Many a time has an artist using her birth name as her stage name asked me, “Do I really need a Facebook page, or can I just use my profile? My profile has more friends, and I think it’s more personal. Plus people search for my name on Facebook and just send me friend requests anyway.” This issue has only gotten more confusing since Facebook added the “Follow” option to profiles.
The answer is yes, you definitely need a page. Here’s why:
1) Your personal profile will be capped at 5,000 friends.
Maybe you’re nowhere close to that yet, but think long term. What are you going to do when you reach 5,000 friends? Are you going to play the tedious game of trying to figure out which people are least engaged and unfriend them? Or are you going to create a second profile and start accepting friend requests there? It’s best to have a page without a ceiling.
2) The number of fans on your page is a better marker of your actual reach.
Unless you’re buying fans to artificially boost your image, your page’s popularity is a much better indicator of your fan base than your friend count. A high friend count could just be a result of aggressive online networking. Your new friends get an ego boost out of accepting your friend request because they can add you to their friend number as well, whereas “Liking” your page does little to up their cool cred. (Plus you don’t have to go through and approve “Likes,” so they can happen more spontaneously.)
3) Pages give you access to analytics and insight about your fans.
Pages come with a whole slew of helpful stats on your fans such as top cities, age groups, demographics, and languages. This information will come in handy when you’re trying to define your audience or your top markets, but if you wanted to grab this from your personal page, you’d have to do a lot of really annoying manual searches. Pages also let you see how many people are seeing your posts, allowing you to judge what kinds of content do best with your audience, whereas posting from a personal profile can sometimes feel like shouting into a void.
4) You can use all sorts of cool apps on your page.
Pages let you feature apps of your choosing on your tabs, and most of the best apps, like Bandpage, PledgeMusic, Bandsintown — we aren’t talking Candy Crush here — only exist for pages. You can add apps to your profile, yes, but they’re hidden on the “More” tab and often buggy.
5) Pages are a more reliable resource for official news.
If a fan’s looking for information about when your album’s coming out, they’re going to look for a page rather than a profile. Pages have that coveted official air about them that lets people know that you’re a serious artist, not just a hobbyist.
So go set up that page! Pimp it out with great apps and add a “Like” button to your website. But you don’t need to dump your personal profile or keep it separate from your business life. Next week we’ll talk about great ways to market your art through your personal profile.