Okay, sorry this final post in the Facebook series took so long. I just returned to Los Angeles from New Zealand and it’s been a whirlwind of a week.
Anyhoo, before I share with you a number of valuable things I learned about the efficacy of Facebook Advertising, I need to give a quick bit of back story.
If you’re a Music Marketing Manifesto member then you already know that the crux of the strategy I’m trying to teach is this:
- Drive traffic to an offer for free music.
- Capture email information in trade for the free music.
- Treat your subscribers well and build a genuine relationship with them.
- Use direct response marketing tactics to generate album sales.
That is what is referred to as a “sales funnel”
When it comes to marketing, everything I do needs to support that sales funnel.
So while social media is a great tool, for me personally, it means nothing if it does not enhance the sales funnel and ultimately my bottom line.
That was the trouble that so many of us experienced back in the Myspace days. We all had thousands of friends, kick-ass looking pages, but no sales funnel. So at the end of the day it didn’t mean squat.
Many musicians are starting to use Facebook in the same way. Thousands of “likes” but to what end?
That was the persistent question I had in the back of my mind as I went into this Facebook experiment.
Could I convert “likes” into sales?
As I pointed out in Part 2 of this Facebook series, I was able to more or less break even on my initial advertising experiment. Incidentally, I have since profited as a result of the campaign.
BUT, it was not as straight forward as it might appear. What I found was that while some of the sales I brought in were a direct result of the activity I generated on Facebook, many of the sales came in from people who were already on my mailing list, but who purchased as a result of the more intimate relationship that I was able to form with them on Facebook.
In other words… it wasn’t my Facebook ad or my FB page itself, which brought many of these new customers. Rather it was the Facebook relationship that pushed things over the edge and closed the sale.
To clarify that further because it’s actually VERY important… at least half of the people that bought Music Marketing Manifesto via Facebook were people who found my FB page as a result of my email blast, NOT the ad. HOWEVER, had it not been for the ad, those people never would have ordered.
It seems pretty conclusive that people purchased because Facebook enhanced the bond and helped create social proof, it wasn’t a result of Facebook’s direct impact.
So what does all of this mean?
Keep in mind that when it comes to anything in marketing, results will vary from artist to artist and from demographic to demographic, but this was my personal conclusion:
Facebook is very effective as a tool to REINFORCE your relationship with your fans, but on it’s own, it is a poor replacement for the sales funnel.
I think my Facebook campaign was effective because I had put so much effort into building a mailing list of subscribers who were already very aware of who I was and what I was about. Connecting on Facebook reinforced that relationship to the point where many people felt comfortable taking further action.
Had I simply put all of that effort and money into a campaign designed to build a Facebook following, I’m confident it would have been a total loss. But when I used Facebook to reinforce my existing relationship with my followers, suddenly I’m seeing a positive ROI.
So how should you use Facebook as a musician?
I have now spent well over $5000 in Facebook advertising over the last few months, both for Music Marketing Manifesto and to promote my music and the music of various clients. There are a few ways that I have been able to make Facebook work.
- By driving traffic with FB ads directly to a squeeze page on an external URL. (If you don’t know what a squeeze page is, sign up to watch this free video).
- By using Facebook ads to promote my FB page, for the sole purpose of reinforcing an existing relationship with my mailing list. In other words, build a list, use advertising to get your “likes” up, and then share your page with your list. Make sure to have various interactive elements and calls to action on your wall.
- This is outside of the scope of the FB Likes experiment but I have used Facebook ads to create market awareness SPECIFICALLY on the day of the album’s release. With this strategy I sent people directly to an order page. The idea here is simply to create a media blitz on a small scale. For something like this I would only target people who were already fans of yours. You are making sure that your fans are getting hit every where they look come launch day.
- Finally, Facebook is a fantastic tool if you simply use it as the relationship building tool it was designed to be. By making a conscious attempt to connect with your email subscribers on Facebook in addition to a mailing list, you create an additional channel where your presence can be felt. By posting regular updates on your FB wall, you stay on your fan’s radar without being intrusive. When you send out that email blast for the important stuff, they become all the more likely to open and read your message, and more importantly, take the action you are requesting.
Now a couple of additional points…
Many people have justly pointed out that Facebook is just another Myspace and is not worth the time and effort.
Here’s my feeling on that: Facebook’s functionality is much more conducive to building genuine relationships and therefore has MUCH more value than Myspace ever did. They’ve also recently surpassed Google in the number of daily page views they receive. So the bottom line is that they cannot be ignored.
With that said, when you don’t own the property, you are always vulnerable to changes in the market place as well as an ever changing terms of service clause.
It is not wise to put all your eggs in a basket that you don’t own. Do this and you might wake up one day to see that everything you have worked so hard for is gone. Use Facebook to compliment a sales funnel that you own and control.
Facebook is a fine place to start the relationship, but the goal should be to eventually move the relationship over to your mailing list. That is where most of the album sales will come from.
Another very important thing to be aware of is that the impact of a social media message is infinitely less than the impact of an email message.
As I write this Music Marketing Manifesto has 3850 fans on Facebook and an email list of 4638 subscribers.
I happened to use bit.ly to shorten the URLs I sent out in two recent broadcasts. The first was to Facebook, the second was to my email list. Take a look at the difference in the results…
So while my Facebook list makes up 43% of my total number of followers, it only accounts for 3.8% of the clicks (at least in this example) that I get from a promotion that I send to both lists.
So all you folks who think you have 2000 fans because you have 2000 “likes” on your Facebook page… think again. The value of a Facebook fan is NOT equal to the value of an email subscriber.
Again, not discounting Facebook here. As you saw, I made over $800 in less than a week with my Facebook test. I’m simply saying that you need to know what you’re getting into when you focus your efforts on Facebook, and you need to use Facebook accordingly.
So here’s what I want you to do next…
1. For those of you who DO NOT have a decent size email list, do me a favor and take a look at Music Marketing Manifesto 2.0. Building your mailing list and converting your list into record buyers is what I teach in the course and it’s the back bone of everything I’ll be teaching on this blog. Take a look and see if it’s something you think might help you. If not that’s totally cool. But be sure to watch the member testimonial videos while you’re there (there’s a dedicated testimonial page coming soon.)
2. Leave a comment below and let me know what questions you still have about Facebook, and how to use it to promote your music. I’m considering doing an interactive video workshop on Facebook for Musicians, but want to know if Facebook is something you guys are interested in learning more about. I’d love to hear from you.
Finally, if you’re still reading this. Thank you I know this was a long post.
I learned a lot from this experiment and it has been really great to go though the process with you guys watching over my shoulder. All of your kind comments and emails have really made this a lot of fun. Plenty more case studies coming your way soon.