Is it wrong for a musician or band to have no Facebook page?
I've been on the internet a long time. A really long time. Heck, some of you reading this probably weren't even born when I first started using internet in 1996. No, I'm not saying that to brag (because it's really nothing to brag about), but I am saying I've seen a lot of things come and go over my 16 years of using internet.
Let's back up to the middle of the 2000s for a moment and concentrate on 2005. This was when MySpace was huge in popularity. Everyone was using it. Nobody had really ever experienced "social media" before, so it was a totally new and exciting thing.
A ton of musicians and bands used MySpace pages as their primary web destination. What I mean by that is musicians and bands thought it was a really good idea to only use MySpace as the place where fans could see what the band was doing, see when their next shows were, post comments on the page, and so on.
For a while, this actually worked, but then something happened.
MySpace lost popularity. Big time.
It all happened in the scope of one year, 2008. That was the year Facebook knocked MySpace out of the top spot as the #1 social media destination, remained there ever since, and MySpace never got its popularity back. And it probably never will.
What did bands do? Here's the funny part - nothing. They continued to use MySpace all the way until around 2010. Some of them migrated over to ReverbNation (a seriously crappy site no band should ever use), and then slowly.. ever so slowly.. moved over to Facebook, got a fan page and established their new social web presence there.
And here we are in 2012. Facebook, even though still the #1 social web destination, is losing a lot of ground with the masses. Many have closed their accounts, never to return. And since the "Timeline" thing that Facebook launched back in March, many musicians and bands lost a ton of traffic from that. Many bands have said - rightfully so - that Timeline killed most if not all their Facebook traffic, and they were right, because it did.
The mistake a lot of musicians and bands make on the internet is...
...using social media as their primary web presence. BAD IDEA.
Bands in the mid-2000s honestly believed (as did a lot of other people) that MySpace was going to be the #1 social place on the internet forever, and that you couldn't possibly go wrong by having your band's only web presence there.
Well, all those people were wrong, obviously.
And they'll all be wrong again when people really start abandoning Facebook (which is closer to happening than you think).
All the bands will say the exact same thing about Facebook when it dies that they said about MySpace in 2008: "I PUT ALL THIS WORK INTO THIS PAGE FOR NOTHING!"
You watch. It will happen.
Is it wrong for a band not to have a Facebook fan page?
No, it's not wrong at all to be "Facebook-less".
The only two types of sites that truly survive no matter what happens are free blogs and self-hosted blogs.
If you have no money, you use a free blog like Blogger, LiveJournal or Xanga. (Update: WordPress is also a good choice and they do have a free option.) All three of those sites have been around since the late 1990s. Yes, really. They have longevity and staying power. Social media does not and never did.
A self-hosted blog is one like you're reading right now. No, it's not free and never has been, and yes it's a very nerdy/geeky thing where you have to know how to write/modify code and crap like that. It doesn't matter if your site is a dot-com, dot-net, dot-org or dot-whatever. Google will find it. And yes, you want Google to find it because you want people to know you or your band exists.
Google, generally speaking, prefers blogs over social media because it has more to index and can do it a lot easier compared to the 2,000-ton piece of crap known as Facebook.
If you don't have a blog for yourself or your band now, GET ONE
You might as well start preparing for Facebook's demise, because it's already well underway.
Whether you're a serious musician/band or just do it for fun, get a blog and start writing to it regularly. It doesn't matter what you put there (it can even be totally stupid stuff); the point is to just get a blog and start writing stuff.
Have a blog if for no other reason than for Google to be able to find you or your band in more than one place on the internet. Don't think about it. Just get one and start using it. You can link out from your blog to all the other places where you do band stuff like SoundCloud for audio, YouTube for video or whatever. Centralize everything around your blog. Make that your starting point for all your public internet music or band-related stuff.
I'll put it to you this way: I have several regular readers who find me by typing "Rich Menga" in a Google search and then come here. And I'm totally okay with that. Believe me when I say that you would want the same thing for yourself or your band, because when Facebook dies out (which it will), your fans will go to Google to find you. And if you don't have a blog, you might as well be invisible at that point.
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