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 Everett True

An Idiot’s Guide to Promoting Your Band on Facebook

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An Idiot's Guide to Promoting Your Band on Facebook

It seems like some folk still don’t understand Internet etiquette when it comes to promoting their band to potentially interested parties on Facebook. So let’s see if we can give them a little guiding hand, shall we? Most of the following also applies to other social networking platforms, such as Twitter – and also to sending emails.

1. I didn’t ask you to befriend me on Facebook
Nor did most other people, I suspect. So treat me with according respect. You’re there because you asked to be: most probably because you’ve heard my name mentioned in conjunction with Nirvana or that I’m a well-known music critic. So don’t come on and start criticising me for stuff I may or may not have done (most probably, ignored some crass link to your band’s music). You’re there because you chose to be.

2. My Wall is my own
If you want to link me to your band’s music, so be it. That’s to the good. I reckon 50-70 per cent of the new music I feature on Collapse Board comes directly from such unsolicited recommendations (often from people I don’t know). For example, Song Of The Day 405, 404, 403, 402, 399, 397 … and so on. But send me the link in a message, don’t post the link up on my Wall. I don’t post links to Collapse Board on your Wall. You know why? It’s fucking rude, that’s why. It’s not just asking me if I want to listen to your music, it’s also spamming all MY followers and friends. Rude, and unforgivably arrogant.

You post a link or comment or anything up on my Wall without my asking you to, expect it to be removed summarily – and you’ll probably find yourself unFriended as well if you don’t actually know me or haven’t made any human contact first. (This doesn’t apply to folk just thanking me for agreeing to be Friends, incidentally.) You might note there are occasional links or comments left on my Wall that aren’t from me. Yep. Usually they come from either people who actually know me, or have established human contact. It hardly matters why. It’s my fucking choice. It’s my fucking Wall. It’s up to me if I share music on my Wall, not you.

3. Don’t expect me to reply
Self-evident, surely? You’ll be astonished at the number of self-righteous prigs who try to take me to task for not doing so, though. If I like it I’ll reply. If I don’t, I won’t. Simple as that. You are not paying me, you do not even know me. You have absolutely no claim on my time.

If this bothers you, don’t contact me.

4. If you’re contacting me, make an effort
And that doesn’t mean writing a preliminary email saying, “Would you like to hear my music?” No. Why the fuck would I? Send the link straight away, but use words – a paragraph or two written to me personally – explaining why this might be of interest to me. I listen to probably 95 per cent of the links I get sent – yes, really: I’m that naive I still believe it’s a wonderful way to discover music – but I can tell you right now the 5 per cent I DO NOT BOTHER LISTENING TO. The ones that just say, “I thought you might like to hear this” (or equivalent). If they can’t be bothered then why should I?

5. Do your research
If you don’t actually read Collapse Board I have no idea why you would be sending music in to be included on Collapse Board. It’s insulting, stupid and an utter waste of time for everyone concerned. If you do read Collapse Board, then you should have a reasonable idea what sort of music I like. In other words, please don’t bother if your favourite bands are Coldplay and Arts Vs Science, or if you think Smashing Pumpkins were sorely underrated.

6. Don’t ask to befriend me on Facebook and then just post a link to your band’s music
That’s so fucking rude. You don’t know me. So don’t behave like you do.

As Hannah Golightly writes:

Let’s face it, it’s the online equivalent of someone you just met, as in “Hi, my name is …”, suddenly obliging you to do a favour for them and, to make it even more uncomfortable, they do it in front of other people, attempting to back you into a corner or you may end up looking bad. It’s bad manners! They could’ve treated ET with a bit more respect as a human being rather than just some vending machine.

Here’s the deal. You got a problem with me on Facebook? Don’t fucking befriend me then.

5 Responses to An Idiot’s Guide to Promoting Your Band on Facebook

  1. Everett True October 20, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    Just reprinting what Gary said above in the Facebook comments, in case anyone missed it.

    Gary Calimocho
    Web 2.0 is entirely driven by the ability to share anything you want, when you want, with whoever you want.
    It appears there was an ideal of social networking that took massive assumptions of people’s characters.
    Almost a case of we would all become enlightened souls, happy to receive all kinds of information and propogate it around everyone else, one big happy fucking global village.

    Some human’s don’t like sharing though.

    You touch on the point of common courtesy and etiquette. If you tried interacting with people you don’t know like that in Actual Life, you wouldn’t get far.

    It’s where the idealised view of social interaction via Web 2.0 crudely clangs with years upon years of ‘offline’ social rules and conditioning.

    Are we evolving into an unrealistic hyper-impatient species? One that cannot be bothered to compose a small message, personalised to the person they are addressing? That’s just common courtesy surely?
    But then that one personalised message may go completely unread, lost in a sea of impersonal spam – how can we filter out that torrent of messages?? We can’t, and in times of overload we revert to the old failsafe of ignorance.

    Point 3 is interesting – I imagine there will be a lot of bloggers/writers/DJs nodding sagely at this. Yet I’ve seen these folk state point 3 and then angrily complain a tweet or two later that Band X’s publicist hasn’t replied to them yet – it goes both ways.

    Point 6 is madness. How is that even remotely a decent way of behaving? It’s akin to walking into someone’s house, saying hi and then spraypainting your band link all over the literal walls.

    As hard as it may be to swallow, spamming your act about just because you can, and because many ‘promotion guides’ say do it, ‘go viral’ and other shitty buzzphrases like it, the cold fact is that it’s still pot luck – you cannot force it, forcing yourself on everyone will just foster active ignorance and/or rage.

    Gary Calimocho
    By way of a follow up I’m talking about posting on people’s personal profiles…if it’s a group or page that contains like-minded members who may like what you do, I say post away.

  2. Joseph Kyle October 21, 2011 at 12:21 am

    Recently I had a friend request from a musician I actually knew and liked. He sent me a message saying, “Would you like me to send you a copy of my forthcoming album,” along with a friend request. Being that I’d enjoyed this man’s music, I said, enthusiastically, “yes,” and accepted his friend request. So I downloaded the album, enjoyed it, enjoyed his occasional comments on my facebook comments. When the record came close to its release date, I wrote a glowing review of it. As he had requested, I sent him a link to the review via Facebook.

    “thanks.” was his response. He almost instantly unfriended me.

    It was a shock, but the more I thought about it that afternoon, the more it pissed me off.

    So I did the mature thing: I deleted his review.

    He sent me a PM asking “where’s my review?’

    I sent him a response saying, “you figure it out,” then blocked his ass.

    I may be a lowly music critic…but I ain’t no doormat.

  3. James Flint October 21, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    @Everett Sound and reasonable advice. You’d think it would go without saying that online social interaction should follow the general etiquette of ‘real world’ social interaction. I submit to you that some people are just arseholes. Now, off to post some random music on your facebook wall.

  4. Princess Stomper October 21, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    @ Joseph – wow!

    My bad experience with musicians on Facebook is when it’s someone you were friends with a long time ago and you reconnect by Friending them, but all they do is bombard you with updates on whatever they’re working on (no chit-chat or personal news) and ignore any private messages you send them just asking how they are. I don’t mind – and welcome – being kept up-to-date with what people are working on, but there has to be a friendship in there. This isn’t LinkedIn, you know.

  5. DC August 9, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    I don’t mind people I actually know/trust/have a connected online relationship with posting recommendations – we get a lot of good tips that way. What annoys me more than anything is those who have slipped through our vetting (ie lied about their intentions) & immediately post links to music/videos so far removed from our remit it’s clear they’ve never listened to a single show. Originally I used to just delete the posts, replacing it with a “please do not post unsolicited links to music/videos on our timeline. Instead, email us & politely request our consideration like a professional band/PR company” message — hoping they’d learnt their lesson. However, one person simply re-posted the same link again 10mins after I’d deleted it. So I deleted it again. 5mins later they re-posted it. So I deleted it again & left a post on their timeline politely advising them to fuck off, before ‘unfriending’ them. After that experience we now delete & unfriend automatically.

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