Posted September 21, 2010 5:22 pm by with 5 comments

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MySpace used to be, and possibly still is, the number one social media site for indie musicians but music consultant Madalyn Sklar is quick to point out that “Facebook rocks” for indie artists for one simple reason, their fans are on Facebook already.

A recent guest post on outlined a simple Facebook strategy for bands looking to make the leap and there’s info here everyone can use, even if you’re selling vitamins instead of songs. Author Peter Tanham suggests that for less than the cost of a night out on the town for you and your mates (band or otherwise), you can get 1,000 Facebook fans using Facebook ads. And these aren’t any old fans, these are people who are engaged and interested in the product. Is that worth staying in next Friday night?

The most important takeaway from Tanham’s plan is the landing page. Many people run a Facebook ad that connects to their wall. A big mistake. The purpose of the ad is to get fans, that means they have to be encouraged to click the “like” button at every possible turn. The best way to do this is to offer an incentive to click. For musicians, the ability to download a free song is a given, but other businesses use coupons, a free ebook, even free samples – which brings us to another important point – collect email addresses.

Collecting email addresses is as old school as it gets when it comes to internet marketing but with the rise in social media, we’ve lost that step in favor of friending and following. But remember that an opt-in email sent directly to a potential customer is still a highly effective means of making a sale. Tanham recommends placing an email widget on the Facebook landing page that offers an even greater incentive in return for “signing up for the mailing list.” The incentive here might be multiple songs, a larger discount, a promise of monthly free items or free shipping with a purchase.

Now, for the price of a Facebook ad (which is much cheaper than running a Google ad), you’ve acquired 1,000 new fans and 300 email addresses for your mailing list. If even a small percentage of those people convert, then it’s money well spent. In addition, the majority of those potential customers will be around a month from now or six months from now so you can pitch your holiday specials long after your Facebook ad has expired.

In his AllFacebook article, Tanham also gives a number of suggestions for creating a better Facebook ad. He admits that it’s very much a case of trial and error at the start. Once you find which ads are converting, those are the ones that you continue while you drop off the slow movers. Facebook rewards popular ads by lowering the cost-per-click. And don’t forget to ask folks to “like” your ad. People are more likely to do so if it’s specifically written in to the ad copy.

Putting his Facebook ad money where his mouth is, Tanham posted his results for three campaigns. He was able to show an increase of 3,000 fans for around $250, which works out to 8 cents per fan. Targeted, engaged fans many of whom also left an email address behind. If a musician (or company) can’t recoup at least half that amount of money in sales from 3,000 potential customers, then maybe their product isn’t as good as their campaign.

Have you run a successful Facebook campaign? Don’t keep it to yourself, share it with the class.

  • Gaylord Lapel

    Maybe someone else should count the procedes. Like the Credit Unions that must pay out all the money and keep the records right. The advertising is great but the money collectors are not counting the money up front. Lets go thru all the credit cards and see what was really sold and paid for? Not what they tell the helpless keyboard user…


  • I’m really surprised that myspace has hung on this long even with the bands interest in adding playlists to their profile. Facebook is now so popular that it is definitely time for them to make the change. Go facebook!

    • Cynthia Boris

      MySpace needs an overhaul for sure – but there’s still plenty going on over there, particularly in the music biz

  • I think Google will have to watch out for Facebok as far as the PPC goes. Facebook is cheaper and more targeted. These days they aslo have more viewers too.

  • Gaylord Lapel

    Sorry, but I meant Credit Card Companies in the above statement., and not credit Union.
    They are the ones that keep all the payments, for downloads, on the internet and you can buck that record against the sales reports and payments for your uploaded music, whatever you sell on the internet thru, the distributor or Publishers..