Facebook

Social Networking

Facebook hardly needs the introduction that most of the social networking utilities featured in this column have received. The odds are that you have used it. The odds are use it on at least a weekly basis. Particularly if you’re in a collegiate a cappella group, the chances are good that you use it multiple times every day.

But have you thought critically about how you use Facebook for the betterment of your group?

Though groups use Facebook in a variety of ways, for the purposes of this article we’ll focus on using a fan page, as opposed to a group or an individual-person-esque profile. Groups have grown a bit outdated on Facebook; individual person profiles for groups are frowned upon by Facebook proper, and while there is the benefit that people may more readily accept your group as a friend than commit to being a fan, still, it’s an out-of-context use of the tools at hand.

In using your fan page, make sure you take advantage of Facebook’s capabilities as a microblogging service. Putting up regular status updates helps make you a fixture on your fans’ newsfeeds, and while you don’t want to overwhelm and annoy those fans, you do want to spread the word about upcoming shows, and you should consider how you can connect with fans on an everyday basis—suggesting songs they can check out, asking for their feedback on songs you should cover or how you should change up your attire on stage. Most fan bases have a short attention span, so if you can keep your group relevant through regular updates it will help your cause.

One Facebook’s primary functions comes as a photo-sharing service, so make sure you put your group’s best foot forward by posting albums that feature your group looking it’s best. You may also want to post photos of other groups, and use tagging to help draw more attention to your page. The same principles apply to videos. We live in a sensory world, where people want to do more than read text. Cater to that impulse.

Don’t waste the space available on your info page. Make sure you’re linking to your group’s main website, your Twitter feed, your YouTube page, etc. Each of these platforms has unique functionality and value, and the more you can network them together for the ease of your fans, the better.

Though the tool has become a bit overused, you also shouldn’t ignore Facebook’s capacity to market an event. Set up an event page for your upcoming show and invite your friend—make sure that ignorance isn’t the reason why they’re missing your event. By the same token, keep in mind that you can earn extra good will by being selective and not inviting people who you know won’t be able to come—if you have a friend who lives on the opposite coast, it’s probably a safe assumption he won’t make the trip just for this show, and he’ll appreciate being spared the invite and subsequent updates to it.

As Facebook continues to evolve, there will certainly be more and more efficient ways of using it to bolster your a cappella group. Keep an open mind and stay attuned to these advances. Everyone’s using Facebook, so make sure your group is getting the most it can out of that.