are going to be, ticket offers, etc.
Facebook is still the top social networking site, and if you are a band, it’s a smart move to have a Facebook Page. Making some grand statement about how having that Page doesn’t matter is a disservice to the local bands that are out there working their tails off for a craft they can only hope to make into something lucrative. Not everyone can be the next Gin Blossoms or Kongos, but exposure and support everywhere you can doesn’t hurt.