Forget playing seedy dive bars for free exposure. Right now, Facebook is one of your best bets to immediately get the word out about your music.
Using Facebook Live, I just turned my music page into a daily TV show, and it’s one of the strongest marketing tools I’m using for my music and products. We broadcast every weekday at noon, featuring music, DIY instrument tips and more. The audience looks forward to each show, and they share them with their friends.
You can perform for dozens/hundreds/thousands of people right from your living room. You also can see their comments and virtual applause (hearts, thumbs-up) as you play. Got a song you’re working on and need feedback? Get it straight from your fans in real time.
I’ve fully adopted Facebook Live for my music. Here are five reasons you should be using it, too:
1. Facebook has set up its timeline algorithm to favor live videos overother content. This means your live broadcasts will reach more people than just a photo, event page invite or YouTube link.
2. You will be giving your fans instant access to new material and show them behind the scenes practices. This is a great way to build a fan base.
3. Facebook Live is easy and the sound quality is better than you’d expect. Smart phones have come a long way, and even the internal mic works fine for acoustic acts and medium-level electric bands.
4. Since Facebook favors these posts, use the live videos to announce gigs, do Q&A's with your fans (you can see their questions in real time) and give behind-the-scenes access to practices.
5. The videos are archived on your band page. They also can be embedded into websites, just like YouTube videos. (You also can delete the videos if you think the performance sucked.)
Things might change and Facebook might eventually change its algorithm, but for now, this is a great feature. Maybe it’ll last a year…maybe less. Who knows. In the meantime, I’m investing in tripods, clip-on fisheye lenses for my phone along with WiFi range extenders (strong WiFi connections are essential) and any programs that can enhance the video.
There are plenty of tutorials out there for Facebook Live. Have fun and get creative.
Shane Speal is the "King of the Cigar Box Guitar" and the creator of the modern cigar box guitar movement. Hear the music, see the instruments and read about his Cigar Box Guitar Museum at ShaneSpeal.com. Speal's latest album, Holler! is on C. B. Gitty Records.