Facebook has become a hot button issue for every artist that isn’t an A-List celebrity. You’ve worked hard to build your fanbase, but you have to pay to reach all of your fans. Facebook recently released a Facebook Mentions app to make it easier for page admins to reach fans. Unfortunately, this app is only available if you’re a high level influencer with a verified profile.
So, is Facebook a lost cause for the rest of us? No! Artists are using the platform in interesting ways, keeping fans engaged and building their existing fanbase.
Here’s how one artist uses Facebook to attract tens of thousands of new fans and reach millions of people…
Canadian rapper Buck 65 (aka Richard Terfry) regularly uses Facebook to interact with his fan base, and has seen positive feedback. Terfry posts an update on his page every single day. He shares stories, playlists, photos, and more. His Facebook page reads more like a diary than a promo tool.
These daily updates started just over a year ago. Terfry has a novel coming out next year, and had just sent a draft to his editor. He couldn’t move ahead on his novel, but wanted to keep up with his writing. He decided that Facebook would be a good outlet for written work, but didn’t know what type of reaction he would get.
Before this, the Buck 65 Facebook page was updated by management. It was used to inform existing fans of tour dates, merch, etc. Basically, it was pretty boring unless you were a big Buck 65 fan.
Terfry says he had about 17,000 Facebook fans before he started his daily Facebook ritual. By April of this year, the Buck 65 Facebook page hit 40,000 likes. As of August 4th, 2014, the page has 51,669 likes. This is good news for Terfry, as the next Buck 65 album will be released on September 30th.
Terfry’s most popular Facebook post is a story about watching two people falling in love on an airplane. In one month this story went viral, organically reached 4.5 million people. The post has 65,566 likes and 7,105 shares.
The Buck 65 Facebook page has become a community, and Terfry encourages conversation by replying to comments. He also uses this interaction to get a better idea of what his fans are interested in. He says this information has changed how he approaches other aspects of his career, including songwriting and live shows.
These stories attracted new fans that weren’t initially aware of Buck 65’s musical career. He’s also seen new interest in old songs that he’s told stories about on Facebook. Fans are now requesting these older songs at his concerts. Terfry says he’s thinking about adding storytelling elements to his live show, as it has become a huge part of the Buck 65 – fan relationship.
For those of you who are now thinking of using social media to become more engaged and open with fans, be aware that not all feedback will be positive. Nasty comments and the internet go hand in hand, and Terfry has seen his share. He says even the most positive stories can attract negativity, but that positive feedback has far outweighed the negative.
So what’s the point of this article? What can you learn from Buck 65’s Facebook success?
The lesson here is to find out what sets you / your band / your brand apart and use it to build connections with fans.
Phuture Doom uses Bitorrent to release augmented reality games, reaching millions of people. iamamiwhoami uses YouTube to build a community around her audiovisual albums. These aren’t musicians looking for a quick promo opportunity, these artists are taking control of the way people experience their work.
If you’re a terrible writer, don’t write stories on Facebook. Figure out what your strengths are and which platform will highlight these strengths.
Nina Ulloa covers breaking news, tech, and more. Follow her on Twitter: @nine_u
Photos by Rob Campbell