How To Engage Fans On Facebook, Increase Sales & Grow Your Relationship - hypebot

« The Raconteurs' Brendan Benson Takes 'Readymade' Approach To Career | Main | Menyou: Partner With Fans To Sell Your Music »

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Carl [Nimbit]

Hey Clyde, thanks for posting this! I'd love to hear some feedback from Hypebot readers on how they do with these tips, and also what strategies have worked for them.

Wicked D

Definitely a very positive post. I'm still waiting to hear from musicians who have any type of verifiable success, at all, selling via any social network.

I'll admit I've been one of the skeptics who believe outlying networks need to funnel back to your own, self-controlled site/store. However, FB Open Graph and services like Nimbit have opened a lot of doors.

Carl [Nimbit]

Hey Wicked,

We're seeing many of our artists having success on Facebook, in fact that has helped drive our decisions to apply more focus there.

Check out the sales stats in the post below, YOY for the holiday season the average sales per active Nimbit artists store on facebook were up +481%.

http://www.nimbit.com/why-we-care-about-facebook-music-sales-up-481/

jonesy

Hypebot Credibility Continues Downward Slide With Publication of Giant-Ass Nimbit Ad

Bob Cramer

LOL !
(hopefully just a very useful article reposted from an ascap article)
Bob, CEO, Nimbit

Darren Hemmings

I'm sorry but I'm with Jonesy on this one. This isn't an article, its an advertorial. It reminded me of a QVC piece where naive viewers are suckered into purchasing something in the belief it will improve their abs/cooking/tan/sleep* (*delete as applicable).

There are so many points to question here I struggle to know where to begin. First and foremost, there's a massive assumption being made as to the power of Facebook to advance the connection between band and fan. Then there's the issue of visibility of Facebook tabs on Pages - where the Nimbit store would be positioned - and just what percentage of your fanbase even see that. You also have the validity of Facebook as a commerce platform. Certainly in conversations with other direct-to-fan companies before now they've been happy to admit that sales via Facebook were miniscule compared to those via an artist's site. If anyone is being paid to do this there's also an ROI question over the time invested into developing this stuff against potentially using it more wisely elsewhere.

We are now at a point where even Facebook themselves (during the F8 launch) outlined that what they want to see now is high quality engagement. Or in plain english, create great experiences for your fans and they will share and enthuse about it on Facebook. The kind of approach outlined above is at best old news and at worst just hokey at a time where fans are ever-more cynical about being marketed to in exactly the same way as their blindness to advertising has increased, forcing all online media to re-think how they advertise. This stuff has to be natural or you run a high risk of turning fans off, not exciting them.

Its something I'll save for another day to expand on fully but it feels like these days we've foresaken the artistry and emotional connection around bands and music generally in favour of an overuse of terms like "engagement" which connotes the pinnacle of connection with an artist as being a fan clicking "like". We can do better than that, and we need to if music has any hope of becoming the cultural force it once was.

But I digress. My main issue here is simply that Carl is presenting a guide to developing your band on Facebook as something revolving around Nimbit in not so many words. That's wrong. By all means post a piece on why Nimbit is amazing and we all should be using it - be upfront, dammit! - but please don't post it couched in a social media marketing guide.


Carljacobson

Darren,

THANK YOU for this post. If you feel this way, others may too (like Jonesy). I'd like to address your critques, point out some things I agree with, and then invite you to share more.


"This isn't an article, its an advertorial."

It was a little upsetting to me to see you and Jonsey questioning the integrity of Hypebot. For the record Nimbit does not advertise here (or anywhere for that matter, almost all our resources go into development). Any coverage we've received here is because they find it newsworthy, and I am incredibly thankful for it.

That being said, I can see how you feel this way. This article was originally written for ASCAP, and here on Hypebot it is slightly out of context. ASCAP provides discounts on Nimbit's premium plans as a benefit to their members, and I was asked to write an article with practical advice that used Nimbit as an example.

I was explicit in pushing Nimbit in the first idea "be ready to sell today" but everything I wrote here can be applied using any direct-to-fan platform, and much of it is completely independent of any platform at all.


"where naive viewers are suckered into purchasing something"

The Nimbit platform starts at Free, and users of our free platform can do anything described here.


"First and foremost, there's a massive assumption being made as to the power of Facebook to advance the connection between band and fan."

We've seen ample evidence to the effectiveness of engaging with your fans on Facebook, I'll try to back this up by responding to your other points.


"Then there's the issue of visibility of Facebook tabs on Pages - where the Nimbit store would be positioned - and just what percentage of your fanbase even see that."

Great points. Here's some ways to aleviate these concerns:

How to make your store the landing page that fans see the first time they view your facebook page:

http://www.nimbit.com/tip-making-spotlight-your-default-page-on-facebook/

How to re-order your tabs so that your Facebook store has more prominence:

http://www.nimbit.com/tip-make-mystore-a-priority-on-your-facebook-page/

How to rename your store listing in tabs so it has a name that will be more enticing to your fans:

http://www.nimbit.com/tip-change-your-mystore-name-to-maximize-sales-on-facebook/

I think the real issue you are raising here though is having a store posted isn't enough. Just like in the physical world, you have to do things to drive people into the store. It's up to artists to engage their fans with messaging and promotions that leads them to view their store and ultimately make a purchase. We try to make that easier in the following ways:

  • Every product on your Nimbit store can be shared with a deep link that takes people back to that product
  • songs shared from your store embed a player in the ticker and on your timeline that also link back
  • You can create promo links for free products that are redeemed directly on your store
  • Sharing a video with a promo link or deep link in the update has proven very effective
  • You have the option to let fans name their price for your products which can be a great promotion
  • Fans have the opportunity to tip you with every purchase or free download (and we're seeing 20% of transactions now getting a $6+ tip)

"You also have the validity of Facebook as a commerce platform."

Industry analysts are predicting more sales will occur on Facebook than Amazon by 2015, and Social commerce in general is being predicted to be a $30 billion market.

Here is a third party source with tons of data that shows the viability of Facebook as a commerce platform:

http://socialcommercetoday.com/f-commerce-statistics-roundup-facebook-commerce-by-the-numbers/


"Certainly in conversations with other direct-to-fan companies before now they've been happy to admit that sales via Facebook were miniscule compared to those via an artist's site."

When did you have these conversations? And with which companies? This was once the case, but our data directly contradicts this.

Starting in September 2010 we started to see a sharp uptick in the percentage of artist sales that were coming from Facebook, versus their other storefronts. This number was close to 50% when I last pulled this data in December (49.67% to be exact)

Not only that, the revenue artists are seeing have increased dramatically on Facebook. Sales this holiday season were +481% YOY 2011 vs 2010, and they more than doubled after we introduced our updated Facebook store in September of 2011.

I report on this in more depth here:

http://www.nimbit.com/why-we-care-about-facebook-music-sales-up-481/


" in plain english, create great experiences for your fans and they will share and enthuse about it on Facebook...This stuff has to be natural or you run a high risk of turning fans off, not exciting them."

I couldn't agree with you more. All of this social interaction has to be done from the artist's own voice, and in a way that isn't contradictory to who they are and what they are all about. That was what I was trying to convey in IDEAS 2, 3 & 4

You're obviously savvy to marketing and social media, and you may feel that the advice I'm providing here is rudimentary, but I have seen so many examples of what not to do by artists, that I still feel this kind of advice is needed. By default, most artists are not natural marketers or social media experts. The most common problem I see is people using social media exclusively as a broadcast medium, without engagement or personalization. With this article, I am trying to provide basic examples of things that artists can start to do to change that.


Darren, I'd love to engage with you more if you have additional critiques of what I wrote here, but what I really think would benefit everyone is if you expaned on my article with some practical advice or strategies that you have seen effective for artists.

Thank you again for the post.


Best regards,

Carl

Scott Feldman

So this would be the wrong place to mention my book: The Analysis of Hype? www.analysisofhype.com

Hypebot has two chapters available for free: http://www.hypebot.com/hypebot/2012/01/the-analysis-of-hype-a-musicians-guide-to-online-marketing-2-free-chapters.html

I'm hoping Darren Hemmings (whoever he is...) will tear me to shreds or proclaim me a genius. :)

Darren Hemmings

Thanks Carl - its good of you to respond to my comments and I think debate is a very healthy thing if it provokes further thought around a topic as is the case here.

Re: the advertorial comment I think the context is stripped here and could probably have been mitigated by an intro from Clyde. As I said, I'd sooner have a "10 reasons Nimbit can help you develop a commercial presence on Facebook" article that is clear on its intent. It simply doesn't come off well otherwise; it looks a little disingenuous.

Re: the "naive viewers" remark - let's agree to disagree there. To me it read like the suggestion here was that you can improve your FB marketing using Nimbit. Maybe you can, but there's innumerable alternatives including but not limited to Topspin, Bandpages, Sandbag, Big Cartel etc etc. As per paragraph above, either present it as a Nimbit piece or as a FB marketing piece with more balance, but without the context it reads as a one-sided prop piece.

Your responses to my comment about the effectiveness of marketing on FB don't, in my opinion, address my point, though I'll concede that this is a very tough one to prove one way or the other. I think rather than go over this one again I'll instead direct you to my own blog post on value of Facebook Pages, especially post-F8: http://musically.com/2011/12/07/with-teeth-are-facebook-pages-still-a-valuable-marketing-platform-for-bands/

In that same article I address this issue of Pages and the tabs on them, which many of my peers here in the UK admit now have limited effectiveness even when set as the default tab.

I agree with you 100% that having a store isn't enough and you have to drive people to that store - however I'd argue that it would still be better here and now to drive people to your website not a Facebook tab. Why? Because that also sets out a deeper connection with the one presence on the web that is 100% yours. You only have to look at MySpace to see what can happen to profiles hosted on third-party services.

As regards the validity of FB as a retail platform: doubtless we will see a huge push come soon from Facebook and their own currency. Its a question of time - ironically possibly for Nimbit - before fans can retail directly using Facebook's own apps and Facebook's own currencies. However that is some way into the future. Telling me Facebook will be a $30bn market by 2015 is fine, but it means nothing to the bands I am marketing right now who have releases out Q2 2011. Right here, right now, Facebook is NOT a player in the retail game. People are on it for social purposes, not retail ones.

Lastly, in terms of practical advice I'd argue I did provide some in reiterating what Facebook themselves were suggesting at F8. For purposes of clarity though, I'll re-state it: build high quality engagement that people talk about and share. As Facebook's News Feed evolves, I would argue you are better off creating experiences via your own site that people can share and talk about to their friends. For a long time people have taken a "post often to maintain engagement" strategy but I feel particularly with the changes to Facebook of late that strategy will not work as well as creating great events outside of the Facebook framework and having fans share that. Fans want experience. There is a reason they connect most with media posts, for example: it is because it carries the highest value. Relentless messaging and conversation may not.

Everything about Facebook is speeding up. As I outline in my article linked above, numerous people have now started to criticise the huge increase in noise and the speed at which your news feed churns through with lower quality information. Only a few days ago even Mike Arrington took a swipe with this piece - http://uncrunched.com/2012/01/03/nobody-goes-to-facebook-anymore-its-too-crowded/ - and I have to say I agree with him on what he's saying there.

Quality, not quantity. Yes, engagement works, but I still fundamentally believe that driving high volume engagement takes time and money (if someone's being paid to do it) and now provides low ROI compared to creating bigger, higher-quality events online that people have a deeper connection with and which forge a stronger emotional bond between artist and fan. 2010 felt like the year we all went crazy on marketing terms: engagement, metrics, conversion. 2012 needs to be the year we go back to driving the original crux of this industry: the music.

Good debating! I may not agree with everything you've written above Carl but all power to you for standing your ground. I may be right. You may be right. Time will tell I guess ;-)

Darren Hemmings

Ha! I'll take a look Scott - thanks.

As for who I am - check out my article in the comment below as that outlines what I've done and what I'm doing now ;-)

Darren Hemmings

OK - having read the two chapters I have a similar stance to the commenter Gaetano on the original post Scott. I really like that you're telling bands to look at ROI and COA because, quite frankly, both are terms rarely mentioned in my experience. I also love that you are preaching pragmatism and not to simply assume people follow the guy in front as to what works and what doesn't. I like that: too many people simply do as everyone else is doing and it leads to errors and mediocrity.

Where we part ways is in the stats and the values attributed to fans on certain platforms. I definitely think fans are worth more on some platforms than others, but to put a price on that in each instance isn't so good as it can only vary wildly from artist to artist.

That aside though, I enjoyed what I read. Anything forcing artists to stop, take some responsiblity and generally question best strategies is alright with me ;-)

Scott Feldman

Darren -

Much appreciated! I'm trying to teach bands to think of the music as a portion of what they need to focus on. And if they can't do it, then there're folks like me at D.I.-Why (www.di-why.com) that'll help clarify/demystify things. The book is an offshoot from the work I've been doing for the last year. Disclaimer: Before D.I.-Why I spent a bunch of years working at Nimbit.

The valuation of a fan concept has been challenged by a few people now. I put it in because you've got to know how your fans work together (e.g. I've got 10,000 followers on Twitter, why aren't I famous?) and what you can realistically expect from them.

The whole concept of "artists' responsibility" is one that is rarely popular with companies like Nimbit and others. If you're a company looking for sales/subscriptions, it's hard to succeed when you say "we can make it easier - but you've still got to do a shitload of work!" True as it may be, who wants to say that? And while true, what artist wants to hear it?

Thanks again for the feedback!

--Scott

A few links:
D.I.-Why (www.di-why.com)
The Analysis of Hype (www.theanalysisofhype.com)
Hiyooo (www.hiyoooo.com)

Darren Hemmings

"I put it in because you've got to know how your fans work together (e.g. I've got 10,000 followers on Twitter, why aren't I famous?) and what you can realistically expect from them."

I can only applaud that too; whilst I still don't like the numbers in there I agree with you completely that musicians need to understand that social media numbers don't necessarily translate to sales. People have reduced man's interactions with music as being some kind of one-dimensional social media = sales equation. Yes it can contribute. Yes, in some cases it can be the primary factor. But not in EVERY case and people would do well to question everything around their band, their approach, their fans and how they're forging a connection.

Thanks for the links - I'll check them out.

Jillian

I agree with Jonesy. This whole "article" comes off as one big infomercial for Nimbit. Regardless of whether Nimbit pays Hypebot to post something like this or not is irrelevant. This DOES degrade Hypebot's quickly-eroding credibility. The content around here is getting thin. C'mon Hypebot!

movers in dallas

thankssssssss

Trevor

Here's a great tool (FB APP) that helps you engage fans with video! Easy and effective! http://apps.facebook.com/slidemotion-pro/

Wholesale Mini Fans

I believe engaging with facebook fans is most important aspect to do if you plan to take your brand to next level.

Nice tips Clyde Smith, It thrown some more light on me to get things going on. Thanks.

The comments to this entry are closed.






SEARCH HYPEBOT

Musician & Music Industry Resources