Facebook is a social networking mini-website with blogging capability… eh? … don’t worry, I’ll explain all.
If you’re one of the great unwashed who have yet to jump on the Facebook bandwagon, don’t worry, because there are still an awful lot of people who don’t and won’t use it … this is worth remembering, when you’re only using your band Facebook events page to advertise all of your gigs and then you wonder why the venue is only half full.
Don’t get me wrong, Facebook has its place in the brass band arsenal, but it should only form part of your ammunition. Facebook is really good at linking with people who want to link with you, so, to that extent, its good for event advertising. However, if you want to reach further than your ‘friends’ you’ll need to use your Facebook posts within other media, such as Twitter, Tumblr or Reddit etc. and please, if you use a Facebook hyperlink in another medium, make sure that you use some introductory text with it rather than leave a lonely hyperlink on a Twitter post that has no hope of telling you what its about until you click on it.
Down to basics; make sure your timeline is as comprehensive as possible and within the limits required of your account (i.e. a personal Facebook page will have different parameters to a brass band’s Facebook page).Then, start following some ‘friends’, and here you need to be careful if you’re working on your band’s page, while it might seem like a good idea to have your favourite aunt Doris following your band, when she comments ‘you do look sweet in your uniform’, you may wish to think again, their comments might not be what you want others to see (albeit you could disable comments, but then that might defeat one of Facebook’s objectives). Tip; follow some brands (companies) that might be relevant to the brass band world so that you can keep abreast of what’s happening in the marketplace.
Other basics; always write your band’s Facebook posts in the third person, remember you are writing on behalf of the band, rather than yourself. Be concise, polite, professional and truthful.
One final thing to be aware of, a Facebook account is not a fully functioning website … Facebook has its own strengths, but being a website isn’t one of them. If you’re really struggling for cash, there are ‘free’ websites out there, such as Wix, Weebly or WordPress, that will get you up and running until you can afford to ‘purchase’ a fully functioning website. Use social media for what its best at, ‘being social’.