Like most of you, I too LIKE Facebook, and ever since my last TechCrunch post (How to Build Engaging One-of-Kind Facebook Fan Pages), I’ve been exploring and trying to find new ways to improve the creation process of a Page. This time, I’d like to focus on a how-to for the musicians among you. If you are one of the talented musicians on Facebook, this simple guide should be of great use to you.
First things first, you need to register for a SoundCloud account. That’s actually a good thing, regardless of the Page, because SoundCloud is one of the best quality music services available today. It’s an easy to use service with an elegant layout that allows you to upload your original music and lets you play the files according to the quality of your upload. If you question the site’s potential, think again, because artists like MC Hammer, Moby and many more are already using it.
The reason you will need to upload your songs to SoundCloud, besides the benefits outside of your fan page, is the fact that the service that I’m about to introduce to you, connects via SoundCloud and allows you to seamlessly upload all your music from SoundCloud to your Facebook page.
Now, go to RootMusic – sign up through Facebook Connect – where you can just choose any Facebook page you wish to edit. You won’t regret it.
RootMusic will probably be the service that changes the way Facebook looks when it comes to music (depending on how many people they can attract in the long run, of course). Yes, it’s sort of like putting a MySpace page on Facebook, but, it’s a badly needed feature, and not exactly one we have known and have been familiar with many years on either site.
When you sign up at RootMusic, you can choose the free lane, which gives you the ability to customize your page with their simple editor, and also allow your fans to listen to your music while they browse through your photos, videos, and tour dates. The paid version will give you a much richer editor, the ability to add a unique banner in order to grab your fans’ attention and a tool box for adding custom background images. And, for the very reasonable price of $1.99/month, you might want to consider the paid version – but again, that might depend on how fast you want attention for your music page to grow.
Assuming you want to start with the free option – choose it, and you’ll get a screen where you can fill in some information about yourself or your band: Name, Location, Bio, Contact and site information etcetera. You’ll see that RootMusic has already pulled your existing photos straight from your Facebook page (so make sure you have some photos already in there). Next, you can upload some videos from YouTube or Vimeo, again, all very easily: all you need is the video URL and you’re good to go.
As I mentioned above, you’ll be able to connect all of your SoundCloud music to your Facebook page. The service generates a playlist of your music and displays it over a very nicely done player that visitors can easily use without the need to sign up or log into any service. You are also able to upload music from your computer to the SoundCloud music platform. Please note that SoundCloud is a community exclusively for original musicians. I don’t recommend that you upload music there if you don’t have any legal right to do so. The purpose of the site is to offer musicians a chance to be have their tunes discovered and shared and for others to explore new music.
Add shows/gigs – RootMusic makes it extremely easy for you to add a show date. Everything is customizable, all you need to add are the details of the event (when-where-who) and the price. You can even add a link to where your fans can buy the tickets online. To me, this demonstrates that RootMusic really focused on what artists really need.
RootMusic also lets you stream your wall posts and your fans’ posts. You can choose to filter them and show just only your content. Additionally, you can stream your tweets as well as content from a blog or any other site that you choose.
Lastly – Export this all operation to your Page.
Just go to http://www.facebook.com/bandpage on Facebook, click the “add to my page” button on the left sidebar (as demonstrated in the screenshot below), and choose which page you want to add it to.
Now, go to your page, and click on the last tab, the one with the arrow sign (might be under the + sign in some pages) to see the RootMusic tab. Click on it, and drag it somewhere after the ‘Info’ tab.
What you might also want to do, is to go to your Page, click on the Wall tab and then click on the options link (under the text box to the right). It will change to a ‘Settings’ button, click on that one too. A View Settings will open – now just go to: Default Landing Tab for Everyone Else – and choose the ‘BandPage’ tab. This will make sure that anyone who lands on your page before clicking on the ‘Like’ button, will see the beautiful page that you just made, first.
Though RootMusic is one of the most interesting services I’ve seen in a while, especially because people are increasingly trying to get the most out of their Facebook pages, I still think there is at least one thing that might be confusing for individual artists – the tab name. I don’t know if it’s a technical issue, but RootMusic should let artists customize their tabs instead of forcing them all to exist under the generic BandPage tab. If you can’t let users choose a tab name, go with something that fits both bands and individual artists (Music Page may sound broad, but it makes more sense). Not everyone is going to automatically know what lives inside the “BandPage” tab.
Another feature that surprisingly isn’t here but is sort of an obvious one (at least to me) is a connection between Facebook events and the artist/band’s own events – it seems only logical to me to use a very well known and oft-used feature like this one and tie it in. Even if only as an addition to the ‘Add show’ feature.
Either way, the results will be truly amazing (see example). I almost feel bad that I’m not a musician – I wish I could make such a cool page. To be honest though, just seeing a service such as RootMusic gives me hope of seeing more innovative things on Facebook. If they do it for the music space, then someone can surely create a fan page editing service for just about … well, anything. Then we wouldn’t have to work so hard in order to create our own pages, and we would have so many more options to choose from.