Social Media

What Makes Facebook Fan Pages So Succesful: Lessons From Linkin Park & The Major Brands

image from Almost overnight, Facebook Pages have become one of the most powerful tools in the music marketing toolkit. But beyond the massive number of eyeballs that Facebook offers, why are Fan Pages so powerful?

During a MIDEM session last week with Rachel Masters of Red Magnet Media, Aaron Ray of management and new media firm The Collective admitted that when they first ramped up Linkin Park's social media presence, they assumed that fans wanted exclusive content. But they were wrong.

"It turns out that the number one reason that fans go to social networking sites is to meet the band and forge a personalized connection with them," according Ray whose clients have ranged from almost unknown new bands to Kayne West.

New data compiled by eMarketer, confirms Ray's assessment and adds lessons from major consumer brands that can be applied to music.

Engagement, interest and constant connection keep fans coming back on Facebook. "It’s about making sure that we do our job every day to give those fans some sort of meaningful value,” states Alexandra Wheeler, Starbucks director of digital strategy.  “Having 10 million people on Facebook who like us would be useless if we did nothing with it.” 

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There are other successful Facebook strategies from major brands that can be applied to music:

  • Social media marketing agency Cone found 77% of new media users want brands to offer them incentives online. Additionally, 28% would like to be entertained.
  • Coca-Cola, with 19.8 million Facebook fans, used a year-long social media campaign, Expedition 206, to keep its Facebook page constantly updated with content posted by brand ambassadors.
  • Oreo launched an interactive game on its Facebook page in September, MediaPost reported, and the brand jumped from 8.5 million fans in August to 15.2 million in November. The campaign continues and was also recently extended offline, with in-person events.

 How are you using Facebook pages to engage your fans?

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  1. Completely agree with the findings – it’s an obvious but often overlooked observation. People want to be as close as possible with the musicians and artists they admire. Music/the product is great, but feeling like you have a personal relationship with the person behind the music – “the creator” – is priceless.
    Yes, highly active and personal facebook fan pages may breed online stalker tendencies, but for bands and artists trying to thrive in this “new” music industry, “stalker fans” are exactly what you want…””O_o

  2. True, Facebook pages are important. But it is important to not think of this as a “final destination” for fans. Everything should lead back to your website. This is where you can customize or even personalize the user experience, and set your own goals as opposed to Facebook’s. Additionally, you can collect valuable data from analytics platforms that platforms like Facebook don’t share. Facebook is another great piece to the puzzle, but not the table you lay the puzzle on.

  3. I do not agree. Facebook is a destination site as people spend there most of their online time.
    If you want to forward your Facebook fans to your website, then the conversion rate (of any action) will probably go down. Regarding personalization, you can achieve a full customization with a Facebook app that can be added to your FB Page.
    Moreover you can get visitor stats, perhaps not full featured as Google Analytics at the moment. Still you get interesting demographic data. The last thing: users’ behavior outside Facebook is slightly different than the one you expect inside Facebook. They “socialize” more inside Facebook.

  4. Just wanted to chime in here as I was the founder/CEO of damntheradio, the company (recently acquired by FanBridge) that worked with Aaron Ray on the Linkin Park fan page music tab.
    At damntheradio, we spent a lot of time thinking about the user conversion funnel—specifically, how to get traffic on the page first to become fans, how to get those fans more deeply engaged, and ultimately, how to monetize existing, engaged fans.
    We found that exclusive content primarily benefits the first part of the conversion funnel (capturing new fans) because of two reasons: 1) it creates a clear incentive for the user to initially subscribe to the page, aka “Like”, and 2) on a product interface level, fan page owners have the option of making the tab containing exclusive content the default landing page experience for users who have not yet “Liked” the page (whereas all existing fans would land on the wall)—thus ad buys, email blasts, and other methods of driving traffic to the fan page increase in effectiveness because non-fans are immediately presented with a high-performance fan conversion page.
    Beyond initially capturing fans, however, exclusive content is not necessarily the most effective at engaging, retaining, and monetizing existing fans.
    At DTR we explored and experimented with different methods of moving users through the conversion funnel beyond the initial capture, and found that the publisher as the primary way by which to engage existing users was fundamentally limited: a one-to-many communication channel is less direct than a one-to-one communication channel such as email, and therefore the percentage of views and interactions on posts have yet to catch up to the open rates on email. The implication, however, isn’t to choose one over the other, but to do both at different frequencies for different use-cases: publish with greater frequency than email but make sure to follow up on huge announcements not just through Facebook but through email as well.
    Before we met FanBridge, we understood the value of email as an additive channel by which to engage fans so we built email capture tools directly on the fan page with the ambition to develop a one-to-one messaging feature within damntheradio down the road. Our vision for our platform was to help artists grow both their Facebook fan and email lists through our capture tools and landing pages, and ultimately help artists engage and monetize their fans via a suite of tools enabling both one-to-many and one-to-one communication with the fan. When we met FanBridge, who primarily focused on the email channel, we saw an opportunity to accelerate our vision and innovate on our platform.
    The goal is to forge a personal connection with the fan. To do that, an artist needs to communicate and interact with fans not just on Facebook, but across all fan touch points, which today includes email, and to an ever larger extent, mobile. Wherever those channels may be tomorrow, our mission remains the same: to help artists build meaningful relationships with their fans.


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