Facebook and Twitter Advertising for musicians: Is it worth it?

13 thoughts on “Facebook and Twitter Advertising for musicians: Is it worth it?”

  1. Well this was a well interesting article and incite on how these adds work on media sites has mentioned here Dirk. To be perfectly honest when I started my own blog Lee Speaks About Music on WordPress every time I placed a post on FB I would get boxes pop saying your post can reach more people for a certain amount of money.

    At first it was it was speaking of amounts of £14 and I thought no way would I spend that amount of money. Then it came down to £4 and this drew me in a bit more to actually go ahead with it just to try it out.

    So I clicked on it to proceed and all of a sudden this advertisement was no longer going to be costing me £4. It was in fact going to cost me some £40 because basically that was the minimal amount of days you could run the ad for.

    I thought I could just run the ad for a day or even on a daily basis and I perhaps might have run the ad for 2 or 3 days sending around £12 at the most. After all I am not exactly selling anything (LOL) But it’s not as simple as that and these guys want your money :)))))))

    These media sites I do not consider cheap to run an add on at all, and it’s not like your local shop where you can stick an ad in a shop window and it will cost you £1 per week. Oh no these guys think they are successful as placing an ad on the TV and can reach just as many people.

    Selling your own goods on Ebay costs way less than these idiots and personally I think you have got a damn site more chance at getting a result on ebay as well.

    You have a funny view of how little something costs Dirk and to me 50 Dollars is a hell of a lot of money just to take and throw away in my own personal view. It is not cheap at all and quite personally if I threw my money at it like you did, I would of give up on it after the first time and not get burned again, that’s for sure.

    This kind of advertising I think only really works for companies with a name behind them. People who are already making major money in the first place and not for the likes of nobodies like myself.

    1. I agree, that it works best for big brands and that it’s not worth for little artists until you can throw in big names like I did with “Lego” and “Metallica”. But I don’t think it’s too expensive. Of course I can ask my local shop to place an advertisement on his window, but will I reach anybody there, who is interested in Progressive Metal? Then I think it’s a better idea to attend a concert of a well-known band of the same genre and to spread Flyers to the waiting audience (but then you have costs for the Flyer-production). If I set up an advertisement here in a national newspaper I have to pay around 400 Euros for something 10x4cm. I also sold own CDs (not just a few) on Ebay over the years, but don’t forget, that Ebay charges you with 10% per sale. However I go on testing different ways of promotion and some are effective, some not. Thank you for this detailed and thought-provoking comment.
      And I agree very much with “these guys want your money” LOL

  2. Well thought out article, thank you Dirk!

    Our experiences have been very similar to yours, it seems in regard to FB advertising.

    We will probably do an ad or two to help promote the new material when it’s getting close to done or done, it helped with the last album. Not as much as we would have liked, but the CD was at least paid for before we shipped it out.

    A lot of people shared things about the album and what not too, a couple reviews got written, this also seemed to help. At least, on BC we could see where the traffic and sales were coming from, most seem to be FB.

  3. Interesting experiment. Success I suppose is relative, but whether it should be measured against your financial outlay, or against your expectations, I don’t know? I can say that lacking any form of promotion my SoundCloud account is rather languishing in the doldrums, and my Bandcamp stats show a flat line. I doubt I would ever consider parting with money in order to raise my profile, even f I thought my music was worth it. To be honest, I find the idea of self-promotion quite distasteful, but I find social media in general to be quite alien to me. I can see that if you have a product you believe in then you have to find a way to promote it. Maybe if you use your music as a soundtrack to a cat video you will increase your audience reach?

    1. Hello Dorian and thank you for the thoughtful comment. That’s a strong opinion: “I find the idea of self-promotion quite distasteful”. Well, I can tell you, that I had the same opinion for many years. Self-promotion can easily be compared with outbound telemarketing and I also hate it, if my banking company calls me (without a permission) at home and tries to sell the newest financial product. In an ideal world every artist would just publish his/her music and the specific audience would explore the music itself. But in reality even if you are as talented as Joni Mitchell and skilled like Paganini you will drown in the sheer mass of available music. And after some years I was not anymore satisfied with the flat line of my bandcamp-profile, because I am not a live-musician and the online-audience is the only audience I will get. Second as an artist I want to create music for an audience, not just for myself at home. So promotion is necessary to reach somebody. If I just make music for my own satisfaction I would not set up a soundcloud- or a bandcamp-profile.
      Of course there are different ways of promotion and some might be more distasteful than others. But in the moment, when you have set up your soundcloud-profile you have done the first step of promotion. And also, if you are writing comments and reposting tracks of other artists there it’s a kind of self-promotion, because you are spreading your name across soundcloud and direct people to your own stuff. At last most famous artists, even within the classical genre, had not seen the light of public attention without a financially strong promotion, professional management and marketing. Remember The Who (one of my favourite bands)?. In the beginning of their career they decorated whole London with posters and smashed their instruments on every concert. All very expensive actions, but it paid back. Besides lack of talent I could never compete with the power of a big record-label. Responding to your last sentence I say, if really a catfood-company would call me and would ask for permission to use one of my songs I would not hesitate one second to agree, if the company and the video would be congruent with my moral beliefs. But I doubt, that my kind of music would be suitable for cat-advertisement and would more likely cause a wave of little heart-attacks across the country 🙂

  4. Interesting post & comments. I don’t hear a ‘lack of talent’ so I think promotion of the music is appropriate. I wonder if you did something to secure the cover one way or the other?
    Apart from Lego / Metallica tags – if you have a very good original track like e.g. https://soundcloud.com/heartscore/peg-leg-pedro it should be on BC, SC, FB, YT, Twitter. Then some ball could start rolling. But it remains a question of luck & perseverance.

    1. Hi Dick and thank you for commenting here. For the cover I purchased an official license. I got it from my distributor CD-Baby for Itunes, Spotify etc. Unfortunately I had to buy a second licens for bandcamp, because CD Baby is not covering Bandcamp, so I also had to go to easysonglicensing. However the costs will not pay back, but I do it besides the fun of arranging, because you achieve a bit attention with covers. On Spotify my most popular tracks are all covers 😦 Talking about “Peg Leg Pedro” I also think, that this is a good song, but the Surf-Rock was a side-project and I focus actually on the Metal-style and I will stick with it to build up a coherent image, something I was not known for at SC, where I posted many different styles.

  5. Fascinating article and comments. I like the experiment and seeing the results. I think that getting listeners (real people who listen to the whole song) is about having a song they want to hear more than once. The first part is having that song. I think playing live may be a good way to build an audience. But having that song people want to hear is the secret. Many people spend their life trying to find that song that connects with people. It is very hard.

    1. In my opinion you need both: A song people want to hear and a way to reach many people with it. As good as a song might be it’s very unlikely, that it will conquer the world without a powerful promotion. Of course playing it live could be one way of this promotion.

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