The Classical Musician's Guide to Creating a Killer Facebook Artist Page
Hi, I'm Eric Salazar. I started a Facebook artist page for my playing called Eric Salazar, Clarinet in late 2015. Over the course of the next year I grew it by over 6000%! I'm now the second most followed clarinetist on all of Facebook with over 10,0000 likes.
Here are some of my tips and tricks on how to create a great Facebook page, and grow an engaged following from scratch.
It’s the thing all musicians know they should do, but many aren’t sure how to get started doing it. If you have practiced your craft to the point where you sound great (or teach well) but still aren’t getting the business results you want, chances are not enough people know about you. This is where marketing comes in. Doing quality work should always be your priority, but if no one knows you are good at what you do then no one can hire you.
There are countless books, courses, and pieces of advice on marketing. There are also many different mediums of marketing - radio, tv, online, print. In this article, we are going to explore how to get started with social media marketing by creating a Facebook Business page. We are going to look at some of the key elements you need to get that page up and running!
Creating a Page
There are actually quite a few intricacies with the settings to play around with on a Facebook Business page. If you are mainly a performer, you will want to set up a Artist/Band/Public Figure page. If you are mainly an educator who is starting up a studio, you might consider setting up a Local Business/Place page instead. If you are in the instrument making/selling business, you can try making a Brand/Product page. Lastly, if you are someone who runs an organization there is an option for Company/Organization/Institution.
Don’t get too worried about picking the right type or about choosing the right settings for your page. These can always be adjusted later.
Set Aside Some Time
Rather than walk you through the step-by-step of the creation process, let’s trust in your ability to fill out the necessary information when setting up a page. Be sure to really set aside time to read all of the different settings and to make sure you are filling out the information accurately.
(The “Settings” tab can be found in the top right corner (above your cover photo) on the computer. On mobile, the “Settings” are found by tapping on the “...” in the top right corner (above your cover photo), then tapping “Edit Settings.”)
Use a Computer
It is best to set up your page on the computer. It can be done on your phone, but some of the settings will be hidden if you use your phone. Most of the time, the people who complain about Facebook for Business not working for them are the people who have not fully explored the settings tab, have not invested time in the process, or have not developed a clear plan for their page.
You Will Need...
For now, we will focus on a few things you need to have before you even start the process of setting up a page.
1. Fantastic, HD photos
The first thing anyone will see is your cover photo. Then their eyes go to your profile picture. Only lastly, do they read your name. This means that your photos need to GRAB their attention long enough for them to read your name and enticing enough for them to remember you. It’s often best to have your cover photo be an HD image of you performing and your profile picture to be your professional headshot. There is no real wrong way of doing it, just make sure that your pictures are dynamic. Be bold, not boring.
2. A Clear Description
This is where some people get confused. First and foremost, clearly communicate who you are and what you do - all of the language on your page should serve to advance your business goals. If you are trying to get more gigs, state that you are mainly a performer and highlight what makes you special. If you are trying to build your studio so you can have more income from teaching, state that you are an educator and explain why you are a great teacher.
Additionally. you need to have two descriptions prepared. One is called the “About” description and the other is the “Biography” description. The “About” description needs to be short, 1-3 sentences. Ideally just 2. The reason this needs to be short is because people will see this description when they hover over a link to your page. The “About” description should be short, ATTENTION GRABBING, and enticing. The “Biography” description is longer. This is where you can tell your life story. WARNING: if your “About” description is long, it will cost you followers.
3. Excellent, HD videos
Before YouTube, Vimeo, and Instagram HD videos were just extra sprinkling on the cake. Now, having high quality video content is a requirement. Video is everywhere. You should really have at least one video that serves as a “commercial” for you - introducing who you are, giving a sample of what you do, and stating where to go to contact you. You should also have video(s) of your performances. Please note, since people are scrolling so quickly through Facebook, shorter videos are better. 25 seconds to 2.5 minutes is the ideal range. Save those longer videos for your website.
Above is an example of a "commercial video."
4. A Posting Plan
Yes, you need a plan! There’s nothing worse than a page that looks great, but has no content to engage/expand its audience. People will notice if you have a killer set up, but haven’t posted in months. To them, that usually means you have either fallen off the planet or aren’t good enough to have regular activity.
There are some basic guidelines most people follow. It is generally a best practice to post 7-10 times a week. Yes, that is once a day or sometimes twice a day if it is a really exciting day. For sure, you need to post on the weekends at least once. The reason continuous posts are important is because it will allow you to continually show up in your followers’ feeds. The more they see you, the more engaged they become.
5. Remember, Facebook Prioritizes Original Content
The more engaged they are, the more you can encourage them to assist your business goals (buying/advocating/hiring). Another best practice in regards to creating posts: original images and videos show up the most. Facebook has set its algorithm to strongly push original content over sharing content. This means that if you were to upload a video it would get a far larger reach (more people would see it) than if you were to share that same video from someone else’s page.
Keep in mind, too, that Facebook puts priority on Facebook content. If you include links that pull people away from Facebook (to a website or to YouTube), it will get less reach. Most successful social media pages have someone running a calendar behind the scenes. This means plotting out post content for the whole month, running a calendar for social media as seriously as a lessons or performance calendar, and actually creating quality content (taking dynamic photos and recording HD video).
Above is an example of an "original content video." Notice that the video is still a short one - the length is optimized for Facebook.
In this article we covered how to create a Facebook Business page. We talked about which type of page to select and what items you need to have ready before even launching your page. Next time, we will cover how to utilize Facebook Advertising to expand your following and drive business results.
It is important to remember that, like playing an istrument, learning to run a successful social media marketing campaign requires time, patience, and experimentation. Some people find social media marketing intimidating. They get so scared of “posting bad content” or “doing social media wrong” that they get frozen in their tracks. Being frozen is a surefire way to have bad marketing. Taking chances with the content you post won’t end your career - no one knowing who you are will.
About Eric Salazar
Eric Salazar is a clarinetist/composer based in Indianapolis, Indiana. Eric primarily plays his own compositions as a soloist and collaborates as a chamber musicians. Eric also wears the hat of arts administrator as Community Programs Manager with Classical Music Indy, Ensemble Leader and Director of Forward Motion (an Indianapolis New Music ensemble founded in 2016), and committee member with the International Clarinet Association’s BuzzReed.
Although performing is Salazar’s primary focus, he has taken the time to learn the ins and outs of administration and marketing. Salazar has professional training on social media marketing through Market Motive and has obtained 16 completion certificates from Facebook Blueprint - Facebook’s officially recognized training and certification program.
Eric’s use of his social media training has made his page, Eric Salazar, clarinet, grow by 6,000% in 2016! Salazar’s page is the second most followed page out living solo clarinetists. His page has more followers than the virtuosic Julian Bliss and is only surpassed by the great Martin Fröst.