Since creating Facebook, Mark Zuckerburg has changed the way to world communicates — and the changes keep on coming. For musicians, all these changes can be good or bad depending on your strategic approach. Here’s a quick guide for navigating them, understanding what they mean and how you can use them to your benefit.
You probably noticed that your news feed looks different lately, in terms of both layout and content. According to Mashable’s Kurt Wagner: “The simple reason for this is Facebook is learning more about you, and that means the company’s news feed algorithm is better at determining what you like and what you dislike.” People are getting more personalized news feeds. This is both positive and negative for musicians.
It’s great in that they’ve tweaked the algorithm to help brands expand their audiences (If a brands tag each other, their content can reach fans of both brand pages.). But, the algorithm has been modified to filter in more “high quality” content and the definition of “low quality” is loose. The basis for judging quality is identifying such things at the “source level” meaning bigger, well known brands have the upper hand over lesser known ones such as indie musicians and smaller acts.
Even more frustrating is the increase of paying to promote your content on Facebook. Now that the company is publicly traded there’s pressure to monetize content. While it’s great business for Mark and the gang it hurts the little guys who don’t have deep pockets as a major label would. In the days of payola you had to pay to get play. Now, it seems you have to pay if you have something to say.
Even with these changes, the reality is that great content is still the best strategy for being seen on Facebook. The more your fans engage with your content, the more they will see it — so if you create content that is compelling, interesting and targeted to your audience, the algorithm will continue to work for you. Content should be the centerpiece of a strong social media strategy.
There are some changes, though, that will more clearly help musicians — like App links. App links will make it easy for developers to link to other applications from their own apps, opening in the native app rather than a mobile browsing window. (Like when you click something from Buzzfeed and it takes you to a Safari window – annoying.) What’s great about this is that the consumer experience is streamlined. When we can keep consumers (fans!) in one place checking out multiple messages, that’s a win. Links have always been useful for musicians to spread messages across multiple platforms and now that tool is becoming more user friendly for the consumer they’re trying to reach.
Other noted changes include the ability to reply to comments on page stories within the mobile app. Also, group admins can now easily review and approve pending posts by group members, and posts about trending topics are highlighted in the iPad version of News Feed.
Mashable’s Todd Wasserman wrote a piece breaking down a new tool of Facebook: Business Manager.
“(It) Lets you assign roles to people working on various campaigns. Facebook also promises that Business Manager will let agencies and clients securely share campaign materials. Business Manager also lets marketers add and delete ad accounts connected to a company and revoke permissions to people using the accounts.”
For a band that might have several cooks in the kitchen, this can be a great way to stay organized, keep on message and remain focused on the overall social strategy.
Want to know more? Here are some good places to start: