So you’ve no doubt seen how powerful building a presence on Facebook is, and it’s time to get started setting up your profile. Now before we get started, I want to quickly point out a few things that you need to understand as a musician and how it will affect the way you use Facebook is a promotional tool.
To start, your Facebook profile is not an advertisement for your band – you’ll be utilizing Facebook PAGES for actually promoting your band, and we’ll be discussing the differences between Facebook PAGES and your Facebook profile in the next tutorial.
Your Facebook profile is to be used for your personally, and each of your band mates should also be on there. The point of having a Facebook profile is to interact with your friends and peers online – sharing content with them, chatting and exchanging messages, posting comments, adding photos, etc. Facebook is a personal place for you to interact with people.
That’s not to say you’re still not going to be doing a little promotional work here and there – the goal is for you to be creating and nurturing your closest relationships – these are going to be the biggest fans you’ll ever have and are the people that will help spread the word about your content and events to their own personal network of Facebook friends.
So we’ve signed up to Facebook. After logging in, you’ll be asked to add friends. Facebook is going to suggest friends for you right off the bat a number of times when you first signed up – these friends are tied to your actual email; it’s easy for you (and for others) to invite people you have in your email address book to join you on Facebook, so anyone that has done this will show up in your initial friend requests.
I’ve signed up as a new profile, pretending to be rock legend Jim Morrison to show you how to create and use Facebook for the very first time.
As mentioned before, you can easily invite friends to join you using your email address book. Facebook asks you if you want to do that in step 2, and will ask you a million times in the initial process of setting up your profile; the reason for this is they hope you get a few more new people to sign up as well. This step is totally up to you but is a great way to connect with those you may have already made a connection, both personally and professionally, through email.
After inviting your email friends, your next step is to fill out some simple High School, College, and Work related information. By doing this, Facebook will continue to suggest friends to you that also attended these schools or held jobs at the same company that you work for. A great way to connect with those from your past or current work situation.
Finally, complete the initial Facebook setup be uploading a profile picture of yourself. The photo you upload legally has to be one that you “own” if you want to comply with Facebook “Terms of Service”, but really can be anything you want. I suggest putting your best picture up there that easily identifies who you are.
Okay, so your initial profile setup is complete. Now you’ll notice a few new options: finding people you know who are already on Facebook by name or email, further editing of your profile, and along the right hand side, any pending friend requests you have and suggestions for friends based on your school and work as mentioned earlier. Let’s continue with editing your profile.
When you click to edit your profile you’ll be taken to your profile page (which is what other people see when they view you on Facebook). Here you’ll notice a bunch of places to navigate to find out more information about you:
Info: this includes personal info, like where you grew up and your relationship status; contact info, education and work; and eventually, any Facebook groups you join and and Facebook pages you become a fan of. Use the drop down arrows to open up each section to share your info and interests with your Facebook friends. Remember, it’s up to you to be able to share whatever info you’d like – no of this is mandatory. We’ll actually be discussing Faceook privacy issues later in this tutorial in detail.
The next thing we’ll discuss is your Facebook “Wall”. Your wall is a place for you and your friends to share status updates and content with each other. When you share content on your wall (or if some one else shares content on your wall) it will show up in your friend’s “news feed”, which is the main content you see when you login to Facebook, and is the main way you’ll be interacting with your Facebook community.
You’ll see here a text box where you can add your “status” – this can be anything. Some people use it to bitch about life or update their friends on other meaningless things. I instead tend to use it to create interesting discussions and to share lots of various web content (videos, links, pictures) with my Facebook community, and I have to say that I get lots of comments and interaction with my friends because of this. I’ve also found that status updates that involve “poop” tend to get the most feedback; take it for what it’s worth.
Click the icons underneath the the text box to attach different kinds of content too your status updates.
One of the really cool things that you’ll want to utilize, being a musician, is to share events in your status updates – not only for your own gigs, but those events you attend. Adding an event is a great way to remind your Facebook community that an upcoming gig is about to go down (we’ll learn more about creating events and inviting friends soon enough).
Again, you don’t have to share anything you don’t want to – even just a quick blurb can be an update.
After your status update, it will appear at the top of your page (and again, instantly appear in your friends news feed, where they can comment on your update).
Under the “Share” button, you’ll notice an options link; after clicking this, you’ll see some options on who can see your updates. You’ll then notice a “Settings” button. Click this button to open up some awesome features on how you can instantly update your Facebook status using a number of different web services that you can import into Facebook. Use flickr for pictures? Integrate Flickr so whenever you upload pictures to Flickr, it automatically updates your Facebook status with those pictures. The same goes with your YouTube account, songs you listen to on Pandora, etc. The real awesome thing is you can also import your blog’d RSS feed so anytime you update your blog, your Facebook updates as well.
Understanding how to integrate your various web profiles (if you so choose to) is an important concept that we try to get across here in Label 2.0 – making the things you do online work together to maximize the potential you have and to make your online activities run more efficiently.
When you login to Facebook, the first thing you’ll see is your news feed, where you’ll be able to view and comment on the content and status updates that your friends have posted most recently. Here you can see because I am Jim’s friend that he can see my updates in his feed.
On the left hand side of your news feed, you’ll notice some tabbed navigation, where you can choose specifically what kind of content you’d like to view. The news feed contains ALL content that is shared by your friends, but if you want to drill down and only view status updates, or just photos, you can do so using this navigation.
Again on the right hand side of your news feed, you’ll notice various ways of connecting with new friends; you can view incoming friend requests, connect your friends by inviting them (or using the Facebook friend finder), or from the friends Facebook has suggested for you (based on your personal information and current network).
When you view your incoming friend requests, you’ll then be given the option of confirming them as a friend or ignoring them. While not everyone who uses Facebook abides by this rule, I tend to only confirm friends who I know or have at least met in some way. You want your Facebook community to be a group of people you know and trust for the most part. Luckily you can set up a “Limited Profile” which puts restrictions on people who friend you that you may not know. We’ll discuss this shortly when we discuss the Facebook privacy settings. Finally, you can also directly send these new friends a message.
You’ll notice that, after sending a friend request, getting tagged in a photo, or receiving a comment on an update, a tiny red flag will pop up in the lower right hand corner of your screen. These are known as notifications, so every time an action is performed involving you in some way, you are immediately notified and can then take further action by following up with whatever took place.
After a friend accepts your request, you can then check out their profile, where you can view their wall, information, photos and more. You can also send them a direct message that acts very much like email, where only you and your friend will be able to view the discussion.
Clicking the “send message link” again takes you to the following screen where you can send an email-like message. You can also attach various content to share with your friends privately.
In addition to sending private messages, you can also chat with them right inside of Facebook. Down in the right hand corner (next to your notifications) you’ll notice the “chat” feature. Click this and you’ll see a box pop-up with a list of your friends that are available to chat.
Next, let’s visit your “photos” tab in your main navigation we pointed to earlier (next to “wall” and “info”). Here we’re going to upload some pictures into a “tours” album name. At every show or event you play, hopefully you have someone taking pictures. Here you can add a location and a description of the photos.
Once the photo album is created, you can add photos, organize them, and edit information about each individual photo. Browse your desktop to add new pics, or use the feature to add pics directly from your camera phone.
After you start uploading pics, there’s a really cool feature I suggest you start using to interact with your Facebook community. By hovering over someone’s face, you are given the ability to “tag” that person; you can start typing their name to find them on Facebook, or notify them by email that their name is being associated with a picture. By tagging someone, you’ll be sending them a notification that they are being associated with a picture, which then enables them the ability to comment or share with their Facebook friends. If the photo is not the right person, or if the photo is unflattering or the person does not want to be associated with the photo, they will have the ability to un-tag this photo.
After uploading photos into an album, you and your friends will then be able to easily view them from your Facebook profile. People can leave comments and you can share the album with other friends to add photos into the album as well as posting the album to your profile.
Now that we’ve updated our status and added a photo album, we can visit our profile and see what it looks like (and what are friends see when they visit).
Next, let’s glance over to the bottom left corner of your Facebook page, where you’ll notice your applications tab, You’ll notice a few icons in your toolbar by default. Photos, videos, events – these are actually all Facebook applications, or in other words, software that adds extra functionality to your Facebook experience. The neat thing about Facebook is that any software developer can create an application that adds something extra for you to do on Facebook, and some really cool applications involve sharing and distributing music to your Facebook community.
Just click “browse more applications” and you’ll see that their are THOUSANDS of applications that you can add to your Facebook profile. Now, a lot of these are social apps that let you play games, take quizes, send gifts, and perform other actions that let you interact with your Facebook friends. While these may seem cool at first, they can kind of get annoying after a while, and will turn you into a Facebook addict who wastes their time all day. Most people with boring office jobs play these games all day instead of doing actual work (while hiding from the boss) and will make your Facebook experience all the more unproductive. We’ll be discussing which apps will help you as a musician in the Facebook tutorial.
Finally, I want to direct you to a very important part of Facebook that you really need to be aware of – your Settings, located in the top right corner of Facebook.
Here you will be able to access your Facebook account, and set all kinds of different specifcs for almost every aspect of your Facebook experience – how often you are notified via email of certain Facebook actions, synching your Facebook account with your mobile phone, etc. The really important thing you’ll want to pay attention to is your Privacy settings.
Here you are provided with some really important features that you might want to consider when using Facebook. Remember, you’re going to be sharing lots of personal information on Facebook, and for some people and some professionals, this information may sometimes fall into the wrong hands or get us in trouble. This is especially true for many young musicians who like to party – you’ll probably get tagged in a bunch of pictures or gain some fans who fall in love with you a little too much. Just think about all the different kinds of information you’ll be sharing, and go through the different options and customize your privacy settings that you feel comfortable with.
Oh, and in the event that you get a stalker ( a good sign that you’re a great musician gaining in popularity ) you can easily block anyone from ever finding you on Facebook 😉
Well, there you have it – you’re on to a good start of really engaging your close friends and colleagues on Facebook. Now that you have your profile figured out, it’s time to really start learning all the other cool features and tools that you’ll need to actually promote your music on the service in the rest of the tutorials.