I've been seeing a lot of questions from DJs lately about how you really promote yourself as a DJ on Facebook. For as long as the social network has been around, it amazes me how many out there fail to utilise it correctly.
I touched on this a bit back in the How To Succeed At DJing series, but now we'll dive into this in more detail, starting with building a fan base. Next time, we'll look at how to keep your fans coming back for more.
Firstly, use a page, not your profile
The biggest mistake many DJs make on Facebook is they think it's merely a site to spam people. They set up a normal profile, add 5,000 people as "friends" and then go to work blasting their walls, inboxes and so on. What they never realise is enough people pressing "Report Spam" on their private messages will get them banned from Facebook, and most people will instantly click to hide all their wall posts. It's even possible to block these annoying folk from sending you event invites.
So in the end, you might think you're riding high with 5,000 "fans" and try to use that to get gigs. Promoters though are seeing through this now, and will take a DJ who has a Facebook page with 5,000 bona fide fans more seriously than a guy who simply friend-requested 5,000 people. Plus if everyone is hiding your wall posts and blocking you from sending them event invites, then your 5,000 "fans" are useless because they're not receiving or accepting your message.
So set up and create a Facebook Page. I know it's harder to get people to press the almighty "Like" button for you, but it's a true testament to who really is a fan and who isn't. Your goal isn't just quantity, but quality. When you have hundreds or thousands of actual fans who respond to your postings, then you're in a good place.
Remember the branding!
Be sure to brand your page. I've seen many DJs put any old photo or what not on their Facebook Page and not realise they should put a profile image that is their brand. Look at any of the big names now and they either post their logo or an image of themselves with their logo. Your Facebook Page is really an extension of your website (if you have one) and thus should carry with it some reference of the look and feel of your branding.
Now, get people to "Like" your page
So now we have our page set up, branded, looking sharp... how do we get people to "Like" our page? Before I get into techniques, I want to first inform you that any Facebook profile can only "Like" up to 500 pages. That's it. So those few people you see who literally press "Like" on everything will hit a limit.
Now I'm telling you this because you need to bear in mind with that limit put in place, people will be more selective on who they will like and who they won't. It's not as easy as spamming everyone to "Like" you. So with that out the way, let's look at some techniques:
- Invite your friends and colleagues from your personal profile - Use the "invite friends" link on the right-hand side to send an invite to all your friends to follow you. That or just post the link on your profile wall using the share link on the lower left side. Don't be offended if many of your friends won't fan you. I know when I put mine up, I posted the link a few times and simply made it clear that this is where "all things D-Jam" will go. From there I keep stuff I post on the D-Jam page exclusively, and rarely double-post it on my personal wall
- Use your page to "Like" - You cannot "friend request" people, but you can "Like" things exclusively as your persona. So you might decide to "Like" your favourite DJs and organisations, then post comments on their pages as your page (not profile). This will lead to people finding out who you are and thus "liking" you in the process
- Add a Facebook widget to your website, Twitter profile, emails... - If you have a website (I hope you do), set up a Facebook widget and post it on your site, or at least make sure you have a clear link to your page. You might even want to post on your home page about the Facebook page, and invite users to "Like" you. If you have an email list, put the link in there. Post it on Twitter
- Set up a vanity URL - Once you manage to get 25 fans you can set up a vanity URL for your page, like facebook.com/digitaldjtips. You can then easily post this link all over on flyers and ads if you want more fans, but I will suggest you should send them to your website first and foremost
- Use Facebook Comments on your blog - If you have a blog on your website or on a service that allows it, consider using Facebook's comment system. Basically it's a means where instead of a normal comment form and area, you can instead have a comment system totally powered by Facebook. When one person posts a comment on your blog entry, it will then post a link and the comment on that person's profile. Thus you are being spread for free. (I will say though that sometimes the comment system on Facebook can backfire: Some people want their lives personal and thus would not want to invite themselves to be found on Facebook.)
- Use "Like-gating" - This is where you perhaps post some kind of exclusive content on your website, but set it up where users have to press a Like button in order to see it. A prime example is when this blog had a ten-part series on 10 Commandments For Better Digital DJing. Each entry had a video of the actual blog entry plus extra links, resources and worksheets, but (until the whole series was published), you had to press "Like" on each in order to access this material. Now some experts cast disdain on the practice of Like-gating, but I simply see it as a method that when used correctly can bring results.
There are lots of ideas above, and you should always keep your mind open to new ways of getting clicks on your page's "like" button. Just remember that people can easily "Unlike" you as fast as they can "Like" you. The goal is a solid fan base, not just hundreds or thousands of people stopping by to look around.
It's like if you had an ice cream shop and you gave people free samples if they came inside. The goal is to make them come back another time and buy your ice cream, not just come for the free sample and never return!
Next week, we'll look at how to keep the fans you have fought so hard to get.
• D-Jam is a Chicago nightclub and rave DJ by night, and a branding expert by day. Check out his website
Check out the other parts in this series:
- Facebook 101 For DJs, Part 2: 3 Killer Ways to Keep Your Fans
- Facebook 101 For DJs, Part 3: How to get 150,000 Fans In a Year
Are you trying to build a fan base on Facebook? Does the way other DJs use the service annoy you? do you have any tips you'd like to share with us? Please add your thoughts below.